Super 60s Soul

Artist: Various Artists
Format: 3CD
Bar-code: 5060342021236
Cat No: NOT3CD123


In the Sixties, Motown grew from a local Detroit business into a major force in the music industry. Early material from stars who helped create Hitsville USA, like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and the Supremes, is showcased here, alongside the work of less celebrated artists such as Debbie Dean, the Satintones and Singin’ Sammy Ward.


The collection begins with one of the label’s most important acts. Led by the multi-talented Smokey Robinson, the Miracles were the first group signed to Motown and they gave the company its first hit in ‘Shop Around’ (heard here in Mary Wells’ version). Their much-covered ‘You Really Got A Hold On Me’ began life as a B-side in November 1962 before being flipped by DJs.


Berry Gordy swiftly established a network of labels, probably to increase his chance of airplay. Tamla was first, in 1959, swiftly followed by Motown. The Creations’ ‘This is Our Night’ appeared on the subsidiary Mel-o-dy. Jimmy Ruffin’s ‘Don’t Feel Sorry For Me’ was originally on Miracle, later renamed Gordy, along with the Temptations’ debut 45 ‘Oh, Mother Of Mine’/’Romance Without Finance’ and the follow-up, ‘Check Yourself’.


The first ever Tamla single, Marv Johnson’s ‘Come To Me’, was released locally, then licensed to United Artists nationwide. Similar arrangements pertained to Tamla’s first hit Barrett Strong’s ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’; the version here is from the Miracles’ debut album. This and Strong’s next 45 ‘Yes, No, Maybe So’ were picked up nationally by Anna Records, owned by Gordy’s sisters Gwen and Anna. Other material from Anna includes David Ruffin’s ‘I’m In Love’ and ‘I’ll Never Break Your Heart (Part 1)’, on which Joe Tex is backed by the Vibrators.


There are other landmark recordings here. The Satintones were the first group to record a single for the Tamla imprint, ‘Going To The Hop’/‘Motor City’. Some claim that the B-side inspired the name ‘Motown’, on which the group’s subsequent singles appeared. ‘Tomorrow And Always’, an answer song to the Shirelles’ ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, strayed too close to the original and was withdrawn after Motown lost a copyright lawsuit. Singer Chico Leverett’s solo venture ‘Solid Sender’ can be found on CD2.


A less contentious entry to the answer-song canon from the same family was Debbie Dean’s riposte to ‘Shop Around’, ‘Don’t Let Him Shop Around’; its B-side, ‘A New Girl’, is also featured here. Dean was Motown’s first white singer and, at 33, older than most of her labelmates. She was dropped after two more singles, but returned four years later as a writer.


The girl -group sound was fundamental to the success of Motown. The Marvelettes blazed the trail, ‘Please Mr Postman’ gave Tamla its first mainstream chart-topper in late 1961 when the group members were still in high school. ‘I Want A Guy’ and ‘All The Love I’ve Got’ were B-sides, while ‘Way Over There’ is a cover of a Miracles’ song from the girls’ debut album.


The Supremes would quickly overtake the Marvelettes in terms of popularity, taking longer to arrive at their distinctive style. ‘Your Heart Belongs To Me’/‘(He’s) Seventeen’ gave them their first Hot 100 entry, a lowly number 95. ‘Never Again’ was a flipside. All three songs featured on their first LP.


‘Someday We’ll Be Together’ was their final Number 1 in 1969 and Diana Ross’s swansong with the group. The original was sung by Johnny (Bristol) and Jackey (Beavers), two of the song’s three composers. Their version appeared on the Tri-Phi/Harvey label, established by Anna Gordy and husband Harvey Fuqua, the third songwriter, as successor to Anna Records. Shorty Long’s ‘I’ll Be Here’ and ‘It’s Been a Long Time’ by the Five Quails were also on Tri-Phi, which Motown purchased in the mid Sixties.


It’s evident that an intricate web of connections links the material on these three CDs. The Motown hit factory allowed for considerable crossover in songs, composing credits and session work. For instance, Marvin Gaye, whose six cuts here include debut 45 ‘Let Conscience Be Your Guide’ and breakthrough single ‘Stubborn Kind Of Fellow’, played drums for the Marvelettes. Songwriters Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier’s sometimes overlooked careers as vocalists can also be rediscovered here.


