Can you say bad things about legendary Detroit label Motown? Erhm, you can, but it will require some soul searching. Founded in 1959 by Berry Gordy it might be not as cool as Stax, but with a roster that includes Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, the Supremes, the Temptations, the Four Tops and the giant Marvin Gaye this label churned out hits by the dozens form the mid-sixties until the early seventies before slowly going into decline with forgettable thrown together duets and the solo crap made by Lionel Richie.
With its 50th anniversary coming up on January 12, current owner Universal releases a 3CD collection that is pretty good, but since the internet community had a vote in putting it together there are eleven (11!) Diana Ross tracks, and only one by The Isley Brothers. Frank Wilson, the man who gave Berry Gordy a shot as a songwriter, gets only one too. The big names are all there, with just a few of the lesser known acts as The Contours and The Elgins sneaking in through the cracks. The included booklet is a joke. No history, no background, no nothing.
Start with the second disc and let it play for the first seven songs. That's the Motown sound at its peak.
Motown 50 Yesterday.Today.Forever is released on Universal.