The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 1: 1959-1961 is a limited-edition set. Most of the songs contained on it are unavailable anywhere else; many had never been re-released on vinyl, let alone on compact disc. When the edition is sold out, it's gone for good, so act now.
About the Artist
Say the word "Motown," and an immediate image forms in your head: maybe Smokey, or Diana, or Stevie, or the Temptations doing their famous steps. Or one of dozens of other classic Motown artists. But before the Motown sound had written itself into America's musical DNA, before there was even a Motown label, there was an idea in the head of Berry Gordy, Jr.
Gordy's empire began even before the house at 2648 W. Grand Blvd. became `Hitsville U.S.A.' The Complete Motown Singles, Part 1: 1959-1961 documents Motown's earliest days, from Marv Johnson's "Come To Me" on Tamla 101 through The Twistin' Kings' "Congo (Part 1)" on Motown 1023.
This six-CD set offers an amazing insight into the development of the Motown Sound. You can follow along, single by single, as Gordy pursues his dream, often to unexpected places. It features the A-side and B-side of every single released by Motown and its subsidiaries during the label's first three years of existence. Over the course of the set's 155 tracks, you can hear the recorded debuts of the Temptations, the Supremes, Mary Wells, and many others. You'll also hear Motown's first big hits: Barrett Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)," The Miracles' "Shop Around," and The Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman."
The luxurious packaging resembles a scaled-down 78-rpm-era "album," with cardboard sleeves to hold each of the discs, and 92 pages of rare photos, detailed annotations and scholarly - as well as personal - liner notes. It also features a reproduction 45-rpm single from its era; in this case, it's Barrett Strong's "Money" b/w "Oh I Apologize." Berry Gordy, who co-wrote and co-produced nearly every track in this first set, contributes a brief, personally signed note in the booklet's opening page. It introduces an eyewitness account of the early days from singer Mable John, the first female solo act signed to Motown. Also included is a historical overview by author and scholar Craig Werner of the University of Wisconsin, and track-by-track annotations, with not just song credits but stories and context of each song, by noted authors and discographers Bill Dahl and Keith Hughes.