VA – Finders Keepers: Motown Girls 1961-67 (2013)

VA - Finders Keepers: Motown Girls 1961-67 (2013)
Artist: Various
Album: Finders Keepers: Motown Girls 1961-67
Genre: Soul / R’n’B
Released: 2013
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Tracklist:
The Velvelettes – Let Love Live (A Little Bit Longer) (2:36)
Brenda Holloway – Don’t Turn Your Back On Me (2:33)
Gladys Knight & the Pips – When Somebody Loves You (You’re Never Alone) (3:00)
Martha & the Vandellas – No More Tearstained Make Up (2:17)
The Marvelettes – Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers (2:24)
Labrenda Ben – Do You Know What I’m Talkin’ About (2:56)
Mary Wells – What S Easy for Two Is So Hard for One (2:54)
Thelma Brown – Dance Yeah Dance (2:42)
The Andantes – (Like A) Nightmare (2:42)
The Supremes – Long Gone Lover (2:24)
Carolyn Crawford – Lover Boy (2:45)
Brenda Holloway – Till Johnny Comes (2:36)
Saundra Mallet & the Vandellas – Camel Walk (2:38)
Hattie Littles – My Black Belt (3:14)
Martha & the Vandellas – Build Him Up (2:15)
Labrenda Ben – I Cant Help It, I Gotta Dance (2:51)
The Supremes – Buttered Popcorn (2:32)
The Marvelettes – Grass Seems Greener (On the Other Side) (2:43)
The Miracles – He Don’t Care About Me (2:15)
The Vells – You’ll Never Cherish a Love So True (‘Til You Lose It) (2:51)
Anita Knorl – If Wishes Came True (2:44)
Linda Griner – So Let Them Laugh at Me (2:37)
Liz Lands – I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (3:40)
Kim Weston – It’s Too Soon to Know (2:27)

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The very title of Ace’s Finders Keepers: Motown Girls 1961-67 suggests this 2013 collection digs deep into the vaults, excavating sides that are rarely — or possibly never — heard. And that is indeed true: half of these 24 songs are unissued, while much of the rest were unearthed at a relatively recent vintage, either in the late ’90s or early 2000s. That leaves just a handful of songs released at the time: Martha & the Vandellas’ album track “No More Tearstained Make Up,” Mary Wells’ Detroit hit “What’s Easy for Two Is So Hard for One,” the Adantes’ “(Like A) Nightmare,” the Supremes album track “Long Gone Lover,” Saundra Mallett & the Vandellas’ “Camel Walk,” LaBrenda Ben’s “I Can’t Help It, I Gotta Dance,” the Supremes’ “Buttered Popcorn,” the Miracles (not Smokey’s group) with “He Don’t Care about Me,” and the Vells’ “You’ll Never Cherish a Love So True (‘Til You Lose It).” Of these, only the Wells was a big hit — it reached Billboard’s R&B Top 10 in 1963 — but the hook of this compilation is how everything here is vaguely familiar yet unheard. Some of these sides were clearly destined for the vaults as they lack distinction (or border on the silly, as on Hattie Littles’ “My Black Belt”), and the cuts gathered at the end (Liz Lands, Kim Weston) emphasize Motown’s enduring fascination with supper club crossover crooning. Fortunately, Finders Keepers is sequenced cleverly, so the slight unevenness of the material isn’t readily apparent. Instead, this plays a bit like an unexcavated jukebox from the ’60s, one that contains a few period pieces that are overshadowed by the songs that feel like they could’ve been hits. Those are the tunes that make digging into this disc a joyful thing.
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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