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A Missed Opportunity
on 4 October 2009
The idea was great, a comprehensive collection of the Isley Brothers recordings for Motown. Unfortunately, the execution is simply awful. The artwork is totally inappropriate for the period covered, utilising just two photographs of the Isley Bros, both of which date from a period many years earlier than their stint with Motown. The collage of LP covers is better but why give pride of place to the frankly dreadful This Old Heart Of Mine LP cover. Yes, the original LP is superb but the artwork is patently rubbish.
But I was prepared to forgive all of this because the compilers had the good taste to use mono mixes. Motown stereo mixes of this vintage have always left a lot to be desired whoever the artist so the use of mono mixes is to be applauded. But this has not been done. Though the sleevenotes claim that all tracks on CD1 are "Transfers from the original mono LP tapes" anybody with a working pair of ears and a stereo system will know that some of these tracks are actually the stereo mixes. This is unforgiveable and disappointing in the extreme. Overall the sound of these discs is fairly terrible. Comparing the sound of the alleged mono mixes where used [which may just be the stereo mixes folded down] to the recently remastered Beatles In Mono box is like comparing chalk and cheese, this set lacks any punch whatsoever.
So, in conclusion I have to say this set was a great idea, ruined by its poor, botched execution and I wouldn't recommend that anybody purchase it. A real shame.