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Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971 Box set

4.7 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, January 13, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Money (That's What I Want) - Barrett Strong
  2. Shop Around - The Miracles
  3. Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes
  4. Jamie - Eddie Holland
  5. The One Who Really Loves You - Mary Wells
  6. Do You Love Me - The Contours
  7. Beechwood 4-5789 - The Marvelettes
  8. You Beat Me To The Punch - Mary Wells
  9. Stubborn Kind Of Fellow - Marvin Gaye
  10. Two Lovers - Mary Wells
  11. You've Really Got A Hold On Me - The Miracles
  12. Come and Get These Memories - Martha & the Vandellas
  13. Pride And Joy - Marvin Gaye
  14. Fingertips- Part 2 - Little Stevie Wonder
  15. (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave - Martha & the Vandellas
  16. Mickey's Monkey - The Miracles
  17. Leaving Here - Eddie Holland
  18. The Way You Do The Things You Do - The Temptations
  19. My Guy - Mary Wells
  20. Devil With The Blue Dress - Shorty Long
  21. Every Little Bit Hurts - Brenda Holloway
  22. Baby I Need Your Loving - Four Tops
  23. Dancing in the Street - Martha & the Vandellas
  24. My Smile Is Just a Frown (Turned Upside Down) - Crawford, Carolyn
  25. Needle in a Haystack - Velvelettes
  26. Baby Love - Supremes
  27. Come See About Me - Supremes
  28. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) - Gaye, Marvin

Disc: 2

  1. My Girl - The Temptations
  2. He Was Really Sayin Somethin' - The Velvelettes
  3. Ask The Lonely - Four Tops
  4. Shotgun - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
  5. Nowhere to Run - Martha & the Vandellas
  6. When I'm Gone - Brenda Holloway
  7. OOO Baby Baby - The Miracles
  8. I Can't Helf Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) - Four Tops
  9. First I Look At The Purse - The Contours
  10. The Tracks Of My Tears - The Miracles
  11. It's The Same Old Song - Four Tops
  12. Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things) - Martha & the Vandellas
  13. Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While) - Kim Weston
  14. Uptight (Everything's Alright) - Stevie Wonder
  15. Don't Mess With Bill - The Marvelettes
  16. Darling Baby - The Elgins
  17. This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You) - Isley Brothers
  18. Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam) - The Monitors
  19. Function At The Junction - Shorty Long
  20. (I'm A) Roadrunner - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
  21. Ain't Too Proud To Beg - The Temptations
  22. What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted - Jimmy Ruffin
  23. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
  24. Love Gone Bad - Chris Clark
  25. You Can't Hurry Love - The Supremes
  26. Beauty Is Only Skin Deep - The Temptations
  27. Heaven Must Have Sent You - The Elgins

Disc: 3

  1. Reach Out I'll Be There - Four Tops
  2. I'm Losing You - The Temptations
  3. Standing In The Shadows Of Love - Four Tops
  4. It Take Two - Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston
  5. The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game - Marvelettes
  6. Jimmy Mack - Martha & The Vandellas
  7. Bernadette - Four Tops
  8. Ain't No Mountian High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
  9. More Love - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  10. I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Gladys Knight & The Pips
  11. I Second That Emotion - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  12. I Wish It Would Rain - The Temptations
  13. I Can't Give Back The Love I Feel For You - Rita Wright
  14. Does Your Mama Know About Me - Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers
  15. Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrel
  16. Love Child - Diana Ross & The Supremes
  17. For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder
  18. Cloud Nine - The Temptations
  19. I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
  20. Baby, Baby Don't Cry - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  21. Twenty-Five Miles - Edwin Starr
  22. My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me) - David Ruffin
  23. What Does It take (To Win Your Love) - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
  24. I Can't Get Next To You - The Temptations
  25. Baby I'm For Real - The Originals
  26. Up The Ladder To The Roof - The Supremes

Disc: 4

  1. I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
  2. The Bells - The Originals
  3. Gat Ready - Rare Earth
  4. ABC - The Jackson 5
  5. Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today) - The Temptations
  6. The Love You Save - The Jackson 5
  7. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder
  8. War - Edwin Starr
  9. It's A Shame - The Spinners
  10. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross
  11. Still Water (Love) - Four Tops
  12. I'll Be There - The Jackson 5
  13. The Tears Of A Clown - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  14. Stoned Love - The Supremes
  15. If I Were Your Woman - Gladys Knight & The Pips
  16. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) - The Temptations
  17. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
  18. Never Can Say Goodbye - The Jackson 5
  19. Nathan Jones - The Supremes
  20. I Don't Want To Do Wrong - Gladys Knight & The Pips
  21. Smiling Faces Sometimes - The Undisputed Truth
  22. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) - Mavin Gaye

