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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 17 September 2017
bought for a present , great tracks good quality ,good price
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VINE VOICEon 8 March 2014
Ace have been the most recent label to access the plentiful vaults of unreleased material at Motown, following on from the British licensees Tamla Motown, and US-based Hip-O-Select. This release is the first mixed artist compilation of Motown recordings and concentrates on the girl singers and girl groups on their books between 1961 and 1967. Half of the tracks have never been released before, with the remainder being mostly album tracks or B-sides, or, as in the case of the Velvelettes, only released decades after they were made. Perhaps the best known tracks are the Supremes single, Buttered Popcorn, from the days when they were the "no hit" Supremes, and featuring Florence Ballard on lead vocals, and Mary Wells' What's Easy For Two Is So Hard For One. This was originally a 1963 B-side but was well known enough to be included on her Greatest Hits album after she had left the company, in 1966. The Miracles selection features a lead vocal from one-time member Claudette Robinson in place of their usual lead singer, husband Smokey.

A couple of selections that are well-known favourites from acetates and bootlegs get their first belated official releases, and sounding a million times better from original sources. These include an early epic Gladys Knight and the Pips outing from 1967, and a find attributed to the Marvelettes on acetate labels but that turns out to be a backing track intended for them that still has the demo vocal from one Bettie Winston. She was discovered by the track's producer Robert Hamilton, but left with him when he defected to Golden World a year later, and the track was then shelved.

The Marvelettes also provide the compilation's title track, Finders Keepers Losers Weepers. This was recorded in 1964 with Gladys Horton singing lead and the Andantes helping out on vocals, but stayed in the can until slipping out on the B-side of a British-only Kim Weston single in 1980. A couple of high points are provided by Martha and the Vandellas. One, No More Tearstained Make Up, was on the album Watchout! in 1966 but could easily have been a single, and the other, Build Him Up, was a Holland-Dozier-Holland number originally offered to Kim Weston. Neither version was released at the time, and Martha's version astoundingly appears here for the first time, despite copious plunderings of the Vandellas unreleased work in recent years. As with Carolyn Crawford, whose output is thought to be exhausted with this final offering, it is surprising not to have been selected until now. Aficionados will welcome some of the less well known names, such as LaBrenda Ben, Liz Lands and Saundra Mallett, all part of the Motown story.

Ace have chosen mono masters throughout this CD, some of the previously released material still appearing in this format on CD for the first time. The notes, by Keith Hughes, in the 16-page booklet, are as detailed and informative as one expects from Ace, and anyone with an interest in Motown is bound to find much of fascination and enjoyment in those well put together selection.
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on 25 March 2013
Finders Keepers is the latest in a long line of girl group CDs from Ace Records and this time, it consists of Motown recordings.

Of the twelve new tracks, seven date from before 1964, which sets them nicely in the proto-Motown Sound days.

Looking at the gems from the vaults, I was surprised to see Sylvia Moy's name amongst the composers of Brenda Holloway's Don't
Turn Your Back On Me. I'd always assumed that this was a Lewis Sisters composition - it certainly has the feel of one of their quirky songs .

Like several other new songs on the CD, the Gladys Knight & the Pips song is known to Motown collectors (as Fare Thee Well) from home-made CDRs of unreleased tracks. It's one of the first Motown recordings by the group and it's hard to comprehend how something this good was over-looked previously.

The new LaBrenda Ben track is a Motown stomper and I'm waiting to learn if others hear the ghost of Motown standard I want My Baby Back recorded by a variety of male artists. It's a fabulous dance track and no surprise, given the incredible roster of talent behind it, produced by Norman Whitfield an composed by him with Brian Holland and Eddie Kendricks.

What a gem of an early Motown party record Thelma Brown's Dance Yeah Dance is. Thelma is a bit of a mystery singer yet she has a fabulous voice. Let's hope there are more tracks by her in them thar vaults.

I must confess that Carolyn Crawford has never been one of my favourite singers but Lover Boy is, without doubt, the best recording I've heard by her. I love that delicate waltz-type rhythm and those beautiful backing vocals. It's a Smokey gem.

I can imagine Lavern Baker or Ruth Brown belting out My Black Belt, a great rocky number by Hattie Littles, which is, surprisingly, a West Coast composition. And was recorded in California. Learning, from the notes, that there is still plenty of material by Hattie Littles in the vaults is cheering.

All credit to Ace for the superb mix on Build Him Up. This early HDH song, by Martha & The Vandellas, sounds miles better than it did on those old CDRs. Martha sings her socks off and it's the best version of the song I've heard.

Bettie Winston has a great voice and she tackles Grass Seems Greener (On The Other Side) perfectly. What a shame that Bettie didn't stay with Motown, choosing instead to head to Golden World to join the Adorables. It's also a shame that the Marvelettes never got to record the song, following this great demo.

I mean no offence, but the over-enunciating Anita Knorl sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the singing talent on Finders Keepers. This is the least impressive of the new tracks but it is a treat to finally discover how the lady sounds.

It was a surprise to learn that Marvin Gaye co-compsed the bluesy So Let Them Laugh At Me. Linda Griner delivers the song perfectly and I like this a heck of a lot more than her released tracks.

Liz Lands - wow, I don't have the words to describe this lady's talent - and I wish Motown had cut a lot more material like I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues. The musicians create the perfect, understated, setting for Liz and I wish Motown had cut more stuff like this.

The last track has Kim Weston delivering an impeccable vocal on a lovely old standard. Kim's voice is unique. Those dated-sounding backing vocalists are a minor detraction but Kim delivers a master class in soul singing. Even after all the preceding super-talented female artists on this set, Kim manages to surprise with such a great vocal.

