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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CANDY TO ME, 7 Feb. 2012
This review is from: It Moves Me ~ The Complete Recordings 1958-1964 (Audio CD)
At last, the complete recordings of Eddie Holland are available on a double CD. Eddie recorded some astounding singles on Motown and all of them are present in this set. Many of the songs were recorded later by other Motown artists, so some of the tracks will be more familiar by The Isley Brothers, Martha & The Vandellas, Kim Weston, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, and others.

The booklet is stuffed with the most amazing illustrations. I've lost count of the number of old trade advertisements, many of which I was unaware of. It's a huge 28 pages long booklet, with track by track notes and an amazing essay. The essay is built around fresh interviews with Eddie. I don't recall reading much about Eddie's solo career before, so we gain a wealth of Motown history with many details which will be new to Motown fans.

The second disc, the "rare and unreleased" tracks, has been a revelation. The most important thing is that Eddie Holland is a very good singer indeed. He may have started sounding a little like Jackie Wilson, but he soon developed an impressive sound and style of his own.

It's interesting to note that the famed team of HDH are the sole composers of just five tracks on each disc (that's just 9 tracks in total, as LEAVING HERE is on both in mono and stereo versions). The "new" HDH tracks are TOO LATE TO CRY, PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL FACE, and I LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU ( re-tread of TOO LATE TO CRY, recorded 15 months later). A good deal of the songs on the second disc are unfinished recordings, rough demos, or even polished demos (which sound like official recordings to me). Fortunately, this doesn't mean the tracks are poor or uninteresting.

It's fascinating hearing the skeletal forms of these songs, some of which were recorded by others or re-cycled as subsequent compositions. In particular, I'd pick out the evolving background vocals. On some of the earlier material, there is a raw gospel feel to the singing and you can hear, as time passes by, that vocal sound become smoother and better-placed in the structure of the song. The interplay between male and female voices is interesting.

Also of interest is the prominence of different musical instruments in each recording and the intriguing solos in the breaks. You can tell that, as Eddie says, "We were very,very fortunate to have a place where we could record that many pieces of product, and experiment that much , with somebody paying for it. That was like going to school."

In the excellent interview, Eddie is modest about his recordings and labels some of his early material as "bad music". I think he is a bit hard on himself and the material, because the whole thing is enjoyable on so many levels. Keith Hughes is the man behind the interview and the note-writing. We are blessed to have somebody who is such a good writer working on these Ace Records/Motown projects.

This is an essential purchase.
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Location: Lodon England

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