According to the spine of this CD and the disc itself, the title of this album is The Best Of The Marvelettes, whereas the front and back cover and insert booklet call it The Essential Collection - The Marvelettes.
Either way it is an 18-track retrospective which duplicates little from other Marvelettes collections (it inevitably recycles three of their best known pieces - When You're Young And In Love, Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead and Please Mr Postman - in their mono single mixes).
The opening track is a rip-roaring romp, I Just Can't Let Him Down, a Smokey Robinson production from 1964 featuring Gladys Horton. It sounds like a hit single of the time but is previously unreleased, one of six recordings making their debut here, all of which provoke the cry: why?, as there is no sense of barrel-scraping whatsoever. I would like to know why they were left in the can and who the lead singers are. Most date from 1964-1965 but Sugar's Never Been As Sweet As You is a William Weatherspoon/Jimmy Dean production from 1969, around the time of the In Full Bloom sessons.
Five of the other tracks come from out of print albums which are welcome since Motown has not yet favoured the Marvelettes with any re-releases in their excellent 2 Classic Albums 1 CD series. All the other rarities make a fascinating listen. Your Cheating Ways was tucked away on the B-side of Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead, while The Boy From Crosstown is another song that sounds like a classic hit, but seems to have been buried on a Motown compilation from 1966. Norman Whitfield had also produced the same song the year before with the Velvelettes but it was never released in their lifetime. Similarly, Finders Keepers Losers Weepers is a lost Holland-Dozier-Holland classic from 1964, which may not have been released at the time, though it did come out over here on the other side of a Kim Weston single as an anniversary edition in 1980.
Perhaps most interestingly of all another Holland-Dozier-Holland song, Too Hurt To Cry, Too Much In Love To Say Goodbye came out as a single under the pseudonym of the Darnells on the Gordy label in 1963. It is very much a pastiche of the Spector sound of the time, the arrangement sounding exactly like a copy of the Crystals.
The Marvelettes deserve to be as well remembered as Martha and the Vandellas and the Four Tops.
on 12 January 2014
This one of many "Essential" Collections and old style Motown fans will enjoy this one. The Marvellettes were less feted that the Supremes and others but they were just as good. "Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead", "Sugar's Never Been As Sweet As You", "I Need Someone" and "Reaching For Something I Can't Have" are instantly recognisable as the sort of Motown tracks that filled the dance floors from 1965 until 1967. It is always good to hear the words "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch".
on 14 December 2013
If you like the original girl groups of this era, and I do, then this is up there with the best. You will probably know all the tunes and they are terrifc. I didn't realise what an influence these ladies had on our 60s bands. Brings back the scooter days to me with great memories.
on 26 March 2012
I suppose I should have read the track list more carefully. "Essential" Collection it is not; however it does include a selection of upbeat dance tracks and as previously mentioned some unreleased tracks from the Motown vaults.
Essential I would think would include all their releases and hits such as: "Beechwood 4-5789", "As Long As I Know He's Mine", "Anything You Wanna Do", "Destination Anywhere", "Don't Mess With Bill", "Here I Am Baby", "He's A Good Guy", "I'll Keep Holding On", "My Baby must be A Magician", "No Time For Tears", "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game", "Too Many Fish In The Sea", "You're My Remedy" and "You're The One". If you want their greatest, this isn't for you. So, in summary, an interesting CD - not a disappointment, but not the Greatest Hits of the Marvelettes either.
on 12 February 2010
Before I purchased this product, I satisfied myself that the music was from the qriginal recordings. I very rarely purchase music that has been re-recorded by the original Artist or Groups. The reason being, it is usualy inferior in quality of sound and the vibrancy of singer or singers, is often lost as they get older. I purchased this CD because of its music content which, compared with some of todays releases, is very melodic and enjoyable to listen to and, most of all, the singers are great at harmonising. If you want good music - then groups of the 1960's Era, such as The Marvellettes, are some of the best to listen to. I would highly recommend this CD for its content, value and enjoyability.
Patrick A Kavanagh
on 2 May 2008
It should really be called The Uncollected and a few which have been.
The only way you even know some of these songs is if you buy this album.
The Essential...should include Twistin' Postman,Beechwood 45789,Playboy,Too many fish in the sea for starters.
This last named was to my mind their finest hour-it was beautifully copied note for note by Nella Dodds on the Wand label as A Girl's Life.
Which happens to be the title of the CD of her complete works