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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Can't forget the Motor City

The DJ in me has been working to come up with the world's best Motown compilation CD. The trick is, you get only 80 minutes max to tell the Motown story. It's hard. Even without the Jackson 5 and Gladys Knight & the Pips (I'm awaiting acquisition of some of their stuff in digital format, rather than messing with my old vinyl), I've got this:

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Ain't No Mountain High Enough
The Four Tops, Reach Out (I'll Be There)
Diana Ross & the Supremes, Stop! In the Name of Love
Martha & the Vandellas, Dancing in the Street
Marvin Gaye, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, The Tracks of My Tears
The Temptations, My Girl
Stevie Wonder, Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
The Marvelettes, Too Many Fish in the Sea
Edwin Starr, Twenty-Five Miles
Martha & the Vandellas, Jimmy Mack
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, I Second That Emotion
The Temptations & the Supremes, I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
Junior Walker & the All-Stars, Shotgun
The Four Tops, Standing in the Shadows of Love
The Marvelettes, Don't Mess With Bill
Marvin Gaye, I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
Martha & the Vandellas, Honey Chile
Stevie Wonder, My Cherie Amour
The Temptations, Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)
Marvin Gaye, What's Going On
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, The Tears of a Clown
Stevie Wonder, I Wish
Smokey Robinson, Being With You
Diana Ross & the Supremes, Someday We'll Be Together

Thoughts, anyone?

Comments (17)

My favourite Smokey tune is "Baby, baby don't cry". And the best Junior Walker song is "What does it take (to win your love for me)". Being a Memphis girl I was always more into the Stax stuff, although who doesn't love Motown??

It's good to see a couple of the Marvin/Tammi duets on there, as those are the pinnacle of the Motown Sound, in my opinion. However, I would omit "Someday We'll Be Together" in favor of the Velvettes' "Needle in a Haystack," and replace "Honey Chile" with Shorty Long's "Here Comes the Judge." Gotta' have "I Want You Back" and Gladys' version of "Grapevine," too.

I thought it was "I Hoid it Through the Grapevine?"

Oh yeah, that's the CCR version ...

What about the White Stripes? They're from Motown.

I'm with Lily...after Motown..do a Stax compilation...

As a born-in-Motown kid, I appreciate the list. But I'd add a few artists:
Gladys Knight & The Pips
The Isley Brothers
The Temps (standing alone w/out The Supremes)
The Spinners
Billy Ekstine
A great thing about growing up in Detroit during Motown's heyday was going to the state fair (located in Detroit), and, for the price of fair admission (about $5), being able to see these groups live, on-stage, up close and personal. Smokey Robinson, Aretha, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Isleys - seemed like someone was always performing, nearly 'round-the-clock.

I envy you. I have seen Stevie twice -- the first time, with "InnerVisions," the best concert I've ever witnessed. And I caught the Temps (with Edwin Starr opening) just after David Ruffin left. Pretty good, since Eddie Kendricks was still there. As for the rest of the Motown greats, I missed them, except on TV of course.

I missed them as well - and i have no good excuse, since I lived in Detroit at the time, grrr....

Let me know what you need re. Jackson 5 - I just might have it....

though they are kind of downers:
Temptations - "Papa was a rolling stone"
Anything from Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues"

"Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" is a song, not an album. The song appears on the start-to-finish-excellent album "What's Goin' On."

Aw, how could I forget the greatest David Ruffin vocal performance ever - "Ain't Too Proud To Beg"?

Here's one more great thing about growing up in Detroit way back when:
Sunday morning, you could go to the Reverend C.L. Franklin's New Bethel Baptist Church (which was actually a converted movie theater) on Linwood Avenue and hear what had to be the world's greatest gospel music. That house rocked. Reverend Franklin's daughters sang in the choir. One of them was named Aretha.

How about the Temptations "The girl's alrght with me"? Oh, that amazing voice of Eddie Kendricks. I cried when I heard he died.

P.S. Jack, I have a Stax 9 cd set if you ever want to borrow it in order to compile a Stax compilation.

By the way, I don't know if any of you are hip to Daedalus. It's kind of a "remaindered" books and cd's business. They have great music selections, I have found alot of fairly obscure stuff. The average cost for a cd is $5.98 and the really great thing is that there is a flat shipping fee of $4.95, doesn't matter how much you buy, i's just the $4.95 fee. Call 1.800.395.2665 to get on their mailing list for catalogues.

Multnomah County Library has several Stax box sets that I think cover most of the singles that came out from between 1959 to 1971. There's usually a wait, but not that long.

I own the priceless Stax 9-disk singles box for 1959-1968. However, there is another Stax box that picks up in '68 or '69, which I haven't heard, and I would think that a definitive Stax disk would have at least a few things from the latter.

I listen to Marvin's soundtrack to 'Trouble Man' a lot at work when coding. I love it, especially '"T" plays it cool', which I found because it had been sampled by Thievery Corporation. I love recognizing and learning about older works through the use and appreciation by current artists.

Papa Was a Rolling Stone, The Temptations

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