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on 12 May 2013
Backbeats has being doing a wonderful job of bringing various genres of soul music to a wider audience. The quality of the recordings and the sharp pricing has certainly helped. Unexploited and Underrated is a more ambitious collection, however, being aimed as much at those who think they know their soul music as those that don't.

We all have our preferences and blind spots when it comes to the music we like. Sometimes we close our ears in a way we will later regret and the music we dismissed becomes a collectible item for the next generation. This particular collection is based on the Motorcity and Centrecity labels, both seriously under appreciated by the soul cognoscenti.

Those soul cognoscenti will know that many, but not all, of the Motorcity releases from the late 80s/early 90s suffered from under-nourished synth backing tracks. As a result, every Motorcity track was tarnished with the same brush and many wonderful performances by the likes of J.J. Barnes, David Ruffin, the Originals and other former Motown stars were neglected.

What many will not be aware of was a project in the early 2000s to re-work those backing tracks and give those stellar vocal performances the vehicle they deserved. Several of the tracks on Unexploited and Underrated are the beneficiaries of that project while the other Motorcity tracks stack up pretty well in their original mix.

It has occurred to me that Unexploited and Underrated starts at a disadvantage. If you are a soul music lover, you will have already heard many of the tracks on the other Backbeats releases. That familiarity makes for easier listening. While you will have heard the names of the former Motown stars on this release, the tracks themselves will be new to you. It will take more effort. Moreover, it's no good if you mentally draw a line at June 1972 and expect to expect these singers to sound as they did in mid-60s Detroit. Don't make a mistake. These songs are strong, the vocal performances are peerless and the stars themselves were appreciative of the chance to perform again that the Motorcity label gave them.

Look out for a companion CD Memories and Souvenirs released on May 20th 2013 and compiled, as I understand it, by no less a soul music aficionado as Ralph Tee.
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on 27 March 2015
FLAWLESS! DELIGHTED WITH MY PURCHASE - GR8 VALUE - PROMPT DELIVERY - 5 STAR!!
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on 1 February 2015
I thought I was buying a collection of little Known soul tracks from America but instead what I got was a truly appalling collection of Ian Levine's disco rubbish. I can not begin to express how annoyed I was when I received it. Had the Amazon review mentioned those magic words 'Ian Levine' ay any point then I wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole. I feel I have been robbed
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on 24 September 2013
Did not know a lot of the songs on here - but I have enjoyed the selection on this Backbeats compilation.
Mellow soul tunes for my mellow moods:) Keep up the good work Backbeats
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on 13 April 2013
One of the better CDs from the backbeats new collection. And will suit both the Soul and Philly type collectors.
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on 9 August 2013
Have to agree with another reviewer here, 'keep away'. This is the first backbeat compilation, I have purchased and I've bought a fair chunk, that is dreadful. It's a shame because the overall quality of the series is unsurpassed, in terms of musical range and value for money, unless you enjoy Levine's dodgy production output from the late 80s and early 90s, or you want to compete the series, this is not for you.
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on 15 May 2013
Not that bad really but certainly not like the old Motown Sound ,The backing tracks are naff.Watch out for the Contours Track and Barbara Randolph's too. For the price you can't complain but as it got the real soul beat? your choice. Reviewed By StefC Leek soul Club the home of REAL Soul.
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on 18 November 2014
Absolute Tosh
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on 13 April 2013
Music is very subjective and for me, this collection is weaker than other Backbeats releases. There are a couple of oustanding soul gems but there are also many mediocre tracks. I'm sure there will be a review that challenges the aforementioned but then, each to their own.
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on 3 June 2013
Disappointed with product.. it sound like
1930s blues.. I just don't get any uplifting vibes.
I wish I had listen to it before buying.
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