This article is from the Anime FAQ, by Steve Pearl with numerous contributions by others.
SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS was made a little before 1982 and was released in 1982 as a TV series in Japan. The overall popularity that MACROSS received from the Japanese audience was so astounding that the creators of the series decided to make a movie rather than another series. In 1984, MACROSS: DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE opened in theaters all across Japan. It has the the same basic plot as the series, but with more visual pizzazz.
ROBOTECH is composed of three different series which have absolutely no connections to each other. Carl Macek bought the rights to these three series and with his team of helpers, got these three series to be combined into one story which was called ROBOTECH. The first is MACROSS as all you guys should know by now. Carl Macek massively edited the series to fit his need but still kept to the main story line that the Japanese creators made. The other two series that was part of ROBOTECH was great if their true stories were told rather than being part of the Macross saga which everyone who talks about this seems to like.
-- From a posting by Kong Chung-Lin Chang
[Editor's note: The other two series used for Robotech were SUPER DIMENSIONAL CAVALRY SOUTHERN CROSS (a.k.a. THE ROBOTECH MASTERS) and GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA (a.k.a. ROBOTECH: THE NEW GENERATION). But Kong is right when he writes that Macross is the one most people associate with Robotech.]