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: November 3, 1992
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Motown Records
  • ASIN: B000006NUW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,714 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The years 1959 - 1971, when Motown was located in Detroit, is considered the golden era of the label. Motown charted over 350 singles during this time and it would probably take at least 10 cds to do this period justice. This collection, Motown's most extensive at the time of its release in 1992, is comprised of four cds. Of the 104 singles included here, only two didn't chart: Syreeta's "I Can't Give Back The Love I Feel For You" and Shorty Long's original version of "Devil With The Blue Dress On." The inclusion of Carolyn Crawford's rare and gorgeous "My Smile Is Just A Frown (Turned Upside Down)" was worth the cost of the set alone for the serious Motown collector. It and the Syreeta single were appearing on cd for the first time (both have been included on other Motown compilations since then).
Motown went for a wide variety of artists (36) instead of just choosing the obvious hits by the major artists as previous collections had done. Of the major artists, the nine selections each by the Miracles and the Temptations are a good representation of their best work during this period. The Diana Ross-led Supremes, however, are strongly neglected, with only four singles included here. Especially key omissions in a historical set such as this is their first and last number ones: "Where Did Our Love Go" and "Someday We'll Be Together." Meanwhile, all three 1970-1971 hits by the Jean Terrell-led Supremes are found here. The selection of Martha and the Vandellas' "Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things)" over "I'm Ready For Love" and "Honey Chile" doesn't work for me, while Shorty Long's only bonafide hit, the novelty "Here Comes The Judge" is left off at the expense of the non-hit "Function At The Junction" and "Devil With The Blue Dress On.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
HITSVILLE USA is a box set that's clearly marked as a SINGLES COLLECTION-- that means these 104 tracks are in the original monaural sound. If you're looking for stereo mixes, this isn't the collection for you. That issue aside, the only real criticism of the album is one of programming-- songs tend to be clustered by artist or group. Perhaps a more thorough shuffle was in order.

Each CD jewel case is fronted with a repro of a Gordy Co. label, including one of the very first MOTOWNs, which was pale pink in color. The accompanying 68-page long box book is quite comprehensive. Recording dates for all songs and chart positions are given. There's lots of great photos; artists and groups are given a few pages of bio each. This HITSVILLE USA four-CD box set is fairly extensive, and about all you'd ever need in a compilation of MOTOWN 45s.


DISC ONE -- 76:10

DISC TWO -- 75:21

DISC THREE -- 77:09

DISC FOUR -- 74:10
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Format: Audio CD
This boxed set of Motown's early years leaves out a lot of obvious songs, which leaves room for a lot of wonderful songs that you don't normally hear, but which are well worth a listen.
My favorite of the four CD's here is the first, containing many of the early classics that were huge hits in America but not in Britain, where Motown was slow to catch on. Only My guy, Dancing in the street and Baby love, near the end of this CD, were major hits in the UK for the original Motown artists, though other songs became UK hits via cover versions. This CD is particularly notable for several classic songs by the Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Miracles and Mary Wells, though Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, the Temptations and Marvin Gaye are also represented here by early examples of their greatness.
The second and third CD's show Motown at the peak of their power with many classic songs included, although Diana Ross and the Supremes are poorly represented and plenty of other classics are also omitted. However, the absence of these songs leaves room to include songs by Chris Clark, Kim Weston, Brenda Holloway, the Contours, the Monitors, the Elgins, Shorty Long, Rita Wright (better known as Syreeta) and Bobby Taylor.
The final CD contains more high quality music but it was around this time that Motown started to slip as some of their stars departed to other labels and the replacements were not always of the same standard. So the final CD is great, but the first three are even better.
A companion boxed set covering the years from 1972 is also available. There are great songs on there too but not as many as can be found here.
This box is well presented with a superb booklet, but if you want a sixties hits collection, there are many other collections that will suit you better.
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Format: Audio CD
...or at least an excellent start. This set packs together virtually all of the Motown classics you'll remember from the radio throughout the 60's, many of which are extremely hard to find anywhere else.
The complaints about the mono mixes doesn't wash with me - I've listened on headphones, on tapes made of these in the car, and on a giant stereo system, and they all sound great to me. These are directly from the masters, so they sound as good as possible - a stereo remix would've required substantial restructuring.
The only complaint I have is that I prefer other artists' versions of a couple of these (and I do mean only a couple), but you can't blame them for putting out primarily the original artists' versions.
The music itself is vibrant, catchy, and full of emotion. It truly reveals the musical genius exhibited by the classic songwriters and arrangers in Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy. Their contributions to modern music cannot be overestimated.
In all, this is an absolutely *essential* set for any fan of popular music (or of music in general). Throw these in a four or five disc changer and get housework, homework, or just a nice relaxing afternoon of reminiscing on old memories done.
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