The Early Years-Rare Recordings 1962-1963
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* Although Brenda Holloway was aged just 17 when Tamla Records issued her `Every Little Bit Hurts' in 1964, she had been releasing 45s in Los Angeles for over two years by then.
* A longstanding pipedream of compiler Mick Patrick, this collection gathers together all of those extremely collectable pre-fame recordings, most of which are making their CD debut.
* The set includes solo sides, duets, singles made by Brenda as a member of a girl group known variously as the Watesians and the 4J's and the ultra-rare `Do The Del Viking' by her younger sister Patrice, which features Brenda on back-ups. Some of these were issued on familiar labels like Donna, Era and 4J, while others were pressed on impossibly obscure logos such as Minasa, Snap, Catch, Taste and Brevit and others are previously unissued; what might otherwise have been a rather brief CD is bolstered by the inclusion of tracks from the vaults of Class Records and producer Kent Harris.
* All in all, where it all began for one of the most spectacular female vocalists ever to record for Motown.
Top Customer Reviews
The album includes some obscure tracks, pre the classics of mid to late 60's...
Pick up the greatest hits for the more familiar smashes like "When im Gone" & "Starting the hurt all over again " !! A gifted vocalist......
Nothing came from her for many years, and then she rerecorded dreadful stuff with Ian Levine, who tried to make her into a disco diva. Why she recorded with him I will never know, as she is a great talent and not for the disco market. I cringed when I heard the rubbish she recorded with him, as she is a soul singer and not some awful background person who is desperate for work.
Anyway, I can guarantee this will be a marvellous set. When Levine signed those old Motown acts they rerecorded their earlier hits, but the magic had gone and the result was disco rubbish which didn't sell that well. He did it to the Elgins, Marvelettes and Martha Reeves just to name a few. All proper Motown fans will avoid these recordings
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
My biggest disappointment was with the poor recording quality of most of the independent labels she worked on. Many of the songs reflected the R & B music style of the early 60's so there was a sameness to a lot of the material. However, even through these shortcomings, you can hear the developing of a mature and sophisticated talent, even at the young age of 15.
The songs that stood out for me were the solos "Constant Love", "Hey Fool", "Suddenly" and "Echo" and the duet with Jess Harris, "Gonna Make You Mine". I really liked the song "Candy" and it's lyric and wish that it had been polished to what it could have been, instead of having such obviously sloppy work from the backing musicians.
For any true Brenda Holloway fan, this look at her pre-success years is worth having for perspective.
For many years, you couldn't even get Brenda's Motown output on Vinyl or CD. Thankfully, that issue has been addressed.
I knew that Brenda had recorded for a number of small West Coast labels, but I had never heard any of those recordings, probably because non of these early records were hits. Even if I had tried to track these records down, it would have cost me hundreds of dollars to acquire them.
This set not only has all those obscure recordings but even some that were never released. That makes this CD a "Must" for the diehard Brenda Holloway fan. Others may want to take a pass on this CD because in truth, with the exception of a few tracks like the Mary Wells soundalike "Constant Love" (previously unreleased) and Brenda's own composition "Suddenly" (which would be re-recorded for her Motown Album), these songs are by and large, forgettable. Still, for my money, this CD is a collector's item and I'm glad to have it in my personal archives.
Maybe next ACE will give us a Kim Weston post Motown collection.
The offerings whether group, duet or solo all display the young Ms. Holloway's ability to express a wide variety of emotions- check out the demo "Candy"- she SOUNDS like she can't get enough of him!
These early recordings may not have all the slick recording technology that is available today; but one thing is for certain: today's technology has not been afforded the privilege of capturing the sound of a musical phenom like Brenda Holloway - at ANY age.
Buy this and listen to a musical great as she grows up, and have some good, musical fun!