on 4 January 2016
Patrice Holloway was the younger sister of the slightly better known Brenda Holloway, both of whom recorded as lesser known and more underrated artists for Motown during the sixties. The Ace label that have released this have struck up a licencing deal with Motown and have released a series of CDs by Motown artists containing rare and previously unreleased material mostly from the sixties.This is an excellent compilation of the complete recordings that Patrice recorded for the Motown and Capitol labels during the sixties to early seventies, although this label would have to have obtained a deal with EMI to obtain her later Capitol recordings. The tracks are not chronological as her later Capitol recordings come first, and her earlier Motown recordings that follow are not in recording order. Her earlier Capitol recordings are similar to her previous Motown tracks, although with a thinner sound, while her later Capitol recordings from the end of the sixties had that later sound. I did not think her later Capitol recordings were quite up to the standard of her previous Motown recordings, as they seemed to lack that Motown gloss. But there was one standout here, Love And Desire, which the Ace label have partly named this CD after. Her earlier Motown recordings were made 1963-64 when she was 12-13. Yet she had a mighty powerful voice for a lady so young. Yet she had already released a single in the States on a small label, Do The Del Viking featuring her sister Brenda Holloway on backing vocals before they arrived at Motown. This can be found on a Brenda Holloway CD also on Ace, The Early Years, but collecting her pre-Motown recordings for various labels. But because Motown did not develop their distinctive backing sound until the second half of 1963 which was to make the label huge, only the later recordings that Patrice made for Motown had that familiar Motown sound, while her earlier recordings here had that earlier less distinctive sound, just like the rest of the Motown recordings from before then by all those other artists on this label. Her Motown tracks here include both sides of her one single for Motown, ten previously unreleased tracks, and a few tracks that had already appeared on various artists compilations as previously unreleased, but have been duplicated here. Both sides of her Motown single are the first song dedications to Stevie Wonder who was then 13, and who she romanced at the time. Obviously, there are a few Smokey Robinson compositions here. But apart from her lame version of a song from The Miracles, All That's Good, these tracks, every other one a standout were far too good to have remained unreleased at the time, except for her released single here, especially with great tracks such as Tall Boy; Love Walked Right In; the slight Spectoresque Face In The Crowd; Come Into My Palace - her only actual duet with sister Brenda (also on Brenda Holloway's double CD on Motown itself called Motown Anthology mixing her entire previously released tracks with some of her previously unreleased tracks for Motown - the song itself also recorded by The Supremes); the beautiful soul ballad Crying with that familiar Shoo-bah Shoo-bah chorus, but starts with an uptempo drum intro before slowing into a ballad; and her stronger superior version of a Marvin Gaye co-write My Two Arms-You=Tears, originally recorded on an album for Motown by Mary Wells. But best of all, we get Flippitty Flop, her very strong emulation of The Shirelles, with Patrice perfectly over-emulating their lead singer Shirley Alston, but with a far more powerful voice; and her reading of one of the more cleverly lyricized Smokey Robinson compositions Those DJ Shows, originally recorded by The Supremes, but in a far less Motownesque style, as they recorded their version a couple of years before Motown was to develop it's own distinctive sound. Patrice's version of this is a bit slower and has plenty of that Motown sound added, but fades too early at the end, compared to the original. A further track here, Surf Stomp does not sound like a serious cash-in on the then-musical surf craze, although The Supremes recorded a song for Motown, Surfer Boy. But sadly, after recording these tracks, Motown boss Berry Gordy apparently advised Patrice to finish her schooling before continuing her singing career. So the remainder of her Motown recordings remained unreleased. Yet Berry kept Stevie Wonder even though he was only a year older, but must have been 14 by then. But this may have been because he had a number 1 hit in the States for Motown, Fingertips a year earlier when he was 13, and although he had not yet had a following major hit, he was a popular live attraction by then, so Berry may have sensed that with a bit of push, he was going to make it. Berry also kept her older sister Brenda at Motown. But she had a US hit for Motown at the time Every Little Bit Hurts. When Patrice was 15, she signed to Capitol where she had a bit more success in the States. While on Capitol, she helped sister Brenda Holloway to write her next single for Motown You Made Me So Very Happy. Brenda did not have a huge hit with it. But a couple of years later, rock group Blood Sweat & Tears covered it, and had a huge worldwide hit with it, turning the song into a classic. During the seventies, after the Holloway sisters had left their labels, they became members of Joe Cocker's backing band, and sang backing vocals on a few of his albums. But after Patrice left Motown, but before she signed to Capitol, there were two singles released in the States on a small label by The Wooden Nickels who were in fact the Holloway sisters, and their cousin Pat Hunt (a similar format to the lineup of The Ronettes). Brenda who was still on Motown must have breached her contract with them. As far as i know. they have not been reissued, but I did manage to play them on Youtube, the four tracks - Take My Love; Should I Give My Love Tonight; More Than A Friend; and Nobody But You, the latter of which had a Motown-ish sound. In 1970, Patrice became the lead vocalist of Josie & The Pussycats, a cartoon girl group who released an album from that original 1970 cartoon series. I played one track from it on Youtube, but it was dreadful. It did not sound like her to me. It was just typical bubblegum pop of that time. But because the album was on Capitol, her label at the time, obviously there was no breach of contract. But fortunately, her solo single releases on Capitol which were more Soul orientated, are her only Capitol recordings on this CD.