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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Repackaging, 29 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Dance Party & Watchout! (Audio CD)
These two albums are available on CD for the first time in almost 10 years. They are nicely packaged with information on chart position for the singles and albums. The sound is very clean for source tapes 35 years old. Three bonus tracks include "Third Finger, Left Hand" (in CD stereo for the first time), "Can't Break the Habit" (rare recording only previously available in mono as part of a rarities collection), and an alternate take of "No More Tearstained Makeup" done as a ballad. Kudus to the archivists.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full finger-clicking satisfaction, 6 Aug. 2004
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dance Party & Watchout! (Audio CD)
The story goes that Martha Reeves was yanked from her secretarial chair to fill in when Mary Wells had cancelled a session at short notice when she and the Vandellas, named after Van Dyke Street in Detroit MI and the torch singer Della Reese, cut their first group record in 1963, though this incident is elsewhere placed in 1961, even before they had backed Marvin Gaye on his first hit, Stubborn Kind of Fellow. 
By 1965 when Dance Party came out the Vandellas were Betty Kelly and Rosalind Ashford, both from Detroit. It contained, along with their B-sides, the timeless classics Dancing In The Street (turned down by Kim Weston), Nowhere To Run and Wild One, all of which had already been big hit singles. One of the B-sides, There He Is (At My Door), dated from 1963, having been on the album Come And Get These Memories. They must have thought Martha's vocal was just too good to be consigned to history. 
Most of the album was co-produced by Mickey Stevenson, but three were Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier productions, including Nowhere To Run and their version of the Motown dance standard Mickey's Monkey, written for the Miracles. Their own version of Hitch Hike (they had sung on Marvin Gaye's original version) completes the album in fine style to make up a first rate dance party record in the true Motown idiom, full of finger-clicking rhythms, generous percussion and punchy horns and brass.
Watchout! was the follow-up album in 1966 and contains the hits Jimmy Mack (held over from 1964) and I'm Ready For Love, which features the archetypal 1966 Motown sound with those great bass runs. What Am I Going To Do Without Your Love was also a single but had left the charts largely untroubled. On the other hand, Third Finger Left Hand, the B-side of Jimmy Mack, is a great Holland-Dozier-Holland song which went on to became a hit in its own right. It wasn't on the original album but is included on this double-length CD as a bonus track, along with two other previously unreleased stereo mixes. One Way Out is a true floor-filler and was to come out as a B-side the following year. There are more ballads than dance floor numbers on this record, including two songs written by Smokey Robinson. One is a total scorcher called No More Tearstained Make Up. This may have been considered as a single at one time as a longer alternative version appears as an extra track.
Two essential Martha and the Vandellas albums on one good value all-stereo CD (note though that the mono mixes of some of these tracks were slightly longer)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sixties R+B dance music, 28 Oct. 2002
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dance Party & Watchout! (Audio CD)
Both of these albums were originally released in 1965, although two singles had been released in America in 1964. Dancing in the street was the first and it will forever be the song that Martha and the Vandellas are remembered for. It was a number two hit in America but missed the charts in Britain. Ayear later, it was re-released and reached number four.
The first album (Dance party) also includes the minor American hit Wild one (not released as a British single), and the mich bigger hit Nowhere to run (a minor British hit, but well known because it often appears on Motown compilations).

The second album (Watchout!) contains the hits Jimmy Mack and I'm ready for love. Both went top ten in America and top thirty in Britain. What am I gonna do without your love was a minor American hit.

The other songs are all interesting, entertaining and mostly upbeat. The three bonus tracks include Third finger left hand which was the B-side of Jimmy Mack but wasn't included on the original album.

If Martha can't make you get up and dance, who can?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Original and best!, 29 July 2012
This review is from: Dance Party & Watchout! (Audio CD)
For those new to Martha and the Vandellas, there is a bewildering range of compilation albums available, many excellent, some not! Here we have two of their best original studio albums presented back-to-back, and included on which are several of their greatest hits - Dancing in the Street, Nowhere To Run, Jimmy Mack, I'm Ready For Love. Dance Party which does exactly what it suggests - makes you want to party! Classic hits jostle with scorching B-sides like There He Is (At My Door), and Motoring - both of which could have been A-side hits in their own right. Brassy, infectious rhythms and punchy Vandella backing characterise the tone of this album, and it sounds as fresh and lively as the day it was recorded. Watchout! is more serious-minded soul, with a wider range of moods and emotions on display. Martha is in great voice, and her interpretations of the moodier numbers are peerless. No More Tearstained Make Up - written and produced by Smokey Robinson - is an all-time favourite with Vandella fans, subtle, and beautifully-wrought, and you get an alternative take, with a quite different treatment, as a bonus. Might-have-been hits also abound, in particular Tell Me I'll Never Be Alone, and the stunning Happiness Is Guaranteed, which opens with a magically funky guitar riff. Bonus tracks also include Third Finger, Left Hand - a Northern Soul classic floor-filler for 40 years or more - and Can't Break The Habit, another catchy hit-that-never-was. All-in-all, these albums present Martha and her Vandellas at their peak, and easily stand the test of time. Classic group, classic sound. Marvellous.
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Dance Party & Watchout!
Dance Party & Watchout! by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas (Audio CD - 2002)
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