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Motown Greatest Hits

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The Tempts take the epic acid funk workouts of 1970’s Psychedelic Shack and stretch out the centres and soften the edges, pulling you down into a lush paradise of swirling strings and vocal harmonies.

The Detroit quartet’s cancelled Motown album released at last – with 13 bonus tracks, many previously unissued. Within Universal, Motown was incorporated into various other subsidiaries including Universal Motown Records Group from 2000 to 2011 and later moved to Island Def Jam Music Group until both label groups were disbanded by UMG in 2014. The “Artistry” album was issued in mono and stereo, but the stereo version is much rarer today, so we have decided to go with that for our CD reissue, with one exception. Plus, a special bonus disk of The Best of Motown the 1970’s featuring: Rick James, The Commodores, The Jackson 5, Rare Earth, Edwin Starr and others - Over seven hours of soul-pop classics! Regardless of country of origin all tracks are sung in English, unless otherwise stated in our description.A year beforehand, Marvin was paralysed by the death of his singing partner Tammi Terrell, but was drawn back to music by a composition by Four Tops’ bass Obie Benson and Al Cleveland. The album’s final groover, Ain’t That The Truth, leads us directly back to the Motown Sound right down to the signature tambourine snappin’ on the offbeat.

In addition to the tom-tom-crazy title track, the album had two of the group’s most mesmerising ballads, the rightly famed Tracks Of My Tears and the breathtaking, heartaching Ooo Baby, Baby, slightly less well-known but, frankly, better, with Smokey’s bittersweet vocal, at the top of his register, raising twice as many goosebumps.

This intuitive grasp of his own talent was never better illustrated than on 1965’s rip-roaring Shotgun. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site, provide personalised content and advertising, analyse our traffic, and ensure you see more of what you love. Gaye ends with Just To Keep You Satisfied, in which the sweet loving is weighed against “the bitching” and Marvin ends up concluding that maybe he’ll see her “somewhere down the line”. or healing the world’s pain with the sheer exultation of this album’s mightily comforting, all-encompassing bear-hug of a title track.

Witness the seven-and-a-half minute, clavinet-stomp of Living For The City – a biting exposé of metropolitan decay in which the boy “born in hard time Mississippi” struggles to find a job “’cause where he lives they don’t use coloured people”. A man whose private darkness was deep, he also knew that “only love can conquer hate” was not the whole truth; Flyin’ High (In The Friendly Sky) sees the famously sweet-nosed Marvin self-diagnosing the drug problem that would later consume him, while Inner City Blues contains the threat, “God knows where we’re heading”. Both are loved by the masses of music fans for their fearless unselfconsciousness and sometimes maligned by the chin-strokers as vendors of cheese. There was no ‘punk’ as any MOJO reader might recognise the term in James’s hybrid, which was actually funk-rock-pop; while his image was more Hollywood Pimp. The first album released in 1975, was a top 10 hit in the UK, where it charted for 35 weeks, whilst Vol.

Since we began our programme of Motown releases, the Fantastic Four has been among the most requested acts we’ve been asked to feature. Like all legends, it’s probably rubbish, but listening again to this euphoric heat-haze of an album, it kinda makes sense. Neither seems to have full control over their melodic “gush”; they almost never let anything get in the way of the vocal and sometimes their songs seem built for the sheer joy of singing. Spearheaded by the certain power and wonderful expressiveness of the quartet’s lead singer, the great Levi Stubbs, and steered by the songs of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Reach Out was their fourth studio album, and is awash with hits – Reach Out I’ll Be There, 7 Rooms Of Gloom, I’ll Turn To Stone, Standing In The Shadows Of Love and Bernadette (all written and produced by H-D-H) plus their atmospheric cover of The Left Banke’s Walk Away Renee, and though they’re less at home with Monkees hand-me-downs Last Train To Clarksville and I’m A Believer (one can hear, if not condescension, then a certain lack of engagement with the lyrics) they’re much more comfortable with Tim Hardin’s If I Were A Carpenter.

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