Monday, 4 June 2018

The Complete Motown Singles Volume Five (1965)

   

1965 was the year that Motown really took off. Whereas the previous four box sets in this truly excellent series had their numbers of genuine big "hit" singles growing as each year went by, culminating in the 1964 set having Diana Ross & The Supremes' huge hit "Baby Love", this collection has numerous great hits. It is a fantastic collection.

The higher percentage of the tracks have still been spectacularly remastered in true MONO sound, which is ok for 1965 material (a confirmed stereo man as I am finds it becomes more and more of a problem as each year of these sets moves on, however). There are some excellent stereo masters to be found on here though.

The quality control at Hitsville had clearly gone up over the years and a lot of the artists who featured on earlier sets but hadn't made it commercially had disappeared, but unfortunately awful country ballads and easy listening material remains in the contributions of Howard Crockett, Billy Eckstine, Dorsey Burnette and Tony Martin. These tracks I find unlistenable. The beauty of digital programming is that they get sonically "airbrushed" out!

The "Motown Sound" was well in top gear now. Gone was the rock n roll, doo-wop, crooning and surf instrumentals of the early stuff. The Funk Brothers were in full flow. Here are some of the highlights of THAT sound they really need no introduction:-

"Since I Lost My Baby" - The Temptations
"Motoring" - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
"A Bird In The Hand" - The Velvelettes
"I Can't Help Myself" - The Four Tops
"Ain't That Peculiar" - Marvin Gaye
"Stop! In The Name Of Love" - Diana Ross & The Supremes
"My World Is Empty Without You" - Diana Ross & The Supremes
"Don't Look Back" - The Temptations
"The Tracks Of My Tears" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
"It's The Same Old Song" - The Four Tops
"Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)" - Kim Weston
"Cleo's Back" - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
"Nowhere To Run" - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
"I Hear A Symphony" - Diana Ross & The Supremes
"Put Yourself In My Place" - The Elgins
"Ooh Baby Baby" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
"Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" - Frank Wilson
"Do Right Baby Do Right" - Chris Clark
"Shotgun" - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
"I'll Always Love You" - The Spinners
"Going To A Go-Go" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
"Music Talk" - Stevie Wonder
"Back In My Arms Again" - Diana Ross & The Supremes
"Uptight" - Stevie Wonder
"Darling Baby" - The Elgins
"I've Been Good To You" - Brenda Holloway

B+


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