Top critical review
disappointing, but a good song selection
Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2019
A somewhat chronological totally bare bones 2017 Spectrum Music (Europe) 5-disc box set of 101 Motown hits (20 tracks/ disc except for #1 at 21) – not one of their better box sets. Too many mono 60s tracks (when stereo exists), too much variation between track playback levels, especially on disc 5 (the newest stuff), & a few poor quality sounding tracks – even so, this has a pretty good selection of 60s soul hits; everything is soul/R&B except for the 6+ minute jazz song “I Can’t Help It” by Grover Washington on disc 4. Windows Media Player has some minor song title glitches. Disc 1 is 61 minutes, mono tracks are 6, 9, 18 - & track 20 is very low volume; D2 is 57 min., mono 1, 5 – 9, 13, 14, 19, 20; D3 is 75 min., mono 5, 13, 15, 18; D4 is 67 min., mono 9, 12, 17 (which is also very glitchy sounding), & #5 sounds full of minor distortion – too bad, because it’s a great song, & #19 is the LP version; D5 is 79 min., all stereo, but #18 is very loud, #20 very low. No info except for song title/ artist on back cover of the 5-fold cardboard case; each disc slides into separate open-at-each-end slots & are very hard to slide out – I had to use the eraser on a pencil end to carefully push the discs out.
A few interesting side notes: Martha & The Vandellas' "Heatwave" is on 2 different discs, 1 is mono, a slightly different version is stereo; Frank Wilson's very rare '65 "Do I Love You" is included (no release, 250 demos pressed, all but 2 were destroyed - I never heard before, but a great song); nice to have Gloria Jones' B-side "Tainted Love" included (big hit for Soft Cell in '81); also cool are the inclusion of 2 songs recorded in '66 but not released till later: Jimmy Ruffin's "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" (w/The Temptations on backround vocals, released '97), & The Monitors' "Crying in the Night" (released 2015).