The list author says: "I grew up on the dulcet tones of a young Smokey Robinson and 1960s-1970s soul, so it's only natural that I was drawn to Hip-O-Select's rerelease of all of Motown's singles from 1958-1972 spread across 12 amazing box sets full of track-by-track liner notes and fabulous chronological tracklistings. These are truly a labor of love and well worth the $1,200 investment to collect them all; if you're looking for a standout, go for Vol. 6 (1966); 75% of Motown's singles charted that year. Plus each set comes with a playable 45 of that year's smash single.
Volumes 12A and 12B are completed (once again, Bill Dahl wrote the liner notes), but have been delayed due to licensing issues."
"Vol. 1 includes Motown's earliest attempts at creating a successful pop formula. Many of these early singles simply emulated what was selling on the radio; there's a lot of twist records towards the end, a hint of surf, and doo wop, blues and gospel. The signature Motown sound isn't present yet, but it's interesting to see the evolution of the label."
"On Vol. 2, 1962, Berry Gordy tightened up his lineup, adding Little Stevie Wonder and Martha and the Vandellas. Mary Wells saw three singles in the Top Ten. 1962 saw Motown expanding to Workshop Jazz."
"1964: The Temptations' "The Way You Do The Things You Do," Mary Wells' "My Guy," The Four Tops' "Baby I Need Your Loving," Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street," the Supremes "Baby Love," the Marvelettes' "Too Many Fish in the Sea," the Temptations' "My Girl." The Motown sound has really gelled by '64."
"1965: Jr. Walker and the All Stars have an unexpected smash with Shotgun after Jr. was forced to sing it himself or lose the session. The Supremes dominate with "Stop! In the Name of Love," the Miracles croon on "Ooh Baby Baby," the Four Tops amaze on "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch," Smokey and the Miracles dazzle on "The Tracks of My Tears," and Stevie Wonder hit back with "Uptight.""
"In what may be Motown's most successful year commercially, 1966 saw 75% of its singles chart. Standouts include the Isley Brothers' "This Old Heart of Mine," the Temptations' "Get Ready" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," the Spinners' "Truly Yours," The Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love," Martha and the Vandellas on "I'm Ready for Love," Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston on "It Takes Two.""
"1967: Martha and the Vandellas on "Jimmy Mack," Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell on "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," the Elgins' fabulous doo wop on "It's Been a Long, Long Time," Gladys Knight and the Pips on "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," and the Temptations on "I Wish It Would Rain.""
"1968: "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, "Gonna Give Her All the Love I Got" by the Temps, some gospel courtesy of Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight, "Love Child," by Diana Ross and the Supremes."
"1970: Diana goes solo, the Jackson 5 soar, Tammi Terrell dies. "ABC" by the Jackson 5, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr declares "War," "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles."
"1971: Marvin asks "What's Going On?", the Temps' "Just My Imagination," some super-psychadelic tunes, some African pride in the form of Hugh Masekela, and the interesting duo of Diana Ross and Bill Cosby on "Love Story.""
"The end of the line: Motown's final transition from Detroit to Los Angeles from July-December 1971. Solo tracks by Valerie Simpson (who doubled for Tammi Terrell), Meatloaf, Lodi, Bobby Darin, and Michael Jackson's first solo steps on "Got To Be There.""