This is the Motown CD fans have been waiting for - twenty six generous helpings of prime Motown Sound by Marv Johnson, the man who recorded the very first Tamla single, way back when. After a few years of releasing Motown and non-Motown product on United Artists, Marv returned to Motown proper in 1964.
This set comprises Marv's in-house productions from 1964 to 1971 and what a collection it is. Title track ROSE was so popular in the UK that we were treated to a Tamla Motown album, with some tracks not released in America. That album is remastered here, along with a clutch of excellent vault tracks. Working with some of the best, but perhaps less famous, architects of the Motown Sound, like Henry Cosby, Clarence Paul, William Stevenson, James Dean and William Weatherspoon, Marv's silky vocals transformed good songs into great songs.
Norman Whitfield produced a stomping cover version of SAVE MY LOVE FOR A RAINY DAY, which I think is the best take of the oft-recorded song. Other previously unissued tracks include an impressive take on FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND which, like several other tracks, was recorded after Marv's huge UK hit.
From the liner notes we learn that Marv's storming Northern Soul classic I MISS YOU BABY (HOW I MISS YOU) - another UK chart hit for the man - was originally intended for The Marvelettes. Motown expert Keith Hughes has crafted an informative CD booklet, complete with his usual detailed track-by-track annotations. By the end of Marv's story, you may just feel a lump in your throat.
Marv co-composed five tracks on this collection. Perhaps his most famous writing credit is for The Dells' GIVE YOUR BABY A STANDING OVATION, a soul classic.
In later years, Marv toured the UK several times and he was as effervescent live as he was in the studio - a perfect entertainer. It's with enormous pleasure for me that the set ends with a thumping mono 45 version of the Frank Wilson produced YOU GOT THE LOVE I LOVE, one of my all-time favourite Motown dance records.
For Motown fans and collectors, this is essential.
22 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?