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The Complete Motown Singles - Vol. 1: 1959-1961 Box set

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Frequently Bought Together

The Complete Motown Singles - Vol. 1: 1959-1961 + The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 2: 1962 + The Complete Motown Singles Volume 3 - 1963
Price For All Three: £221.21

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Dec. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Commercial Marketing
  • ASIN: B000AO8S5A
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,448 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Come To Me (Single Version)Marv Johnson 2:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Whisper (Single Version)Marv Johnson 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Merry-Go-Round (Single Version)Eddie Holland 2:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. It Moves Me (Single Version)Eddie Holland 2:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Let's Rock (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Do The Very Best You Can (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Solid Sender (Single Version)Chico Leverett 2:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. I'll Never Love Again (Single Version)Chico Leverett 2:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Snake Walk (Part 1) (Single Version)The Swinging Tigers 2:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Snake Walk (Part 2) (Single Version)The Swinging Tigers 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. It (Single Version)Ron & Bill 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Don't Say Bye-Bye (Single Version)Ron & Bill 1:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Going To The Hop (Single Version)The Satintones 2:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Motor City (Single Version)The Satintones 2:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Money (That's What I Want) (Single Version / Mono)Barrett Strong 2:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Oh I Apologize (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Ich-I-Bon #1 (Single Version)Nick & The Jaguars 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Cool And Crazy (Single Version)Nick & The Jaguars 2:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Bad Girl (Single Version / Mono)The Miracles 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. I Love Your Baby (Album Version)The Miracles 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. The Feeling Is So Fine (Single Version)The Miracles 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. (You Can) Depend On Me (Single Version / Mono)The Miracles 3:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. My Beloved (Single Version Without Strings)The Satintones 2:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Sugar Daddy (Single Version)The Satintones 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen25. You Never Miss A Good Thing (Single Version Without Strings)Eugene Remus 3:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen26. Hold Me Tight (Single Version)Eugene Remus 2:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen27. Gotta Have Your Lovin' (Single Version)Eugene Remus 2:29£0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Way Over There (Without Strings)The Miracles 2:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. (You Can) Depend On Me (Second Version)The Miracles 2:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Way Over There (With Strings)The Miracles 2:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. My Beloved (Single Version With Strings)The Satintones 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. You Never Miss A Good Thing (Single Version With Strings)Eugene Remus 3:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Yes, No, Maybe So (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. You Knows What To Do (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Custer's Last Man (Single Version)Popcorn And The Mohawks 3:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Shimmy Gully (Single Version)Popcorn And The Mohawks 2:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That (First Version)Mable John 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. You Made A Fool Out Of Me (Single Version)Mable John 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Whirlwind (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. I'm Gonna Cry (If You Quit Me) (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Bye Bye Baby (Single Version)Mary Wells 2:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Please Forgive Me (Single Version)Mary Wells 2:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. What Makes You Love Him (First Version)Singin' Sammy Ward 2:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. That Child Is Really Wild (Single Version)Singin' Sammy Ward 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Who's The Fool (Single Version)Singin' Sammy Ward 2:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Shop Around (Regional Version)The Miracles 3:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Who's Lovin' You (Single Version)The Miracles 3:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. True Love (Single Version)Herman Griffin 2:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. It's You (Single Version)Herman Griffin 2:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Shop Around (Single Version / Mono)The Miracles 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Oh Lover (Single Version)Sherri Taylor 2:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen25. That's Why I Love You So Much (Single Version)Sherri Taylor 2:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen26. I've Got A Notion (Single Version)Henry Lumpkin 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen27. We Really Love Each Other (Single Version)Henry Lumpkin 2:36£0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 3:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Don't Feel Sorry For Me (Single Version)Jimmy Ruffin 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Heart (Extended Single Version)Jimmy Ruffin 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Don't Let Him Shop Around (Single Version)Debbie Dean 2:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. A New Girl (Single Version)Debbie Dean 2:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Ain't It Baby (Single Version)The Miracles 2:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Only One I Love (Single Version)The Miracles 2:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Money And Me (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. You've Got What It Takes (Single Version)Barrett Strong 3:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. When I Needed You (Single Version)Little Iva & Her Band 2:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Continental Strut (Single Version)Little Iva & Her Band 2:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Whole Lotta Woman (Regional Version)The Contours 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Come On And Be Mine (Single Version)The Contours 2:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. I Want A Guy (Extended Single Version)The Supremes 3:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Never Again (Single Version)The Supremes 3:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. He Lifted Me (Single Version)The Gospel Stars 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Behold The Saints Of God (Single Version)The Gospel Stars 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Poor Sam Jones (Single Version)Mickey Woods 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. They Rode Through The Valley (Single Version)Mickey Woods 2:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Money (That's What I Want) (Single Version)Richard Wylie & His Band 2:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. I'll Still Be Around (Single Version)Richard Wylie & His Band 2:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Tomorrow And Always (Single Version Without Strings)The Satintones 2:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. A Love That Can Never Be (Single Version)The Satintones 2:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Tomorrow And Always (Single Version With Strings)The Satintones 2:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Whole Lotta Woman (National Single Version)The Contours 2:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen25. Blibberin' Blabbin' Blues (Single Version)Gino Parks 2:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen26. Don't Say Bye-Bye (Single Version)Gino Parks 1:50£0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 4:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Angel (Single Version)The Satintones 2:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. (I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over (Single Version)Marvin Gaye 5:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Witchcraft (Single Version)Marvin Gaye 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide (Single Version)Marvin Gaye 3:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Never Let You Go (Sha Lu Bop) (Single Version)Marvin Gaye 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. I Don't Want To Take A Chance (Single Version (Mono))Mary Wells 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. I'm So Sorry (Single Version)Mary Wells 2:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Rosa Lee (Stay Off The Bell) (Single Version)Andre Williams 2:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Shoo-Doo (Single Version)Andre