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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearly the best collection of all their great Motown hits
Pulled this one off the shelf the other night after hearing that Gladys Knight had performed in our town earlier in the week. My wife and I had seen Gladys Knight and the Pips perform in the summer of 1989 and that concert remains one of the finest live performances I have ever witnessed.
Originally released back in 1997, "The Ultimate Collection" features just...
Published on February 5, 2005 by Paul Tognetti

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Fantastic compilation. I really enjoy listening everyday. My elderly father is also happy we have it. I respect this artist.
Published 15 months ago by Roberto DiazRohena


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearly the best collection of all their great Motown hits, February 5, 2005
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
Pulled this one off the shelf the other night after hearing that Gladys Knight had performed in our town earlier in the week. My wife and I had seen Gladys Knight and the Pips perform in the summer of 1989 and that concert remains one of the finest live performances I have ever witnessed.
Originally released back in 1997, "The Ultimate Collection" features just about every one of the groups charted singles from their highly successful six year stint at Motown. While Gladys Knight and the Pips would achieve their biggest chart success during the mid-seventies at Buddah Records, a good many critics would argue that their best work was probably done at Motown. I would tend to agree with that assessment. Gladys Knight and the Pips were formed way back in 1952 after 8 year old Gladys was the weekly winner on the nationally televised "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour". From that point on there was simply no holding her back. After a couple of highly successful records in the early 1960's Gladys Knight and the Pips arrived at Motown in early 1967. And before that year was out they had a monster hit with the original version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine." Other Top Ten hits would follow including "If I Were Your Woman" and "Neither One of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)" from 1973. As is so often the case some of my personal favorites were not necessarily the biggest hits. Perhaps my very favorite recording is the funky "It Should Have Been Me" which barely cracked the Top 40 in the Summer of '68. And switching gears completely, I was totally mesmorized by Gladys' heart wrenching rendition of the great country standard "Help Me Make It Through The Night". I had forgotten just how great a record that one really was. Add to these other familiar hits like "The End of Our Road" and "I Don't Want To Do Wrong" and you've got yourself a pretty darn good collection.
If you are in the market for the all the great Motown tunes then this single disc collection is still the best option around. I have been waiting for years for a collection that spans the entire forty year career of this legendary group. But for now, pop this one in and enjoy. Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection!, January 29, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
This is the best single disc "hits" collection during their Motown/Soul years. Like many "greatest hits" albums, you can't argue what's here but maybe what's not here. However, I do recommend this album along with "The Soul Survivors: (1973-1988)" if you want just the hits. Very Essential.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first successful recordings, March 28, 2003
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
Gladys Knight and the Pips made some records before they signed to Motown, but those records were not successful, so these are the earliest important recordings.
I heard it through the grapevine was their first major hit, going to number two in the American pop chart (and topping the R+B chart) and also giving them a minor British hit. Gladys recorded the song at around the same time as Marvin Gaye, but Motown originally selected the version by Gladys and the Pips for single release. Marvin's version was released as a single a year later and topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The two versions are very different despite both being produced by Norman Whitfield. He obviously loved the song as he also produced versions by the Isley brothers and the Miracles.
There are many other classic songs here, including Take me in your arms and love me, It should have been me (revived by Yvonne Fair in the seventies), Every little bit hurts, If I were your woman, Help me make it through the night and Neither one of us.
Gladys Knight is best remembered for the recordings she made after she left Motown for Buddah, including Midnight train to Georgia, but her Motown music is well worth a listen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rarely Heard Clasics, August 3, 2006
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This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
If your only exposure to the music of Gladys Knight and the Pips is the slick, adult-contemporary stuff from the '70s and beyond, then you're in for a real surprise. This collection of the group's Motown material is generally more upbeat and more soulful than the smooth lite stuff they're more famous for. Gladys is one of the most underrated soul singers ever, and could really belt it out, as demonstrated on this disc. Her deep alto voice is tailor made for conveying the pain and heartache of the deepest of blues. And her backing singers, The Pips, harmonize beautifully. The highlight of this set (besides the definitive version of "I Heard It Thru The Grapevine") is probably "Didn't You Know You'd Have to Cry Sometime", an aching, soulful blast of pure sadness. But really, there are lots of highlights here. Towards the second half of the disc, the more familiar, slow-burn sound of GK and the Pips comes to the fore, demonstrating the group's transition from Motown ravers to soul-lite groovers. There's plenty of stuff to explore here, and marvel over Gladys Knight's incredible voice.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best of the Motown compilations, March 5, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
This is the best (so far) of the many hits packages Motown has released on Gladys and her Pips. It's not too brief and not too unwieldly, either. As the liner notes state, all selections are the original 45 rpm versions. That is to say, there are subtle, but noticeable differences between many of these recordings and the versions that have been repackaged previously over the years. For instance, the fade-out is longer on "Didn't You Know" and "Just Walk In My Shoes" contains a vocal section I'd never heard before. These are little things, but they mean a lot to serious fans. The digital remastering makes for excellent sound. One quibble though is the inclusion of "It's Time To Go Now". This unremarkable track from 1968 was a poor choice to end the CD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars COLLECTOR ITEM, September 12, 2005
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This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
IT HAS MANY SONGS NOT ON MOST COLLECTIONS, BUT DOES NOT HAVE A NUMBER OF # 1 HITS. THIS COLLECTION CONTAINS MANY OF THE 45'S THAT DID NOT MAKE IT TO THE ALBUM COLLECTIONS. BUT, IF YOU ARE A FAN OF GLADYS KNIGHT YOU'LL ENJOY THIS COLLECTION. IT COVERS SOME OF THE RARE RECORDINGS THAT WERE PASSED OVER BY THE INDUSTRY.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motown's "The Ultimate Collection" Series Deliver The Goods, September 1, 2007
By 
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
A search using Ultimate Collection will garner you thousands of hits ranging from Benny Hill and George Formby to 10cc and The Who and just about everyone in between. Even Motown uses Ultimate Collection for a number of their CDs, but the best of the lot where they are concerned is this series, each with 25 tracks and similar cover art by David Irvin, covering Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Marvelettes, Martha (Reeves) & The Vandellas, Jr. Walker & The All Stars, The Four Tops, and Mary Wells.

