Thursday, 6 September 2018

The Complete Motown Singles Collection Volume Eleven A (1971a)


  

The fact that the box sets for both 1971 and 1972 had "a" and "b" parts would lead one to believe that there was such a wealth of quality Motown material that it overflowed into the box sets for each year. Unfortunately, the opposite is pretty much the case. There is one hell of a lot of "filler" by now. Yes, all these excellent box sets had their share of non-essential material on them, but it seemed that by the early seventies, there was considerably more as Motown was starting to struggle a bit, for the first time. There are a few genuine rarities on here, though, songs by South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, Kiki Dee, and, would you believe, Meat Loaf.

Having made that point, it should not take away from the fact that there is still some wonderful material on here. My personal favourites are listed below.

With regard to the sound, it is now becoming annoying that two thirds of the singles were still being released in mono. Their stereo versions are all available on their respective albums and are much better, it has to be said. It is 1971. Things had moved on. Motown, as a pioneer of some great early stereo recordings, should have known better. They took their eyes off the ball. "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" or "What's Goin' On",  for example, should not be in mono. Still, that how these singles were released at the time and true to history, they are here in that original format.

Anyway, here are those favourites:-

"Nathan Jones"- The Supremes
"Mama's Pearl" - The Jackson 5
"I Just Want To Celebrate" - Rare Earth
"Strung Out" - Gordon Staples & The Motown Strings
"You Gotta Have Love In Your Heart" - The Four Tops & The Supremes
"Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" - Marvin Gaye
"Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" - The Temptations
"Cloud Nine" - Edwin Starr
"Maybe Tomorrow" - The Jackson 5
"Smiling Faces Sometimes" - The Undisputed Truth
"It's Summer" - The Temptations
"This Used To Be The Home Of Johnnie Mae" - Eddie Kendricks
"What's Goin' On" - Marvin Gaye
"Never Can Say Goodbye" - The Jackson 5
"You Make Your Own Heaven And Hell Right Here On Earth" - The Temptations
"Dyambo"- Hugh Masekela
"Mornin' Train" - Arthur Adams
"I Don't Blame You At All" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
"Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer" - Stevie Wonder
"I Don't Blame You At All" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

C+

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