Williams 3:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Misery (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right (Single Version)Barrett Strong 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Broken Hearted (Single Version)The Miracles 2:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Mighty Good Lovin' (Single Version)The Miracles 2:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. No Love (Single Version Without Strings)Mable John 2:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Looking For A Man (Single Version)Mable John 2:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Same Thing (Single Version)Gino Parks 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. That's No Lie (Single Version)Gino Parks 2:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. I Know How It Feels (Single Version)The Satintones 2:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. My Kind Of Love (Single Version)The Satintones 2:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. No Love (Single Version With Strings)Mable John 2:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Buttered Popcorn (First Version)Diana Ross & The Supremes 2:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Who's Lovin' You (Single Version)The Supremes 2:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Buttered Popcorn (Second Version)Diana Ross & The Supremes 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Oh, Mother Of Mine (Single Version / Mono)The Temptations 2:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen25. Romance Without Finance (Single Version / Mono)The Temptations 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen26. I Am Bound (Single Version)The Golden Harmoneers 2:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen27. Precious Memories (Single Version)The Golden Harmoneers 2:52£0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 5:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Please Mr. Postman (Single Version)The Marvelettes 2:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. So Long Baby (Single Version)The Marvelettes 2:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Stretch (Single Version)The Contours 2:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Funny (Single Version)The Contours 2:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Itsy Bity Pity Love (Single Version)Debbie Dean 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. But I'm Afraid (Single Version)Debbie Dean 2:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. They Shall Be Mine (Single Version)Reverend Columbus Mann 2:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Jesus Loves (Single Version)Reverend Columbus Mann 3:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Someone To Call My Own (Single Version)The Equadors 2:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. You're My Desire (Single Version)The Equadors 2:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Love Me (Single Version)Pete Hartfield 2:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Darling Tonight (Single Version)Pete Hartfield 2:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Everybody's Gotta Pay Some Dues (Single Version)The Miracles 2:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. I Can't Believe (Single Version)The Miracles 2:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Angel In Blue (Single Version)Joel Sebastian 2:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Blue Cinderella (Single Version)Joel Sebastian 2:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Strange Love (Single Version)Mary Wells 2:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Come To Me (Single Version)Mary Wells 2:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. The Day Will Come (Single Version)Freddie Gorman 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Just For You (Single Version)Freddie Gorman 2:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Have I The Right (Single Version)Popcorn And The Mohawks 2:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Real Good Lovin' (Single Version)Popcorn And The Mohawks 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart (Single Version)The Satintones 2:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Faded Letter (Single Version)The Satintones 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 6:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. JamieEddie Holland 2:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Take A Chance On Me (Single Version)Eddie Holland 2:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam) (Single Version)The Valadiers 2:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Take A Chance (Single Version)The Valadiers 2:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Actions Speak Louder Than Words (Single Version)Mable John 2:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Take Me (Single Version)Mable John 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. What Makes You Love Him (Second Version)Sammy Ward 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Don't Take It Away (Single Version)Sammy Ward 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Check Yourself (Single Version (Mono))The Temptations 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Your Wonderful Love (Single Version)The Temptations 2:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Small Sad Sam (Single Version)Bob Kayli 2:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Tie Me Tight (Single Version)Bob Kayli 2:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Whose Heart (Are You Gonna Break Now) (Single Version)Don McKenzie 2:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. I'll Call You (Single Version)Don McKenzie 2:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Xmas Twist (Single Version)The Twistin' Kings 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. White House Twist (Single Version)The Twistin' Kings 2:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Please Mr. Kennedy (Single Version)Mickey Woods 2:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. (They Call Me) Cupid (Single Version)Mickey Woods 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Twistin' Postman (Single Version)The Marvelettes 2:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. I Want A Guy (Single Version)The Marvelettes 2:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. What's So Good About Good Bye (Single Version / Mono)The Miracles 2:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. I've Been Good To You (Single Version)The Miracles 2:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Congo (Part 1) (Single Version)The Twistin' Kings 2:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Congo (Part 2) (Single Version)The Twistin' Kings 2:54£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Shepherd on 17 Nov. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Although the first four tracks on this set were not officially on the Tamla label, they were the first recorded at Berry Gordy's fledgling company. Starting with Marv Johnson, Gordy was building a company that would overshadow most of the majors of the day. This first box set in a series of twelve features quite a few gems that didn't make the charts, but it is in these first six discs that prove why Motown was the greatest independent record company ever. Obscure instrumentals such as "Snake Walk", "Continental Strut" and "Congo" help to round out the diversity of this collection. Barrett Strong's "Money", the Miracles' "Shop Around" and the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only is every a-side included, but all b-sides as well. Several singles that were cancelled actually had what it takes to go to the pressing plant. Alternate takes (The Supremes' "Buttered Popcorn", for example) were rushed-released only to be recalled because a better take was discovered. Gordy was meticulous about a certain mix he wanted to acheive and he didn't stop until he got it. At least four or five were withdrawn so strings could be added and in one case (Mable John's "I Guess There's No Love" was re-recrded altogether.) Two takes of Sammy Ward's "What Makes You Love Him" are included, too. If that isn't enough, The Miracles' "Shop Around" and The Contours' "Whole Lotta Woman" were both given a new lease over the originals. Eddie Holland's "Jamie" is finally heard here in its original 45 mix. The Valadiers' "Greetings" is also restored to its original length, thanks to someone who came forward with a clean copy.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Don't miss this collection!! 20 Nov. 2005
By T. A. Shepherd - Published on
Format: Audio CD
As far as box sets go, this series is destined to be the king of them all. Most of us recall the three Complete Stax/Volt Singles box sets a few years back. These three sets contained 19 discs with every Stax and almost all its subsidiary labels' A-sides and a handful of B-sides. (The Gospel Truth singles were completely ignored, so there were no Rance Allen or Maceo Woods singles included). Nearly every Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Isaac Hayes and you-name-it B-side went M.I.A. Not only do these Motown sets include every B-side, but they include ALL subsidiary labels plus first and second pressings which vary from slightly to two different takes. Yes, folks-everything on Tamla, Motown, Gordy, V.I.P., Soul, Rare Earth plus the temporary labels such as Divinity (Gospel), Mel-o-dy (Country), Workshop Jazz, Miracle, plus all the Rock/Pop, Blues, and Jazz recordings Hitsville ever put out. If that isn't enough, each set comes with a replica of a major 45 from that era. (The first volume features Barrett Strong's single, "Money".)

