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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An under-rated Motown group
The Velvelettes never actually had an album release during their time with Motown, so this compilation comprises three hit singles, their B-sides, some unsuccessful singles and some tracks never released during their years together. Some of the previously unreleased tracks were made available on an American compilation released in 1999. Four more were dug out of the...
Published on 31 Dec 2003 by Peter Durward Harris

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as I thought
Ok for easy listening but nothing to write home about. Really bought it for the track "Needle in a Haystack" which is good but the rest???
Published 15 months ago by B. Watson


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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An under-rated Motown group, 31 Dec 2003
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
The Velvelettes never actually had an album release during their time with Motown, so this compilation comprises three hit singles, their B-sides, some unsuccessful singles and some tracks never released during their years together. Some of the previously unreleased tracks were made available on an American compilation released in 1999. Four more were dug out of the archives for this British compilation released in 2001, which also includes everything available on the earlier American set. The four extra tracks include a cover of The boy from Crosstown (first recorded by the Marvelettes) and Stop beating around the bush (a track that had previously been popular with collectors via bootleg copies).
There he goes failed to chart in 1963. Needle in a haystack was an American number one hit in 1964 and was followed up by He was really saying something, another huge hit. Lonely lonely girl am I and A bird in the hand missed the charts in 1965. These things will keep me loving you provided the Velvelettes with their third and last hit in 1966. Their comparative lack of success is probably due to competition from their own label-mates, the Marvelettes, the Vandellas and the Supremes, but though there are some similarities in style with all of those fine groups, they had a distinctive sound of their own.
If you are a fan of sixties Motown and not just the obvious stuff, the Velvelettes are well worth a listen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Lasses, 28 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
I'll keep it short. If you're the kind of person who thinks the Supremes were Tamla's best girl group, you're plain wrong.That would be the Marvelettes or this combo. Admittedly, there's nothing here that's better than their most famous tracks-Needle In A Haystack, Lonely Lonely Girl Am I, Bird In The Bush, Really Saying Something-but then what could be? If there's a better intro than the one on Needle In A Haystack, well I've never heard it. And I've heard a lot of stuff. One quibble about these Tamla CD collections-it's good that the Velvelettes and the Contours and Chris Clark[vastly underrated-check Love's Gone Bad if you never heard it]are finally getting a bit of [way overdue] recognition, but what about Shorty Long?
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expanded version of only LP, 10 Mar 2005
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
Although the Velvelettes gave Motown a number of hit singles in the mid-sixties, they had to wait until 1999 before they were awarded the luxury of their own LP, a US compilation fleshed out with some unreleased nuggets from the legendary Motown vaults. This very welcome more recent UK collection improves on that album as its final four additional tracks are previously unreleased.
These include their version of The Boy From Crosstown, which as it was laid down between January and August 1965, pre-dates the Marvelettes' released version recorded May/June 1966 and also produced by Norman Whitfield; and the Mickey Stevenson produced Stop Beating Around The Bush, recorded in 1964. This has long been sought after on acetates and bootlegs and has gone down very well in the Northern clubs, so its legitimate release is alone cause for celebration.
When they signed to Motown in 1963 the Velvelettes featured lead singer Cal Gill, her sister Mildred, Norma and Bertha Barbee and Betty Kelly, though Betty left in 1964 to replace Annette Sterling in Martha and the Vandellas. In 1966 they were upgraded from the subsidiary VIP label to the Soul label. The quartet line-up remained stable until 1967 when two left to marry and were replaced by Sandra Tilley and Annette McMillan, who feature on I'm So Glad It's Twilight Time, one of the tracks that was quite undeservedly left unreleased until 1979. Slightly confusingly, only three girls are shown in the cover picture and are not identified.
Possibly the domination and promotion of the Supremes at the time was at the expense of other Motown acts such as the Velvelettes as listening to and enjoying these 19 songs now it seems surprising that only their handful of hits are at all well known. 
This is an extremely worthwhile and overdue collection, at a very generous price. Disappointingly, all tracks are in mono. Of their major hits included here, to my knowledge Needle In A Haystack and He Was Really Saying Something appear on Big Motown Hits And Hard To Find Classics Vol. 2 in true stereo; likewise Lonely Lonely Girl Am I, These Things Will Keep Me Loving You and A Bird in The Hand are to be found in full stereo on This Is Northern Soul! Vol. 2. I do not understand why Motown or the labels who license their recordings are still so parsimonious with their stereo mixes 30-40 years after the fact, or why they do not clearly state on the sleeve whether tracks are stereo or mono
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as I thought, 15 Jun 2013
By 
B. Watson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
Ok for easy listening but nothing to write home about. Really bought it for the track "Needle in a Haystack" which is good but the rest???
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4.0 out of 5 stars Three of the best, 18 Feb 2014
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Peter Burns (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
This is good solid 60s Soul. The kind of records that built Motown but never got the recognition they deserved.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Motown's Unsung Greats, 18 April 2012
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This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
The Velvelettes were one of the most under rated of the Motown Acts, Needle In A Haystack was a great dance record in The Majestic in Plymouth in the sixties. Thank you Dave Brown for keeping the music alive on Smooth Radio on Saturday evenings.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Velvelettes, 6 Jan 2012
By 
Mrs. J. Wilcox (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
Good production, Thare are a few good oldies offering much nostalgia, some tracks had to move on but generally a good buy
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As I Sit Here In My Lonely Room, 27 Oct 2008
By 
Coincidence Vs Fate - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
"Lonely Lonely Girl Am I" is one of the BEST Motown singles in their catalogue. Absolute perfection.

That's all I wanted to say!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone can enjoy these compilations at bargain prices., 18 Mar 2009
By 
A. J. Faulkner "Ye olde Lady biker" (Blackpool,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
Many of the less well-known Motown acts have been hard to find and sometimes only available via expensive imports. This series is now available at giveaway prices- magic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 Aug 2014
By 
John Smith - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Velvelettes: The Best Of (Audio CD)
Great memories
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