December 01, 2008

Motown 50: Yesterday.Today.Forever

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles in 1965

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.

Motown 50

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.

Disc 1:
  1. Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
  2. Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Dancing In The Street
  3. The Supremes - Baby Love
  4. Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)
  5. The Velvelettes - Needle in a Haystack
  6. The Temptations - Get Ready
  7. The Supremes - You Can't Hurry Love
  8. The Elgins - Heaven Must Have Sent You
  9. Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Nowhere to Run
  10. Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Jimmy Mack
  11. The Isley Brothers - This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You)
  12. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - The Tears of A Clown
  13. Jackson 5 - ABC
  14. Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston - It Takes Two
  15. Mary Wells - My Guy
  16. The Contours - Do You Love Me
  17. Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
  18. R. Dean Taylor - There's A Ghost In My House
  19. The Supremes - Stop! In The Name of Love
  20. Jr. Walker and The All Stars - Shotgun
  21. Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)
  22. Jackson 5 - I Want You Back
  23. Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye - You Are Everything
  24. Diana Ross - Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Disc 2:
  1. Stevie Wonder - Superstition
  2. The Temptations - Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
  3. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
  4. Commodores - Brick House
  5. Edwin Starr - War
  6. The Temptations - My Girl
  7. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - The Tracks of my Tears
  8. Lionel Richie and Diana Ross - Endless Love
  9. Commodores - Easy
  10. Diana Ross & The Supremes - Reflections
  11. Four Tops - Reach Out I'll Be There
  12. Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
  13. Jimmy Ruffin - What Becomes of The Brokenhearted
  14. Michael Jackson - Got To Be There
  15. Smokey Robinson - Being With You
  16. Diana Ross - I'm Still Waiting
  17. Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke
  18. The Miracles - Love Machine
  19. Lionel Richie - All Night Long (All Night)
  20. Diana Ross - Love Hangover
Disc 3:
  1. Stevie Wonder - Masterblaster
  2. Commodores - Nightshift
  3. Diana Ross - Upside Down
  4. Rick James - Super Freak
  5. The Temptations - Treat Her Like A Lady
  6. Lionel Richie - My Destiny
  7. Stevie Wonder - Light My Fire
  8. Four Tops - Everybody's Talking
  9. Rare Earth - Get Ready
  10. Kim Weston and Marvin Gaye - Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)
  11. Martha Reeves and The Vandellas - I Say A Little Prayer
  12. Smokey Robinson and The Miracles - Wichita Lineman
  13. Thelma Houston - Jumpin' Jack Flash
  14. The Temptations - The First Time Ever I saw Your Face
  15. The Supremes - Come Together
  16. David Ruffin - Put A Little Love In Your Heart
  17. Michael Jackson - You've Got A Friend

Video: Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On

» en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MoTown

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