This first installment includes 45s from 1959 through 1961. Here is the humble beginning of what was to become the biggest black-owned independent record company ever. The set starts off with Marv Johnson's "Come To Me" (Tamla 101) from January 1959 and Eddie Holland's "Merry Go Round" (Tamla 102). Larger distribution required Berry Gordy to release these two on United Artists, based in New York in those days. It would be the next single that Tamla became a permanent entity with the release of Barrett Strong's "Let's Rock" b/w "Do the Very Best You Can" (Tamla 54021 and 54022). "Money" had to be distributed nationally via the Anna label (operated by Gordy's sister). The Miracles provided background vocals on the B-side, "I Apologize". "Bad Girl" (Motown G1) by the Miracles was diverted to the Chess label out of Chicago. In 1960, things took a turn for the better. Not only was "Money" revived, but the newly recorded "Shop Around" (found here in two different takes) went into the stratosphere and gave Motown its first major hit. In the same month (September 1960), Mary Wells hit the chart with her first release, the blues shouter, "Bye Bye Baby", the closest anyone at the label ever came to Little Richard. Mary's second single "I Don't Want To Take A Chance" (June 1961) fared a little better getting the strings treatment that "What's So Good About Goodbye" (December 1961) and Eddie Holland's "Jamie" (October 1961) received. The B-sides, "I'm So Sorry" and "Please Forgive Me", show that Mary is just at home with the Blues as with the contemporary R&B of the day. Rare singles by The Miracles include Shop Around follow up, "Ain't It Baby", "Broken-Hearted" "Everybody's Got To Pay Some Dues" and the non-LP single, "Mighty Good Lovin'". Eddie Holland would later be known for poet extraordinaire for scores of Motown artists, joining forces with his brother Brian and fellow vocalist, Lamont Dozier. His first outing, "Jamie" was a smash, but as soon as the public caught wind that this wasn't the great Jackie Wilson, they soon ignored subsequent singles by Eddie. But the greatest triumph in the first set belongs to The Marvelettes, who scored Number 1 right away with "Please Mr. Postman" (August 1961). And the story doesn't end here.

