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This review is from: Forever More: The Complete Motown Albums 2 (Audio CD)
The Marvelettes were always aware they did not get prime treatment at Motown. When I did a cover story on them for Goldmine Magazine Katherine Schaffner told me how happy they were to be on the cover of a prestigious magazine, "something that never happened to us." It made me very sad because these talented ladies from the lovely town of Inkster (which publicity always seemed to hint was some backwater place, which it never was and certainly isn't now)
reflected great talent from the get-go and their stage act not only equalled but surpassed any other Motown act, especially their complicated choreography and clever routines using props. Through the years the group became more polished, their recordings became more polished and what started as a down home high school group ended up a sophisticated mature act with worldwide experience. Because of the early teen pop hits much of the public has never been much aware of the second stage, the gorgeously orchestrated albums with some of Motown's best (and most unsung) music. Finally with this gorgeous set, the Marvelettes get their just due and at last their deserved place in the entertainment sun. The splendid remastering here is a revelation; the recordings were even more impressive than we thought or knew 40 years ago when they were released and the packaging is top rate, something the Marvelettes never got from Motown with the exception of the cover to "Sophisticated Soul," which Suzanne DePasse herself supervised. The unreleased recordings are all fun (I actually heard most of them maybe 30 years ago because I was doing the liner notes for an album of Marvelettes rarities that never came out) and of course the eternal question will always be, "Why unreleased?" We're all learning a lot from the set, too, because so many of us have discovered songs we assumed were led by Gladys were actually led by Wanda or vice versa (I always assumed Gladys was leading "Barefootin'). When I did the Goldmine article I insisted on listing who led on what single though it didn't conform to the magazine's policy and I'm happy to see on this set that essential has been carried out. The ladies sounded different yet sounded the same. This gala is worth every cent and you will play it over and over again. And the beautiful photo are great and the cover photo, which originally had Gladys on the left side; thanks to the world of Photoshop she is looming center over Katherine and Wanda, very strange I know but very striking.