Various Artist Compilations - Tamla Motown Gold
An album like this one is therefore almost perfect. In fact, albums like this are almost always going to be almost perfect, provided it is not some dodgy bootleg or comprised of strange remixed backyard versions of the songs. The reason that this album is not totally perfect, nor any similar album likely to be so, is because there is always something that is missed out that the individual who has bought it likes and wishes was on here. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "Tracks of My Tears" would be my missing classic, the omission of which is the only thing which stops this album from being perfect.
Everyone who loves music should love the early classics of the Motown era. This was pop music at its purest, at its best. The label put out single after single, catchy pop number after catchy pop number. Almost all the stuff on here is less than three minutes long, so aiming at a pure pop perfection is undoubtedly the aim. No wonder that, over the unassuming door to the Motown offices in Detroit was a sign which simply said "Hitsville".
The label had a stable of some of the greatest names of the era. Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, the Four Tops, the Isley Brothers. As the songs were written a performer was selected and the song was recorded. Sometimes the same song was released by more than one performer - "Heard It Through the Grapevine" is the classic example of this, as both Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight and the Pips versions are on this compilation. And they couldn't be more different in style. The artists were essentially a team. Individuals from one group could be drafted in to help out on a single to be issued by another. And in case there were jealousies or rivalries, it was up to the label owner Berry Gordy to sort it out. And over a period which spanned the whole of the sixties, Gordy did. New artists always emerged and the Motown formula kept churning out hit after hit after hit.
I recently saw this filed in a record store under the genre RnB. RnB What a f*****g travesty! RnB is soulless shit where the wailing vocals of principally female performers lip synched over a stupid video of marionettes dancing (that is if you call Beyonce wiggling her ample arse dancing). This is soul, SOUL, do you hear. It is as far removed from RnB dross as death metal is from the Delta Blues. RnB has no life, no meaning and no soul. Soul has all these things and to call anything on this compilation RnB is an insult.
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