Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – The Ultimate Collection (1998)

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - The Ultimate Collection (1998)
Artist: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Album: The Ultimate Collection
Genre: Early R&B, Soul
Origin: USA
Released: 1998
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Come And Get These Memories
(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave
Wild One
In My Lonely Room
Dancing In The Street
Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things)
Live Wire
I’m Ready For Love
A Love Like Yours (Don’t Come Knocking Everyday)
Third Finger, Left Hand
Nowhere To Run
I Can’t Dance To That Music You’re Playin’
Tear It On Down
Honey Chile
You’ve Been In Love Too Long
I Promise To Wait My Love
Forget Me Not
Jimmy Mack
I Should Be Proud
Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone
Bless You
Darling, I Hum Our Song
My Baby Loves Me


This volume of Motown’s Ultimate Collection series was especially welcome, as there was no box set on Martha & the Vandellas for serious fans to go to (there was Live Wire!, a now-deleted two-CD compilation of single A- and B-sides, but that’s not quite the same thing). This disc put the group’s 25 most important tracks, all of the pop and R&B hits plus the most significant B-sides and an album track or two, together in one place. What’s more, it did it in what was then state-of-the-art sound, something that few Motown CDs had ever been able to boast of. Thus, the musical content is a given and then some, and the power of Martha Reeves’ lead singing and the surrounding harmonies comes through as never before. It’s most gratifying on some of the harder dance numbers, such as “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” and “Dancing in the Street,” to hear the gorgeously complex percussive mix of piano, bass, and drums (lots of drums) pounding away to their own rhythms within the overall beats of the songs — the detail is there, without sacrificing any of the raw power of the songs and the mixes. Add to that decent annotation, discography, and musician information, and this is an essential part of any soul or ’60s collection and, indeed, until Motown began reissuing Martha & the Vandellas albums in 2002 in England, the only way to get a significant chunk of their music with good sound.
Review by Bruce Eder