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The Ultimate Motown Collection [Extra tracks]

Barbara McNair Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Image of album by Barbara McNair


Image of Barbara McNair


Barbara McNair (March 4, 1934 - February 4, 2007) was an African-American singer, Recording Artist, Star of Broadway, Television and Motion Picture Silver Screen Film Actress. Who at the time accomplished what many could only dream of.

Born Barbara Joan McNair, but often went by the name of Barbara Jean or Bobby in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Racine, Wisconsin[1], McNair studied ... Read more in Amazon's Barbara McNair Store

Visit Amazon's Barbara McNair Store
for all the music, 8 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Jan 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Universal
  • ASIN: B0000CDUYX
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,613 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. My World Is Empty Without You
2. Message To Michael
3. Everything Is Good About You
4. Here I Am Baby
5. Steal Away Tonight
6. For Once In My Life
7. Shadow Of Your Smile
8. I Will Wait For You
9. Sweetheart Tree
10. What A Day
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. As Long As There Is LOVE (Love)
2. I Second That Emotion
3. My Guy
4. You Beat Me To The Punch
5. I'll Try Something New
6. More Love
7. Oh Be My Love
8. All That's Good
9. One Who Really Loves You
10. Love Has A Reason For Neglecting Me
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

This really is the ultimate collection on CD of Barbara McNair material. Please see the additional photographs above, to see the track listings. A superb 2Cd set.

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you're gonna love this baby 11 Feb 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
At last! Barbara McNair makes it to CD, and in no small measure; 48 tracks on 2 CDs, one of previously issued vinyl,the other 'unreleased masters', only a couple of which have graced recent compilations from the vaults.
Barbara was perhaps the most beautiful of Motown's artistes, and gained a kind of fame for posing for Playboy, but she has a fine singing voice, and at one time seemed to be in line to replace Diana Ross with the Supremes - although Jean Terrell was, as things turned out, an excellent choice.

CD one is made up of Barbara's 2 LPs, and the single pairing of 'You're Gonna Miss My Baby/The Touch of Time - perhaps Motown's most wanted UK release. The first of these- 'Here I Am' is half excellent Motown originals, half rather twee versions of standards of the day - The Shadow Of Your Smile, Strangers In The Night... but the second - 'The Real Barbara McNair' - is the business, all Motown tracks, produced by the top teams of the day,(Frank Wilson, Richard Morris, Harvey Fuqua, Johnny Bristol, Weatherspoon and Dean) and backed by immaculate Funk Brothers, the heavenly Andantes and what seems to be the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in moonlighting mode.
Howver, it is the second CD, the Unreleased Masters, that earns the five stars - a series of outtakes from the LP sessions, 13 of them linked together as 'Barbara sings Smokey', followed by another 9 classics,including a very different 'Baby A Go Go', entitled 'Countin' On You Babe', with Frank Wilson again heavily involved, supplemented by Smokey himself and with guest appearances 'first team'members Holland, Dozier and Whitfield.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A find! 14 Mar 2008
By ingram
Format:Audio CD
I did not know of this singer but wanted to hear what she did with Motown.
Her style is fabulous, smooth and rich. One of the CDs I will play forever I think. Its also nice to find you know the words to what are new songs.
I must find out about her other recordings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HERE SHE IS, BABY 26 April 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I would have bought this collection simply for the track 'Here I Am Baby'. Along with many other tracks on this double CD, it's pure, classic Motown. As Barbara sings in 'Everything's Good About You', I'm "livin' on pure ecstasy" listening to almost each and every track. Many thanks to the people involved with Motown here in England for allowing these tracks to see the light of day again. Sheer quality.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're Gonna Love This, Baby 22 April 2004
By Ristobee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Here's what this great, unearthed treasure includes:
Two complete albums/the released masters, HERE I AM (1966) and THE REAL BARBARA McNAIR (1969). A third "album" BARBARA SINGS SMOKEY (titled only for this collection) and another dozen plus songs/"album" MORE FROM THE VAULT (more like a description than a title).
Signed on to Motown as an MOR artist*, Ms. McNair sings with a lovely, clear voice and gives the material a wonderful mature approach. On the standards ("What Now My Love", "The Shadow of Your Smile"), contemporary songs ("You've Lost that Loving Feeling," "Message to Michael') and the Motown covers ("You Beat Me to The Punch," "More Love," "My World is Empty Without You"), Barbara McNair's versatility as a songstress is well showcased.
Most of the Motown covers are recorded with new arrangements and background vocals. They may be the same songs, but Barbara McNair does not sing them the same way. Although the "Motown Sound" is absent from some of the selections, high quality production can be heard from the first enjoyable track to the last.
*The liner notes are filled with interesting tidbits about Ms. McNair and Motown.
On the SMOKEY set, Mr. Robinson did the song writing on all tracks and the producing on only one. Frank Wilson and Richard Morris did the terrific producing on the rest of the numbers. In fact, the producers on these discs are the 'Who's Who' of Motown producing; Holland-Dozier-Holland, Ivy Jo Hunter, Hal Davis and Marc Gordon, William "Mickey" Stevenson, Harvey Fuqua and Johnny Bristol.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! 12 Feb 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Domestic Motown has sinfully neglected its own heritage in favor of issuing "Baby Love" yet one more time. Meanwhile, over the ocean, we get this incredible two-C.D. set revealing all sorts of hidden gems by Barbara McNair, including what appears to be music intended for a set of Smokey Robinson music. These are finished recordings, totally intriguing and some knockouts. Plus you get all her released Motown music, including the gorgeous "Steal Away Tonight.." Marvelous!
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT IDEA, DREADFULLY EXECUTED!!! 26 Feb 2005
By Paul Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The music's great, the package lovingly put together. That's the good news!! The bad news is that the mastering so so dreadful and the sound quality so poor that it really detracts from the pleasure of hearing a set that clearly won't make Universal in the UK very rich. They deserve kudos for putting it out, but there are so many technical mistakes in the PQing alone, that a halfway decent plant would have caught these errors before going to press. I note that it was pressed at Disctronics in the UK; a more professional outfit like Vivendi's own plant or a Sonopress or Cinram would have sent this back just on technical reasons alone!!
3.0 out of 5 stars Different, but good 20 Nov 2009
By Warren M. Lankford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
In my hunt for rare and unreleased Motown, I was surprised to find they had recorded Barbara McNair. I was familiar with her movie and TV work in the 60's and early 70's and aware that she was also a nightclub performer. Considering that getting their main artists into the supper club arena was a key part of Motown's strategy, it was interesting to find out about the effort to do the reverse, bringing a mainline supper club artist like McNair into their arena. Though very interesting the end result is a mixed one.

Out of the 2 CDs, CD 1 works the best. The two albums that make up the bulk of this CD combines classic MOR songs such as "Message to Michael" and "Shadow of Your Smile" with songs from the Motown catalog that were chosen to fit her style. "Here I Am Baby", "Steal Away Tonight" and "You're Gonna Love My Baby" were my favorites. The second CD doesn't work as well. Smokey Robinson covers such as "Don't Mess With Bill", "More Love" and "I Second That Emotion" just didn't seem to fit her style. She couldn't seem to put the vocal in the pocket like an R&B performer would have. For the most part, the ballads on CD 2 work.

I understand why this didn't succeed in the context of the Motown system, but for any serious music collector, this is a worthwhile collection from a beautiful, sexy and talented lady.
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