The Very Best Of The Contours
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The Very Best Of The Contours

January 1, 2006

Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Running In Circles
Look Out For The Stop Sign
Tracks Of My Tears
Heaven Sent
Blinded My The Light
This Old Heart Of Mine
Gonna Win You Back
First I Look At The Purse
Face Up To The Fact

Product Details

  • Original Release Date: March 23, 1999
  • Label: Motorcity OMP
  • Copyright: (c) 2006 One Media Publishing
  • Total Length: 39:02
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000S9FOXG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,641 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Improvement over previous Contours collection September 14, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This quintet recorded for Motown (actually the Gordy subsidiary label) for seven years (1961-1967), yet they never really got much respect. While one of Motown's most visually exciting acts, the Contours represented R & B at its raunchiest. This raw R & B sound was at odds with the smooth grooves Berry Gordy was creating with acts like the Supremes in order to successfully woo all of young America to the Motown Sound. The Contours would have been far more appreciated had they come out of Memphis and recorded for the Stax or Volt labels.

The frenetic dance smash "Do You Love Me" from 1962 was their biggest hit. It also established the Contours' sound, as Billy Gordon's screaming lead took them unharmoniously through a series of semi-successful dance singles like "Shake Sherry," "Can You Jerk Like Me," "Can You Do It," and the Smokey Robinson penned "First I Look At The Purse" (the latter is probably their best recording - how can you go wrong with lines like "She can be covered with a rash, long as she's got some cash!"). After Gordon left, the Contours cut their most melodic singles with a pair of great short-term lead singers: former Falcon Joe Stubbs on "Just A Little Misunderstanding" (1966) and future Temptation Dennis Edwards on "It's So Hard Being A Loser" (1967).

All of the singles noted above are found on the Contours' ten-track, 1981 Motown compilation which was also titled Do You Love Me. What this fifteen-track set gives you in addition to the hits is a few of the B-sides and some previously unreleased material. Especially noteworthy is the Stubbs-led "Determination" and the pre-"Do You Love Me" single "Funny" (the latter previously unavailable anywhere on CD). My only quibble: the omission of the Edwards-led "Baby Hit And Run." If you love Motown, you gotta have this Contours set in your collection. You'll be dancing for days!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motown's raw and outrageous Contours November 9, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Growin up as a child in the 60's, I loved this group. When the needle hit the record (any of their songs), it was hard not to move or tap your feet. "Do You Love Me" had to be played loud. Penned by Gordy, it was a instant smash hit. "First I look At The Purse written by Smokey, the song was another danceable tune. I love "Pa, I need A car"...the music will remind u of Marvin Gaye's "Pride & Joy". "Can You Do It" also was a monster dance tune. "It's So Hard Being A Loser" was lead by Dennis Edwards who later joined the Temptations. I recommend this CD. Get it because God knows how long this will be in stock. Too bad the original album "Do You Love Me" is out of print. If u can find it on ebay. Get it and hold on to it for dear life.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All their goodies in one place February 28, 2003
Format:Audio CD
The absence of Holland-Dozier-Holland material in the Contours catalog, attests to the second-string status this group held at Motown, despite a right-out-of-the-box 1962 dance smash, 'Do You Love Me.' A subsequent generation became enjoyably familiar with it too, thanks to the film, 'Dirty Dancing.' The group's raucous image couldn't have been all put-on, as Berry Gordy is quoted as referring to them as hoodlums, and endeavored to keep his female stars well away from them. (He didn't succeed there completely: one of his Marvelettes, Julianna Tillman married Contour Billy Gordon.) Despite no H-D-H material here, Smokey Robinson came through for this group wonderfully on two occasions here. 'First I Look At The Purse,' was Motown's first, funny novelty hit - not Shorty Long's 1968, 'Here Comes The Judge.' as might be supposed. 'Purse' was a must have single in my neighborhood in the summer of '65, as much as any top ten hit of this group's stablemate Supremes, Tops or Temps. Then, Smokey profoundly subdues the groups wild image with 'That Day When She Needed Me,' orginally the B-side to 'Can You Jerk Like Me.' 'Day' is the story of a guy who didn't let his girl know in time how much she meant to him, and is as good as any heartbreak ballad Smoke did with his own group, The Miracles. The lead's sad story is matched wonderfully with perfectly sympathetic inquiry by the rest of the group. I don't think Robinson ever more perfected a 'call & response' record that bests this. 1963's 'You Get Ugly,' while funny, and perfectly in line with the group's image, can't escape clear comparison to it's obvious influence: Jimmy's Soul's #1, profoundly pre-feminist era hit the same year - 'If You Wanna Be Happy.' Dance jams like 'Can You Do It,' 'Can You Jerk Like Me,' and 'Shake Sherry,' round things out nicely and augment their signature, 'Do You Love Me.'
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Does EVERY Man Look at First? October 2, 2001
Format:Audio CD
A little older and a lot raunchier than the average early-'60s Motown recruits, the Contours got no respect from Berry Gordy, he says, because they were just too hard to control on the tour bus. The gals and the gin were not safe with these guys around. But for nobody else did Smokey Robinson let his Id so completely off the leash. "If the purse is fat/That's where it's at." Party platter for the ages, docked a star only because there's no excuse for not releasing a "Complete Contours" collection.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sound of Young America Goes "Street-wise" November 7, 1999
Format:Audio CD
The Contours is a group that you can really have a good low-down time with (of a PG sort of course.) Everyone knows "Do You Love Me," but you need to also get aquainted with the playful "Shake Sherry," the floor-shaking "Can You Do It," and the downright uptight "Can You Jerk Like Me," which employs one of Benny Benjamin's most unique drum beats (heard on so many Mickey Stevenson/Ivy Jo Hunter productions from this time period). The flip-side of this sock-it-to-me delivery is found in the undrground favorite "That Day When She Needed Me," a Smokey Robinson-penned B-side that is so uncharacteristic of the group's output, it's riveting. And who is that fronting the group on "It's So Hard Being A Looser?" Let's just say he sounds a lot like the guy who eventually joined the Temptations when David Ruffin left...
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