A mixed bag of then unknowns such as Marvin Gaye, The Valadiers, The Contours, The Supremes, The Temptations and even a young Jimmy Ruffin recorded a few of these early singles. Most wouldn't have major hits until 1963 or 1966. Marvin Gaye's bluesy "Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide" with organ backdrop is not unlike some of the British blues records later to come out during the invasion. The rocking "Never Let You Go" is where Marvin lets go with the excitement he was to become known for in later years. A promo single, "I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over" and "Witchcraft" was never released. Small wonder because "Masquerade" is over five minutes and it was unheard of in those days for a 45 to last significantly beyond three. "Soldier's Plea" is in the early Vietnam era draft department as is The Valadiers' "Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam)". The drill sergeant monologue at the end doesn't sound very convincing, but the original 45 containing the missing part in the middle was unearthed. The B-side, "Take A Chance" is much better and more suited to the group's sound. The Valadiers were probably the Duprees of Motown, adopting a more pop sound than say, The Temptations. The Contours wouldn't score big until the following year, but "Whole Lotta Woman" was one stomp, shout `n' work it on out piece of seven inch vinyl. This was another two version release and again, the first release has the edge. "The Stretch" is another one of those dance craze songs like the Vibrations' "Watusi" with a clever lyric. The tempo is relaxed here and not as tight allowing the early Funk Brothers to stretch out a bit. "Funny" is a beautiful ballad in the vein of The Flamingos while "Come On And Be Mine" is in Gospel territory. The Supremes' "I Want A Guy" contains a churchy sound very different from their later releases and is quite a few seconds longer than the mono album track. One can detect Diana Ross' early Gospel training in Smokey Robinsons' steamy song, "Who's Lovin' You". If you can listen to this version and still go back to the Jacksons' take, check your pulse. It's a shame this was stuck on the B-side of Berry Gordy's throwaway piece, "Buttered Popcorn", but Rule Number One is "The boss is always right". Rule number two: "If the boss is wrong, see Rule Number One". Here Florence sounds more like a non-descript singer backed by The Supremes. I actually prefer the earlier pressing because Ballard was a stone soul singer anyway and the spontaneity was refreshing. (Don't miss her bring-down-the-rafters take on Sam Cooke's "Ain't That Good News" on the 2001 Anthology collection). Their popularity wasn't huge until 1964, but The Supremes are heard (mostly on backup vocals) on more recordings in this set than on all the others! The early Temptations' sides brim with excitement and where their later songs were better, they lacked the enthusiasm of "Romance Without Finance" and the Gospel tinged "Mother Of Mine". Dixie Hummingbirds influence is obvious here, especially with Mel's bass lines getting dangerously close to Willie Bobo's even this early. One favorite of Temp fans, the quirky "Check Yourself" is loaded with hooks and great lyrics, another one that should have at least dented the charts. The Robbs, a seminal rock/pop band from the late sixties, used some of these chords for their "Rapid Transit" single, 1967. Just before the draft took Jimmy Ruffin, he waxed a respectable disc on the Miracle label, "Don't Feel Sorry For Me" b/w "Heart", another ballad acronym picking out related words starting with each letter of the title. The A-side is an up tempo confession of cheating on his sweetheart, and "Heart" is more in line with a typical Jackie Wilson show-stopper.

