Nearly every one of these 104 tracks is a hit, and we mean a big hit, from 36 different, very famous artists-the Supremes, Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas et cetera, et cetera . With a 68-page booklet and songs like-just for example- Stop! In the Name of Love . A must.
Motown did so many things well in the '60s and early '70s that this overview of the label's smashes (and some lesser-known classics) practically demands four CDs. It gets them, too, filling them with single mixes of more than 100 tracks. That the running order begins with Barrett Strong's statement of purpose "Money (That's What I Want)" and ends with Marvin Gaye
's statement of concern "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" says a lot about how far the company moved in its golden decade--but no more so than what the same two cuts' differences in sound get across. The company was able to blend the smooth and the harsh in ways that few other pop entities have ever mastered, thereby getting over not only to the feet and the wallet, but to the heart. --Rickey Wright