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Dance With The Contours Import

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Audio CD, Import, April 12, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Kent is delighted to present the first of several CDs that we'll be issuing this year under legal license from, and with the full approval of, the owners of the Motown catalogue.

Dance With The Contours is an expansion of a planned but never-issued 1964 album by the all-singing, all-shouting, all-dancing sextet. Its original 12 tracks are augmented by a further 14 unissued dancers from the same period, with a couple of slower sides thrown in to give old timers a bit of breathing space. Of the 26 tracks featured, only two of them are previously released. All tracks are mastered from fresh 2011 transfers of the original Motown ¼ inch tapes (even the two previously issued) and all are presented exactly how you would have heard them almost half a century ago.

With notes by universally-acknowledged Motown expert Keith Hughes, who interviewed Contour Joe Billingslea in January 2011 specifically for the project, wrapped in a booklet featuring a wealth of previously unpublished and rare period photos of the group, this is a package that no collector of early 60s Detroit soul can afford to be without.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Can You Do It
  2. Do The See Saw
  3. He Couldn't Do The Crossfire
  4. I Don't Want To Talk
  5. Foot Stomping Time
  6. The Limbo Is Here To Stay
  7. Let's Do The Uncle Willie
  8. Party Groove
  9. Okey Dokey
  10. Love Is Uncertain
  11. Shake Everything You Got
  12. Giant Steps
  13. It Doesn't Have To Be So
  14. Minnie The Ugly Duckling
  15. Wanted
  16. Boy Meets Girl
  17. Don't You Wanna Go
  18. You Changed My Life Around
  19. You Hurt Me So
  20. Throw You Out Of My Mind
  21. Tonight
  22. I Didn't Know How Right It Was (But Ooh What A Night It Was)
  23. Somebody's Daughter Oughta
  24. Nobody Fine As Dinah
  25. Can You Jerk Like Me
  26. I Can't Stop Dancing

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 12, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Kent Records
  • ASIN: B004MRU9DA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,986 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth on April 30, 2011
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Ace/Kent UK has done it again. Following soon after their release of the very first full length release by the Satintones, Tamla/Motown's early group who amazingly never had an album while they were with the company, comes a fantastic 26-track collection of mostly up tempo, hard scrabble, dance oriented R&B by Motown's early vocal group The Contours. The Contours, most famous for their fierce "Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)" (which is not on this collection) were more similar to Atlantic R&B groups like The Coasters or The Clovers than they were to the groups which later became most associated with Motown, such as The Temptations or Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. They were funkier, edgier, choreographed their own dance moves, and were much more uptown-R&B than smooth and polished "Motown sound." This collection includes an unbelievable 24 unreleased tracks, mostly dance numbers though not all, and it is a joy from start to finish. The previously released tracks include "Can You Do It" which has a similar vibe (no accident) to "Do You Love Me." There are a number of other dance and novelty tunes in that same vein. But there are a number of real surprises in here. The blues shouter "Throw You Out of My Mind" recalls early Motown vocalist Sammy Ward or Atlantic Blues shouter Joe Turner. The Smokey Robinson penned tunes "Somebody's Daughter Oughta" or "Wanted" offer his brilliant word play in strong vocal performances. The up tempo "Tonight" and "I Didn't Know How Right It Was (But What a Night It Was)" sound vintage and contemporary at the same time.

As usual, Ace/Kent's remastering, annotations, notes and track information is unsurpassed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roger Polhill on June 2, 2011
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A very welcome release from Ace Records who are issuing some of Motown`s lesser known artists.The first "The Satintones Sing" is a beautiful package but the content is really for the completists.This however is different, the Contours are much better known and have a following,me included.If you like "Do You Love Me" You`re gonna love this.Billy Gordon`s gravelly voice leads on most.The two singles the latest recordings sound even better.Best tracks are: "Do The See-Saw","I Don`t Want To Talk",the funky unMotown "Okey Dokey",frantic "Shake Everything You Got"and my favourite "Do The Uncle Willie" That`s the LP. The other unreleased tracks are not always in the dance groove and some are a revelation like "Tonight" a Barry Manilow like but much cooler song.The three ballads are led by "I Didn`t Know How Right It Was.."and Sylvester Potts on his "You Hurt Me So" not their usual sound.The Funk Brothers are in the groove and J.J. is weaving his magic.The best are The 5 Royales like "Love Is Uncertain"and "Throw You Out Of My Mind",It Doesn`t Have To Be So",a Coaster like "Wanted",You Changed My Life Around" they get away witha sing-a-long type "Somebody`s Daughter Oughta".The top tracks are "Nobody Fine As Dinah" and "I Can`t Stop Dancing".For my money and worth every cent.To Keith Hughes and Ace congratulations and I sincerely hope you are compiling "The Contours It`s So Hard Being A Loser" and Ivy Jo`s "In This Bag"
Roger Polhill.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By FrankMJ on August 29, 2011
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The Contours are arguably one of the best vocal groups to come out of Motown. One listen to the Smokey Robinson penned "That Day When She Needed Me," the B-side of their 1964 single "Can You Jerk Like Me," will put any doubts to rest. "Can You Jerk Like Me," along with "Can You Do It," the lone other standout on this cd, were released on earlier collections. What's good about this cd is that Motown connoisseurs get to add an additional Contours release to their collection. This cd contains tracks recorded for what was to have been for a 1964 album, bearing the same title as this collection. Unfortunately, this cd does nothing to move the Contours out of being typecast as a dance group. As a dance album, the majority of tracks simply do not measure up to their dance hits such as "Do You Love Me," "Shake Sherrie," etc.

It is understandable that Motown decided to shelve the project. As a Contours fan, I'm happy that they have been given the attention today. However, one listen to this cd may make avid fans wonder why their vocal talent was wasted on formulaic throwaways such as what's here. They deserved more than this. Hopefully, there are some more tracks in the vault that show their skills as balladeers. Overall, this cd is primarily for Motown collectors. It is not a fair introduction to the Contours for those unfamiliar with the group beyond "Do You Love Me." Musically, their first album, self-titled "The Contours" is a much better choice.
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