Scores of blues, jazz vocalists and Gospel artists are all here: Mable John-nobody, I mean nobody sounds like Mabel and she sounds like no one else. History cries foul here, because Ms. John wouldn't have chart success until she went to Stax. Although Gordy gave her some pretty good songs: "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That", "Action Speaks Louder Than Words" and "No Love" (covered by Mary Wells on Two Lovers LP), they went nowhere. "Looking for A Man" is her ideal of the right man. She's deftly backed by The Supremes on this one. Her voice is sweet, yet sassy and street-wise. Sammy Ward was the Bobby Bland of Motown. He's all business and no fluff. Listen to the way he tears into "What Makes You Love Him" (again, two different versions recorded) and "That Child Is Really Wild", a rather funny take on a crude girlfriend. His only chart success (and that was R&B only) was "Who's The Fool". Don't want to miss that one. Gino Parks cuts loose with songs like "Same Thing", a vicious rocker complete with King Curtis-like tenor punches, and the hilarious "Blibberin' Blabbin' Blues", a take on the Leiber-Stoller song, Yakety-Yak. The latter three artists were featured on the 1970 LP release, "Switched On Blues", which contained stereo re-recordings of some of the singles here. If you can find this disc, be prepared to shell out a wheel barrel full of green. The Satintones made some nice singles, although ballads like "My Beloved" and "Angel" fared much better than the novelties. An aborted attempt at another answer song, "Tomorrow And Always" (The Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow") never saw official release until now. Mickey Woods, a Gene Pitney type, pleaded with the late president John Kennedy not to draft him before tying the knot to his girlfriend on "Please Mr. Kennedy". The B-side, "They Call Me Cupid" is more in line with the contemporary of the day, though. Compare this to Marty Balin's "I Specialize In Love" from "Jefferson Airplane Loves You", who at the time was also trying to capitalize on Pitney's sound. A country-like singer, Debbie Dean charted briefly with "Don't Let Him Shop Around" backed up by The Miracles. Another answer-song here is Bob Kayli's (a.k.a. Robert Gordy) take on Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John. "Small Sad Sam" is quite a funny song in which he is abetted by The Supremes. Another novelty is Andre Williams' side-splitting "Shoo-Doo", a throwback to "I Never See Maggie Alone".