Behind some of the less familiar names, lurk Motown stalwarts. The Veils are a version of Martha and the Vandellas, while the Pirates on ‘Mind Over Matter’ are unrelated to Johnny Kidd and are, in fact, the Temptations. Smokey Robinson and fellow Miracle Ronnie White were Ron and Bill of the novelty single ‘It’, which predated the Miracles’ first 45 as the new label searched for a hit. Berry Gordy also made several attempts at exploiting the dance-craze market with ‘Congo (Pts 1 and 2)’ by the Twistin’ Kings, Popcorn and the Mohawks’ ‘Shimmy Gully’, the Contours ‘The Stretch’ and ‘Camel Walk’ by Saundra Mallet and the Vandellas.


But super soul was the label’s forte. Many of these early cuts were instant favourites of the pre-fame Beatles and in London’s Mod clubs. The rest of the world would soon catch up.


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CD 1

1. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – The Miracles
2. Shop Around – Mary Wells
3. I Want A Guy – The Marvelettes
4. Do You Love Me – The Contours
5. Your Heart Belongs To Me – The Supremes
6. (I’m Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over – Marvin Gaye
7. Ain’t That Love – Stevie Wonder
8. Don’t Feel Sorry For Me – Jimmy Ruffin
9. Camel Walk – Saundra Mallet & The Vandellas
10. It Moves Me – Eddie Holland
11. Whirlwind – Barrett Strong
12. My Baby Won’t Come Back – Martha & The Vandellas
13. This Is Our Night – The Creations
14. But I’m Afraid – Debbie Dean
15. Come To Me – Marv Johnson
16. Money (That’s What I Want) – The Miracles
17. Your Baby’s Back – The Downbeats
18. The Day Will Come – Freddie Gorman
19. Same Thing – Gino Parks
20. I’ll Never Break Your Heart (Pt. 1) – Joe Tex
21. Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide – Marvin Gaye
22. I’ve Got A Notion – Mary Wells
23. Motor City – The Satintones
24. Romance Without Finance – The Temptations
25. Congo (Pt. 1) – The Twistin’ Kings

CD 2

1. Fingertips – Stevie Wonder
2. Never Again – The Supremes
3. Never Let You Go – Marvin Gaye
4. You’ve Got What It Takes – Barrett Strong
5. I Don’t Want To Take A Chance – Mary Wells
6. All The Love I’ve Got – The Marvelettes
7. Mind Over Matter (I’m Gonna Make You Mine) – The Pirates
8. Check Yourself – The Temptations
9. Solid Sender – Chico Leverett
10. Cause I Love You – The Miracles
11. Whole Lotta Woman – The Contours
12. I’m In Love – David Ruffin
13. Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes
14. Jamie – Eddie Holland
15. Don’t Let Him Shop Around – Debbie Dean
16. Whisper – Marv Johnson
17. Someday We’ll Be Together – Johnny & Jackey
18. Shimmy Gully – Popcorn & The Mohawks
19. I Love The Way You Love – Mary Wells
20. Ain’t It Baby – The Miracles
21. Stubborn Kind Of Fellow – Marvin Gaye
22. Yes No, Maybe So – Barrett Strong
23. Going To The Hop – The Satintones
24. That Child Is Really Wild – Singin’ Sammy Ward
25. It’s Been A Long Time – The Five Quails

CD 3

1. Shop Around – The Miracles
2. I’m Yours, You’re Mine – Marvin Gaye
3. Congo (Pt. 2) – The Twistin’ Kings
4. The Stretch – The Contours
5. Trouble Lover – The Charters
6. You Knows What To Do – Barrett Strong
7. Bye Bye Baby – Mary Wells
8. Take A Chance On Me – Eddie Holland
9. Dearest One – Lamont Dozier
10. A New Girl – Debbie Dean
11. Soul Bongo – Stevie Wonder
12. You’ll Never Cherish A Love So True (‘Till You Lose It) – The Vells
13. Who Wouldn’t Love A Man Like That – Mable John
14. Hello There Angel – Marvin Gaye
15. (He’s) Seventeen – The Supremes
16. It – Ron & Bill
17. Way Over There – The Marvelettes
18. Bad Girl – The Miracles
19. Tomorrow And Always – The Satintones
20. Come To Me – Mary Wells
21. Misery – Barrett Strong
22. Oh, Mother Of Mine – The Temptations
23. Lover – Sherri Taylor & Singin’ Sammy Ward
24. There He Is (At My Door) – The Vells
25. I’ll Be Here – Shorty Long