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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-notch, 3 Dec 2013
The latest in History Of Soul's look into the birth of the genre takes us to Detroit for the period from 1957 to 1962 and, whilst I might have preferred the whole to be in chronological order, if that's not to be then what better track with which to start than Kim Weston's `Love Me All The Way', her US chart debut. Within the 32-page accompanying booklet, each track is detailed within a quarter-page `semi-box', annotated in bygone-era type and with its own `remarks' section and, in Kim's case, a hand-written appendage which says: "This sounds real old fashioned but boy can she holler!" Boy can she, a personal viewpoint being that the lady had just about the finest female voice to ever come out of the Motown studios - and that's not to decry Mary Wells, Gladys Knight, Hattie Littles, Martha Reeves or LaBrenda Ben, all featured on this compilation, Littles' strong Gordy b-side, `Here You Come' being the sort of rolling number Wells herself might have cut at the time. Delights on the first cd include Joe Tex's answer to Jerry Butler's `He Will Break Your Heart' in his Anna outing, `I'll Never Break Your Heart', Fred Bridges' Andantes-backed `Baby Don't You Weep' which, although recorded in Detroit ended up at the New York-based Versatile label and the excellent organ and drum driven `A Letter From My Baby' by the fine Timmy Shaw who, along with Johnnie Mae Matthews - here with her strutting, somewhat gimmicky `The Headshrinker' - helped kickstart the career of Bettye LaVette. It's Bettye's tambourine rockin' 1962 Lu-Pine outing that both opens the second cd and gives its title to this whole set, while Eddie Holland delivers a totally different working to Berry Gordy and Billy Davis' `Action Speaks Louder Than Words' than that of David Ruffin who graced the accompanying disc. Just one name on the whole collection was new to me, namely that of Letha Jones, whose 1960 Anna b-side, `I Need You' sounds as though it comes from a few years earlier but made me want to hear more from Ms Jones. Ann Bogan, later of the Marvelettes and Love, Peace & Happiness, penned and featured on the Challengers III's Tri-Phi outing, `Every Day' - another high spot here - Jimmy Ruffin wrote his sparkling Miracle a-side, `Don't Feel Sorry For Me' and Nathaniel Mayer makes for a third songwriter to front their own material with the upbeat, doo-wop-styled `Village Of Love'. With a the twenty-six tracks on cd-two added to the twenty-seven on cd-one, making fifty-three in all, there are far too many to go into this release in depth but, as with previous History Of Soul product reviewed on this site, the selection has been well thought-out and the presentation is top-notch, appeal here going well beyond the core niche of Detroit devotees.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good CD, 4 May 2014
Some great tracks on this album,they really seem to give you a feeling of the times they were written in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Aug 2014
PAUL NEEDHAM (DERBY, DERBYSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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