As far as Gospel goes, Gordy was not warm to it. Not that he disliked it; it just didn't send a whole lot of people to the cash registers. Labels such as Savoy, Excello, Jewel, Vee Jay and Specialty had plenty of Gospel artists and Gordy dismissed it as being tapped as far as it could go. Shame, because a lot of local Detroit churches could have sent their aspiring singers to 2648 W. Grand Blvd. As a result, a lot of local Gospel talent was never heard. So what if Gospel didn't sell like hot cakes? Many record companies used it as a tax write-off until the late 60's, when the interest was rekindled during the revival. The Gospel Stars were actually given an album on the Tamla imprint. Their single, He Lifted Me, is close to Myrtle Jackson's (Roberta Martin singers) version; Rev. Columbus Mann and The Golden Harmoneers (mistaken as The Gospel Harmonettes in some Motown discographies I've seen) are all fine examples of the genre. They are of the same high quality of the Savoy and Specialty counterparts. The latter's "I Am Bound" recalls The Soul Stirrers, the lead bass vocalist not unlike Melvin Franklin's. "Precious Memories" is transformed into a wonderful original in the tradition of the Blind Boys and Sensational Nightingales. I believe dismissing Gospel music on the Motown imprint was a mistake, because other independent labels thrived with it. Despite its low sales, the company would not have been the worst for wear.

I regret space does not permit me to touch on everything in this first collection, but don't let that stop you. Listen to the clips wherever you can find them. Yes, there are some real dogs in the collection, but there's some great music here too. Find some way to get the funds together to buy these because The Complete Motown Singles series is the most valuable piece of American Music History of the 60's. Not since the Complete Hot Five and Seven recordings of Louis Armstrong and the Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia have vaulted recordings of this magnitude seen the light of day.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Remastered Mono Mixes Too Shrill To My Ear 18 Mar. 2013
By J. L. Pressman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
With all the released boxes in hand, I'm moving past the honeymoon phase with this project, deservedly praised. Listening thru Sennheiser HD-800 headphones, I'm finding some, too many, of these tracks to be bright to the point of shrill, now and then unlistenably so. More often than not, the mono mixes demolish the stereo versions for sheer impact, and early Motown stereo (62-66) is too often so over-separated that it becomes anemic and gimmicky. But it's not either/or, and Hip-O-Select seems to me too rigidly purist in their preference for mono. The Marvelettes' "Hunter Gets Captured By The Game," for example, is superb in stereo, and by 1968, with the sophistication of "Cloud Nine," the songwriting begins to depend on stereo presentation. But for me the real issue is sound. In the early days of CD (late 80s), as I recall, Motown rushed their catalog into the new format, and those initial stereo CDs remain some of the worst-sounding CDs of all time, tinny and harsh. The two Hitsville USA CD box sets, all mono singles mixes, were a welcome relief. Compared to Hip-O-Select, however, the Hitsville USA mixes now sound rolled off at the top, with less forward emphasis on cymbals. I don't doubt that the Hip-O-Select sound more accurately captures the master tapes, but digital playback in 2013 reveals more than a 45 rpm record changer in 1964. To my ear, too much more. The percussive drive of the Funk Brothers ought to have punch, but not to the point of low end distortion (common in these box sets) or cymbal-based beats so overamped in the treble that the sibilance is uncomfortably dominant. I want to hear what's on the record, but when I have to turn the volume (or treble) down just to hear the record, enjoyment is compromised.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Tome Raider - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This entire series is amazing. I believe it will be complete at the publication of the 12th volume, and each volume has 5 or 6 discs. I am up to Volume 9, and I can't really say there has yet been a single weak song. And there have been so many awesome Motown songs I had never even heard before! This truly is a treasure trove. Yes, some songs are better than others, but all the music from this amazing dozen-year Motown era is great. The British Invasion may have brought over the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and many others, but our American Motown is of equal or better historic significance. This music is just so consistently CLASSY it defies words. Elegance just pours out from each disc here, it is unprecedented and will never be equaled in the future.

