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Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971 Box set
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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.Read more ›
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.
TOTAL RUNNING TIMES --
DISC ONE -- 76:10
DISC TWO -- 75:21
DISC THREE -- 77:09
DISC FOUR -- 74:10
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
HITSVILLE USA-THE MOTOWN SINGLES COLLECTION 1959-1971: No wonder BERRY GORDY dubbed his Detroit based factory of crossover soul classics "The Sound of Young America"... Read morePublished 1 hour ago by Jukebox Dave
My dad's one of those guys that doesn't like getting gifts, but I figured I'd grab him this collection for his birthday. He said he's been jamming ever since.Published 1 month ago by Anthony Williams
Great collection of Motown classic hits! Each cd looks just like an original Motown '45. Every song will bring back memories. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Maurice Star
The collection of music in this set is amazing! I purchased for my husband for Father's day, he loves the oldies. I also have volume II which is also amazing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stefanie Pulido
Was surprisingly a better deal than expected. I might be considering ordering another collection soon.Published 3 months ago by FRANK APA
I got this as a Christmas gift for my Grandmother and she absolutely LOVED it! The set is pretty big and apparently it had all her jams on it! I made a great gift.Published 4 months ago by Jay
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