Album: Various Artists, A Complete Introduction to Tamla Motown (Universal)

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The Independent Culture

I'm not sure about the use of the term "complete" in the title, which effectively writes cheques which can't really be cashed by the content of this four CD set.

Part of the problem is the format, which assigns one disc to agreeable, though ultimately inessential, live performances from the '60s revue shows, and another to notable B-sides, which outside an obvious few ("Wherever I Lay My Hat", "Going Down For The Third Time", "I'll Turn To Stone" and "My Cherie Amour") struggles to live up to its promise of "Killer Bs". The first disc of "Milestones & Influences" is just about okay, blending early breakthroughs such as "Money", "Please Mr Postman" and "Do You Love Me" with ubiquitous classics such as "My Guy", "Dancing In The Street" and "Tears Of A Clown". The remaining disc of "British Chartbusters", which bears only a passing resemblance to the chartbusting sound I remember (three tracks by Jimmy Ruffin, but no "What Becomes of The Brokenhearted"? Come on!). But what really prevents this being a "complete" introduction to Motown is surely the perverse avoidance of the mature, politicised work of either Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder.

Download this Dancing In The Street; Tears Of A Clown; Please Mr Postman; Walk Away Renee; Behind A Painted Smile