I've been surprised to learn that there are styles of music other than soul on the Motown label. There is some very good country music as well. These discs also have a smattering of interviews and some other holiday-type nonsense which are very fun to hear and which put the entire era in context.

The packaging for the entire series is the best I've ever seen. It is a little hard to hold the book open so you can pull out or put in the discs, but this is a minor struggle and it is well worth it. The discs are held tightly in place and are well protected, and the historical information about any particular song is readily accessible. The 45 disc which slots into the front cover is really an innovative and clever flourish, and it gives the entire set a really nice upgrade.

Okay, here is the bummer, and it is a major one. If you are like me, you are going to want the entire series if you buy even a single volume. You will buy the first volume and you will immediately realize that it is a worthwhile investment to nail the entire series. And who really wants to own only part of a series of anything? The cost of even one volume here is enough that you'll probably want the entire collection. Well, as I write this, in January of 2009, volume 6 is no longer available. Gone. Completely gone, except for some guy trying to sell copies for $2000 as an Amazon-affiliated seller. As good as this music is, I'm not going to spend $2000 on a single volume. Yes, I've searched eBay relentlessly for months, with no luck at all. Yes, I've searched out international sellers, with no luck at all.

So, I'm already over a thousand bucks into this series and yet my collection is missing one of the best volumes (it covers 1966 when a lot of the talent was at their crescendos). I've emailed Hip-O Select Records, the publisher, twice and not heard a word back. I've called their customer service, and they were clueless and indifferent. The girl who answered the phone for them did not know a thing about the series. Basically what has happened, by proclaiming this as a "Limited Edition" is that they have created an inducement for various opportunistic sellers to hoard the best volumes and then to gouge Motown fans later when the inventory with legitimate sellers is gone. They then jack the price up into the stratosphere.

So, one can only hope that Hip-O Select does another run of these amazing Motown volumes. If you are a Motown fan, you will be astonished when you hear all the incredible treasures which this series contains.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Motown's Complete History-Vol.1 1 Jun. 2008
By William G. Ratcliffe - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For once, here is a total overview of every Motown and Motown related label 45, both A & B side from the beginning, to 1961.
To the Motown collector, this set is a godsend. To the occasional Motown listener, one may at times hit the forward button, as every track was not a hit, but is worth a listen to understand which direction Gordy wanted to go as the series of cd's progress.
The quality of the material is superb, taking into consideration the way music was recorded back in the day when all was not digital, but was recorded on tape that did produce some hiss. That is rectified here by such clarity one may think these were recorded just yesterday.
The packaging with extensive liner notes are also a treat. One cannot fathom such care and thoroughness with this set that one can assume that such a devoted group of people actually assembled this neccessary and interesting piece of history.
As a Motown collector for years, it was close to impossible to collect everything, as i was born too late. The rare tracks included here among with the familiar ones are very hard to find since many were only released in the Detroit region. The hits, which were distributed better are far and few between here, as in all beginnings, there were a fair amount of flops. The flops included here are still needed listening to understand fully Gordy's intent, and how diverse his thinking was in order to gain a foundation for what would become of one the world's biggest black-owned record company.
As a bonus, a single 45 is included, and it does play on a phonograph. A superb reproduction as a reminder of what we used to purchase quite often since we didn't have alot of money in those days to buy the artist's album.
I recommend this set to the highest, as Motown is a part of America's musical heritage, but also to those who would enjoy to have an early understanding of what Motown was like in the early years, start here.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Once you start , you won't be able to stop ! 4 Nov. 2007
By Jim Z - Published on
Format: Audio CD
"The complete Motown singles" ????? Sounds like a project that could never be possible. But IT IS , and IT Has been started. Hip-O Select is issuing 12 box sets of EVERY Motown single released during the label's heyday of 1959-1972. Each package is a limited edition , superbly documented treasure trove of classic after classic, and many , if you're like me , some you will be discovering for the first time. WARNING !!!! Buy one , you'll need all fourteen.
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