Thursday, February 6, 2014

40 Year Itch : Those Marvelous Motown Anthologies

Advertised as "the most comprehensive collection of classics ever assembled", Motown followed up its 1973 Temptations Anthology in February of 1974 with sets from Gladys Knight and the Pips and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Each of these multiple-record set came with a 12 page booklet, brimming with color photos.

In the months to follow more two record sets would follow from the likes of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas  and Jr Walker and the All Stars.

 For Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops and Stevie Wonder, whose Looking Back was released in 1977,  the anthologies would fill three records.

   Motown did a great service to the public and their own bottom line. Casual fans had all the hits and a sampling of the best tunes from the artists' best albums. And any of these anthologies charted in 1974. But Motown has also failed the artists and fans by letting so many of their best albums go out of print. Can we begin by bringing back the Temptations's All Directions?

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