And, of course, Gladys Knight & The Pips who first formed up as The Pips in the late 1950's with Gladys, her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight, sister Brenda, and cousins Eleanor and William Guest taking their name from manager and yet another cousin, James "Pip" Woods. In 1959 Brenda and Eleanor were replaced by cousins Edward Patten and Langston George and thus constituted they began their long string of R&B hits in 1961 when their initial version of Every Beat Of My Heart was recorded for the tiny Huntom label. After they moved to Fury they re-recorded it and, billed aso Gladys Knight & The Pips, it was soon in competition with their original cut which had, in the meantime, been sold to Vee-Jay. Their simultaneous release, billed to simply The Pips, won out, rising to # 1 R&B/# 5 Billboard Pop Hot 100, whereas the Fury entry stalled at # 15 R&B/# 45 Hot 100. Both had the same B-side, Room In Your Heart.

From that point to 1988 they would add 57 more R&B hits, over 40 of which crossed over to the Hot 100 and 16 to the Adult Contemporary (AC) charts. for seven different labels (Huntom/Vee-Jay, Fury, Maxx, Soul, Buddah, Columbia, and Arista). In 1962, after their third hit, Letter Full Of Tears (# 3 R&B/# 19 Hot 100 on Fury 1054 in December 1961/January 1962), Langston left and from that point on they became a quartet.

This compilation of course concentrates on their output for Motown's subsidiary Soul and includes, along with the hit singles covered, the hard-to-find It's Time To Go Now, the B-side to their biggest Hot 100 hit (# 2 and # 1 R&B for 6 weeks) I Heard It Through The Grapevine in late 1967. Also included are the album cuts Every Little Bit Hurts, Just Walk In My Shoes, and Here I Am Again. The sound quality is excellent and you get several pages of informative liner notes, including a complete discography of the contents and some nice shots of the group. Most definitely a compilation worth having.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They Deserved More Attention, March 2, 2002
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
A quote from Gladys herself - "Diana & the Supremes, The Temptations, and Marvin Gaye were given all the hits while we took the leftovers." That was on her A&E biography, and she had a point, her group deserved more. They had some great hits though, her version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" is one I still listen to, sometimes more than I listen to Marivn Gaye's version. "Neither One of Us" is just a wonderful song, and their version of "I Wish It Would Rain" is just as great as the Temptations' version. "If I Were Your Woman" is a Gladys classic. They had a great sound and Motown should have treated them better.
This CD doesn't really deserve five stars though. Maybe if "Every Beat of My Heart", "Midnight Train to Georgia", "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me", etc. were on here, you'd see five stars instead of four.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, July 30, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
Gladys Knight & The Pips have always been a major fave of mine. While at Motown,they never received as much attention as the other major groups but they always managed to hold their own while outlasting many of them. Gladys herself is still knockin' 'em dead in concert and never fails to sing all the major hits and then some. This is a major collection of their timeless classics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was the best CD made in 100 years you will never find a CD like this again they don't make music like this anymore, April 25, 2014
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This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
This was the best CD made in 100 years you will never find a CD like this again they don't make music like this anymore
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Ultimate Collection
Ultimate Collection by Gladys Knight (Audio CD - 1997)
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