I have to say that, IMHO, the weakest tracks on the CD are mostly those that were previously released.

The booklet, with the usually detailed track by track notes from Keith Hughes, contains enough new information to set every Motown's heart racing.

It's an essential purchase for any Motown fan.
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on 26 March 2013
The Ace/Kent series of Motown reissues has been going a few years now and, so far, every release has followed the same pattern: in-depth examinations of a single artist, complete with lavish liner notes and rare photos, often including a bunch of unreleased tracks. They've all been worth getting, and there are some real gems tucked away on each of them, but with "Finders Keepers" the recipe has changed.

Instead of just one artist, this is an overview of pretty much ALL Motown's best-known early-mid '60s female acts (only Tammi Terrell is missing, off the top of my head), but deliberately shying away from the big hits and well-known classics - every track is either previously unreleased, or very rarely heard. This approach allows the compilers to sneak on a few lesser-known artists where maybe it wouldn't be commercially viable to do a full single-artist anthology; Anita Knorl and Thelma Brown are the two real unknowns here, but there's also great material from people only hardcore Motown aficionados will recognise: the Andantes, LaBrenda Ben, Carolyn Crawford, Liz Lands, the great Hattie Littles. Along with those, we get rarities from all Motown's big-ticket female artists, including never-before-released tracks from Martha and the Vandellas and Gladys Knight & the Pips, the first official release for Brenda Holloway's much-bootlegged "Don't Turn Your Back On Me", and even a 'new' Kim Weston track which didn't appear on her Anthology CD set. Plus, there's a sprinkling of long-forgotten album tracks and rare old singles that should be new to people who didn't shell out the big bucks for the Complete Motown Singles series - the Supremes, Mary Wells, the Vandellas again, the Marvelettes.

The biggest surprise, really, is that while some of the very early material is a bit rough around the edges, having been recorded before the Motown Sound really got its groove on, for the most part the entire CD is just a great listen all the way through. The mix of tracks selected is fantastic (whoever did the picking and sequencing did a really good job here) and this is also a really good introduction to all of these artists for anyone who might not be familiar with some of the names. I've only had it a day and already I'm in love with it.

This is probably the best of the Ace/Kent series of Motown reissues so far, and it makes me hopeful we'll get similar collections in the future covering other aspects of the label. In the meantime, this is not only an excellent addition for historical discographers, it's a really good mix tape in its own right and well worth a place in anyone's collection. I love it.
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With reviews of anything subjective like music I find it best to ask yourself firstly about the quality of the product overall.

As usual with any 'Ace/Kent' release the overall product is excellent - great booklet (very informative), great sound quality - can't beat it.

Secondly, you must review the music on the disc. In my opinion the vast majority of these tracks on this compilation are ok at best, the one and only exception for me would be the title track 'Finders, keepers' by The Marvelettes - which is very good indeed.

Ask yourself, are any of these tracks the greatest Motown tracks you have ever heard - if the answer is yes then give it 5 stars - if not then mark accordingly. In my humble opinion the vast majority of these tracks are 2nd/3rd rate songs.

Yet, you have to take your hat off to 'Ace' for giving us music lovers the opportunity to listen to them.

Overall, Product 10/10. Music 5/10. Buy it and make up your own mind.
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on 2 April 2013
I feel the earlier reviewers have gone a little overboard with the praise for this compilation of rare and unreleased Motown which starts well with six good to very good tracks and then slowly dribbles away to a disappointing close with the 'supper club' ballad styling's of Kim Weston's "It's Too Soon To Know". This last track is frankly MOR, not R&B, and panders to Berry Gordy's worst tendencies for forcing his artists to the middle-of-the-road on their albums to try and appeal to a middle-aged white audience.

After the first six tracks which are from the 'classic' late '64 - early '67 Motown period the remainder are largely from '61 - early '64 before the Motown sound had coalesced and try a variety of genres from pure R&B to early soul to pop to balladeering. Some of this is good, some of this is not with about a 50:50 split between these extremes. However even the best tracks couldn't be classed as top drawer Motown, enjoyable enough but with a whiff of the barrel being scraped which isn't surprising after the excellent 'Cellarful of Motown', 'This Is Northern Soul! The Motown Sound' & 'Tamla Motown Connoisseurs' series of compilations of the past decade there probably isn't much quality material left unreleased. In fact the very best track which is coincidently the first; The Velvetettes "Let Love Live" is already easily available on their Motown Anthology double-CD (in two mixes no less!).

The dross which comprises about a quarter of the CD includes the aforementioned Kim Weston track, a poorly written Miracles track ('He Don't Care About Me') and the too poppy Marvelettes track ('Grass Seems Greener') which is probably the biggest disappointment for me being a real fan of the Marvelettes. That leaves about 18 tracks ranging from OK to very good, so if you like very early Motown (over 50% of the set) then this is probably a worthwhile purchase but if the classic '65-'67 period is your thing then the pickings might be too slim this time round.
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on 8 October 2013
what can I say a grand collection of iconic tunes from motown some released on vinyl some unissued some tracks unknown to me all in all a recommended collection to have .
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on 24 October 2013
very good cd so glad i brought it..tracks on it that is not on other cds so makes it alot better not the same old tracks being put out
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on 23 February 2015
Includes 12 unissued masters as well as several other tracks that are good but rare. Excellent CD
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on 6 July 2016
Nobody does it like the Motown Girls and these Ladies are Superb!
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