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The Motown Collection Box set

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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2 new from £34.74 4 used from £19.99

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 Mar. 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Spectrum Audio
  • ASIN: B00076SJNC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,245 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

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BBC Review

A six-foot tall, platinum-blonde white woman, Chris Clark didn't fit the standard profile of a Motown artist. This, combined with the fact that she never had a top 100 pop hit, meant that she never became a household name.

Which makes this double-CD both welcome and intriguing. Comprising everything she released for the label and its affiliates, plus 25 previously unreleased tracks, it is simply a revelation. How could a voice of this delicacy and control have remained so obscure for so long?

Soul Sounds(1968), her debut album, is a sophisticated take on vintage Motown -alternately breezy and bluesy -with little to suggest that the recordings spanned three years back to her 1965 single "Do Right, Baby, Do Right".It exudes confidence and should have established her as a major star. The sequel, CCRides Again (1969),is disappointing, featuring only two new songs, the remainder being tame covers of the likes of "Spinning Wheel", "Good Morning Starshine" and "Get Back". Unnecessary orchestral introductions taken from Richard Strauss and Rossini add little of value.

But the real treasure is on the second CD of hitherto unheard material, where the depth and range of Clark's talent becomes apparent. Coming from a jazz tradition, rather than the more conventional gospel background, the precision of her style and the orchestrations on, for example, "I Just Can't Forget Him" or "Do Like I Do" resemble the cool sounds of her British namesake Petula, or perhaps Dusty Springfield, rather than the US soul divas of the period. Despite her lowly sales status, she could clearly still command the highest production values (possibly helped by Berry Gordy's close personal interest), and these are highly polished pieces: even an old chestnut like "Crying in the Chapel" has new life injected into it.

The final half-dozen tracks get decidedly more funky, and culminate in an eight-minute disco song ,"What You Doing", of uncertain provenance. Following the recent Brenda Hollowaycompilation, this is another joyous reclamation of a peripheral figure from the Motown stable. --Alwyn Turner

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The comments in other reviews state correctly what great soul music sits on these two CDs catching in one swoop everything to release before its all too late, of Tamla's "missing" major white artiste.

The politics of Tamla are what one feels dripping out of this CD - the failure to promote her as shown by a rave concert appearance in the UK being an event that should have been a signal that was ignored but if exploited right could have produced a "new" star at a time when Tamla was beginning to recycle older acts. Put that alongside a number of these songs being great covers of contemporary songs (her second LP which was shelved till their impact had passed) or songs being taken and re-recorded by or with sections by other Tamla artistes ("Take me in your arms" being the most famous), demostrates what happened when you were not Diana Ross or did not have a strong producer such as Norman Whitfield.

This release is cause indeed to celebrate for a lady whose releases have always been sought after in the UK.
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Apart from a couple of titles on anthologies, the recordings of the blonde blue-eyed soul sister Chris Clark have been out of print for so long that most record buyers now have probably never even heard of the lady. Those soul aficionados who had, and were aware how good she was, must have thought all their Chris-masses were coming at once when they heard about this double CD. Not only does it contain disc both of her albums in full, along with the singles and their B-sides, but also tracks from Motown's vaults that have never before seen the light of day. These two discs between them contain everything officially released during her career, and the bulk of what wasn't. So how do they stack up?

The first LP, Soul Sounds, was mostly recorded in August 1967 but includes previously released singles, including her first, Do Right Baby Do Right, from December 1965, with the Lewis Sisters on back-up vocals. These include her only hit, the wonderful Love's Gone Bad from 1966, and the divine and funky follow up, I Want To Go Back There Again.

These were the only two singles I had at the time and I was very curious to hear more, as they exemplified for me the classic Motown sound of that period. Never having seen a picture of her, I had no idea she was one of very few white female singers signed to Motown, decked out like a six-foot Dusty Springfield complete with big hair, but I certainly appreciated the glorious creamy voice and the Funk Brothers' bubbling grooves upon which she floated, and listened keenly to both flipsides, which included her slightly jazzier version of the Elgins' Put Yourself In My Place.
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Here it is at last, and although it's taken years to get here - it's worth every penny.
The first twelve tracks (Soul Sounds) on disc one is worth the price alone . . . but there's more. The fact that you get the whole "CC Rides Again" and three none album tracks gives this set a propper prospective.
Then there's disc two - a mind-blowing 25 unreleased gems, ranging from classic Holland-Dozier-Holland covers ("Ask Any Girl", "Everything Is Good About You" & "Until You Love Someone", all of which would have sounded great on "Soul Sounds") to sublime, bluesy ballads.
Berry Gordy lends a hand, as does Smokey Robinson, Frank Wilson, and a number of others. And when you here the finished product you'll be amazed at how motown could have even thought of shelving most of these tracks.
I've always loved the Temptations version of "Your Wonderful Love", but Chris's will blow you away, And Gordy's effort "Let Me Go" is a stunner.
For anyone who isn't familiar with Chris (can there be anyone?) think of a soulful Dusty Springfield, with a little Kiki Dee and a pinch of Petula Clark . . . add the Funk Brothers and the motown sound and you've got it.
An excelent release - right up there with Brenda Holloway, The Velvelettes, Barbara McNair, Jimmy Ruffin, and Billy Eckstine.
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What a voice - as good as Dusty Springfield and Diana Ross - she didn't get the recognition that she deserved due to the politics at the time at Motown - well let's just say that "that" recognition is long overdue and thoroughly deserved - and I'm still only listening to the first cd. If I could have awarded it 7 stars - I would have had no hesitation.
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Delivery and packaging was good. Chris Clark deserves more air play as she has a great voice. This is a top quality double cd at a bargain price. I will need to spend time listening and educating myself on her tracks but I think it will be a positive experience.
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Chris Clark,
Another of Motowns well kept secrets as she never really hit the big time. A good collection with Chris covering lots of Motowns classics tunes.
I like it well enough but not one of my all time classics. Packaging and sleeve notes good as usual and a good addition to my extensive soul and Motown collection. A good value purchase!
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By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 Jun. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Chris Clark recorded plenty of music for Motown but, for whatever reason, never had any success. I've heard suggestions that Berry Gordy only signed Chris to Motown because he had a soft spot for tall, blonde women. While nobody would suggest that her voice is as great as (for example) the voices of Diana Ross or Martha Reeves, I think she had the potential for success and listening to the music here, it's amazing that she didn't become a star.

Three singles (Do right baby do right, Love's gone bad, I want to go back there again) were released on a Motown subsidiary before Chris' first full album, Soul sounds, was released on the main Motown label. A pop album with blues and jazz influences, it included all the A-sides and one of the B-sides (Put yourself in my place) from those early singles. It deserved to sell in huge quantities but didn't. A new single from the album, Whisper you love me baby, also failed to sell. I wonder if Motown's marketing people, usually so good, simply failed on this occasion. Apart from the tracks already mentioned, the album includes Sweeter as the days go by (popular with her British fans), Day by day or never (another outstanding original song) and Got to get you into my life (a Beatles song that provided Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers with a British top ten hit).

A second album, CC rides again, was eventually released, but there were a lot of arguments in the development process, which explains the inclusion of a large number of covers of famous songs. There are two Blood Sweat and Tears songs (Spinning wheel, You've made me so very happy) although the latter is a Motown original, being co-written and first recorded by Brenda Holloway.
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