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4.7 out of 5 stars24
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
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on 20 March 2010
I think that this is a great set and well worth five stars.

I can live with the mastering. It isn't the absolute best but it's very acceptable. Remember that this is CD, and all mastering for CD involves trade offs in one way or another. Also, the quality of the original UK mono LP of "This Old Heart Of Mine" was much worse than this; so for me this CD is a real improvement upon what has gone before.

Regarding the unexpected stereo mixes found on CD1 ("This Old Heart Of Mine", "There's No Love Left" and "Seek And You Shall Find"), it turns out that the first two songs ARE in their original "mono" versions and that what was done for these two tracks was that special and unique stereo mixes were created back in the mid 60s, probably before the TOHOM album had even been conceived (they turned up as the A and B sides of the original TOHOM single) and then folded into mono for single and later mono album release. Why is not clear, but these are not the normal stereo mixes that are available elsewhere. Pressing the mono button on these tracks (if you have a mono button on your sound system) brings you the mono versions that you thought that you hadn't got. As for "Seek And You Shall Find", this is the one let down, but I can live with it as the differences aren't killing and the track is still a killer.

One other track on the "TOHOM" album ("Who Could Ever Doubt My Love") has always sounded like stereo folded into mono, even on the original LP release. All of the other tracks on the two featured original albums are the original mono tracks. I have original mono albums and can vouch for this. For instance, the slightly wobbly pitch of the flute and piano during the intro of "Behind A Painted Smile" was there on the original mono album. The stereo mix - available elsewhere - has a much steadier pitch.

If you want stereo versions of the two albums found on CD1, then they can also be purchased on a separate twofer, so no problems there.

The whole purpose of CD2 was to release in original mono for the very first time a load of tracks that had previously only been available in stereo, and to supplement these with other rarely-previously-available material. As such it works very well and does it for me. For instance, we get the single-only mix of "Guess I'll Always Love You" with added background vocals (possibly by The Andantes) and we also get the long version of "Tell Me It's Just A Rumour". "Smile" is an "ear opener" and it's clear that Jimmy Ruffin got the better deal here.

All in all a great double CD and well worth five stars.
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on 11 October 2009
When Universal had a Tamla Motown website about 18 momths ago they said this was going to be released in about Sept 2007 and this has only just been released. I thought the sound and songs were great but Universal unfortunately can not seem to get the sound quality and extensive packaging that Hip O Select do. I think Universal seem to have lost the plot. They must have lots of unreleased Motown on CD including the I'll Pick a Rose for My Rose LP which has not been available for at least 40 years and a Marv Johnson Anthology would be a fantastic Release.
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on 4 October 2009
The idea was great, a comprehensive collection of the Isley Brothers recordings for Motown. Unfortunately, the execution is simply awful. The artwork is totally inappropriate for the period covered, utilising just two photographs of the Isley Bros, both of which date from a period many years earlier than their stint with Motown. The collage of LP covers is better but why give pride of place to the frankly dreadful This Old Heart Of Mine LP cover. Yes, the original LP is superb but the artwork is patently rubbish.
But I was prepared to forgive all of this because the compilers had the good taste to use mono mixes. Motown stereo mixes of this vintage have always left a lot to be desired whoever the artist so the use of mono mixes is to be applauded. But this has not been done. Though the sleevenotes claim that all tracks on CD1 are "Transfers from the original mono LP tapes" anybody with a working pair of ears and a stereo system will know that some of these tracks are actually the stereo mixes. This is unforgiveable and disappointing in the extreme. Overall the sound of these discs is fairly terrible. Comparing the sound of the alleged mono mixes where used [which may just be the stereo mixes folded down] to the recently remastered Beatles In Mono box is like comparing chalk and cheese, this set lacks any punch whatsoever.
So, in conclusion I have to say this set was a great idea, ruined by its poor, botched execution and I wouldn't recommend that anybody purchase it. A real shame.
66 comments26 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 May 2014
This is a double CD with some tracks repeated on both. I have really enjoyed listening to it and reliving my youth!
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on 3 November 2009
good cd but what we really need is the tracks that still sitting in the vaults ,imo they could have been added on to this cd but it is worth buying .
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on 10 March 2014
Love Motown tells a story we can all relate to, good to dance to, cheers you up even the ballads.
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on 29 October 2012
Superb CD, containts almost all of the tracks that are hard to find. Highly recommended. It gives a great two hours of listening. A great CD for use in the car whilst driving.
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on 26 May 2015
In the 60's and the 70's Motown was a great label in Soul music. Here can you hear one of the best groups from that label. These are their greatest on Motown.
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on 17 May 2015
Bought for a birthday (and for myself). A fab CD for any Motown lover it has all the well known and loved tracks and more.
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on 20 July 2015
Excellent with all their best singles, by one of the most underrated groups at Motown
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