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on 12 June 2014
An iconic series of labels from Detroit and whilst many, possibly most have been issued on silver discs before, this is still a nice re-issue but not comprehensive. Advertised as the 45s collection I assumed that these were to be the mono mixes until HDH started issuing singles in Stereo. This is not the case and it's annoying to find out that "One Monkey" and "The Day I Found Myself" are the stereo LP versions. The single mixes of these tracks were far more interesting and have never been released. The US mixes on cuts such as "You Got Me Dangling On a String" and a number of the Honeycone cuts are missing with no explanation. There are other examples throughout the set where there are anomalies and LP versions. It is a tad mardy when you consider that this is not a cheap issue.

The package is nicely presented although the sleeve notes by Dean Rudland are poor. He misses out some artist's information(completely in some instances) and as for mention of the musicians who contributed to these fine tracks, almost unbelievably you won't find anything. There is no new research based on contemporary interviews that could have added so much to the presentation and I found the notes he produces boring. A real shame and avoidable.

On a positive note, much of the music stands up well in the forty years since the labels of Invictus, Hot Wax and Music Merchant were running and the main reason for that is the trio of Eddie and Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier,were still hitting with iconic songs that included Chairmen of the Board's "Give Me Just a Little More Time" and Freda Payne's "Band of Gold".They couldn't immediately claim all the credit as contractual wrangles with Motown meant they had to write under the assumed name Edythe Wayne (or sometimes Edith).Other listeners will highlight their own favourite tracks but for me the highlight of highlights will always be Lamont Dozier's vocal on "Why Can't We Be Lovers". The dance grooves on many of the Honeycone cuts still sound fantastic and it was good to hear a number of unissued cuts which appear on the final CD even though they are rarely up to the standard of the released material. I rather enjoyed the new Tom Moulton re-mixes tagged onto the last CD. In spite of my reservations that this isn't what it was meant to be there's enough good music present for general happiness all around.
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on 7 July 2014
Waited a long time for this, and in the main it was well worth it. The scope of the completed project is excellent and if you want post Motown HDH this really is it. However many of the early Invctus singles releases were mixed to mono and sounded better for it. The use of weak stereo particularly on CD1 was a disappointment and held this set back to 4 stars when it should have been 5.
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on 30 July 2017
All there!
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on 30 April 2016
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on 3 October 2014
It isn't often that I spy a gold mine, but I did with this. Oh, don't get me wrong; there are some fantastic albums on this site. I should know, I can't keep me hands off 'em! Because of Amazon, I now have a bigger music collection than I ever did before. But you know what I mean? A true treasure-trove kinda stands out, doesn't it? And this one does.

The set was on pre-order for a time, (if I remember correctly), but I waited until it was properly available.

I get the feeling that if there are any of you who are still making up your minds over this lot, I wouldn't wait too long. I don't know how many of this set are kept at a time, but get your mitts on it now, if I were you. It's a huge thing for music lovers to be able to grab stuff from a label we all adore.

I don't quite know how you can get everything from these labels on only 14 discs, especially as all A- and B-sides are quoted as being there. I'll have to do a more thorough check later. But this package looks awesome when you first break into it. Discs are mounted in 'book-form', and there's a big book inside the front cover of the hard disc case.

So, what have we got? 8 CD's covering Invictus; 2 covering the Buddah label (which Gladys Knight featured on, I seem to remember); Two Hot Wax discs and two Music Merchant discs.

I've already got the Chairmen Of The Board disc set, so I know this HDH set will be a huge thrill to listen to. Years covered: from 1969-1977. Music: delicious.

Need any more prompting?
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on 28 May 2014
What a collection! When HDH left Motown at the end of 1967, it was soon reported that they would be setting up their own label.it took a while, but in July 1969 the Hot Wax label debuted with the delightful Honeycones. Two moths later Invictus debuted with the Glass House which included the lovely Sherrie Payne. Strangely, HDH chose different manufacturers and distributors for the two labels. For Hot Wax they used Buddah, for Invictus they used Capitol. When the labels were eventually introduced in the UK during the second half of 1970, EMI
handled both of them. In 1972 HDH introduced a third label Music Merchant which ran for little over a year and never appeared in the UK. Now down to the music. Being in my sixties I must admit to preferring the earlier material on the sets, and I think the best output from the labels was released from 1969 to 1972 after that I feel a lot of the songs were not to such a high standard. There was some fantastic writing and producing talent from the start with General Johnson, Greg Perry, Ronald Dunbar, William Weatherspoon, Angelo Bond, etc and of course HDH themselves who for the first year or so used the pseudonym Edith Wayne because of some legal dispute with Motown. The great songs from the first three years of the label are too numerous to mention and have stood the test of time wonderfully. Now for the set itself. Wonderful to have every single included as well as all the flip sides. This set also includes a couple of singles licensed from independent labels by Billie Sans and Johnn Billy West, so this really is as complete collection, in like the Complete Motown Singles box sets which do have a few omissions. Also included is fair sized booklet which is very informative. It is also worth pointing out that they have used the original single mixes and not the extended album cuts that were done on quite a lot of the hits. So if you had any of the original singles this is exactly how they sound on this set. A brilliant set at a reasonable price and apparently and surprisingly produced in the UK.
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on 16 July 2014
I must have bought at least half of these tracks when they were released in the UK - although I hear a few from time to time, there are alot on these CD's I hadn't heard for ages and alot I didn't realise even existed! Good to hear Chairmen of the Board, 8th Day, Barrino Bros, Holland-Dozier-Holland and more. Brilliant!
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on 8 June 2014
After many compilations over many years here we have the ultimate collection of this iconic group of labels. well packaged and with a nice booklet with some information on the acts signed to the labels. what I do like about the collection unlike the previous Philadelphia box set is the tracks are presented in chronological order. Its just a pity that the labels didn't last longer having said that , this is just a superb box set well worth the price. This is the first review I have ever written but I felt compelled to do so as this such a great compilation ENJOY!!!.
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on 20 August 2014
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on 3 October 2014
superlative , both music and service !
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