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1. A Time 2 Love
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2. Stevie Wonder - The Definitive
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3. Songs in the Key of Life
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4. Ultimate Collection
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5. Innervisions
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6. The #1's
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7. At the Close of a Century
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8. The Ultimate Collection [1998]
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9. The Very Best of Marvin Gaye [Motown
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10. Talking Book
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11. What's Going on
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12. 50th Anniversary Anthology (Dig)
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13. Every Great Motown Hit
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14. Stevie Wonder - Song Review: Greatest
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15. The Ultimate Collection
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16. Essential Collection
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17. Fulfillingness' First Finale
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18. The Ultimate Collection
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19. Let's Get It on
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20. Gladys Knight & The Pips -

1. A Time 2 Love
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Asin: B0001MSGX0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 35205
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2. Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection
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Asin: B00006JSS8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 362
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Like the Beatles' The Beatles 1, this rundown of Stevie Wonder chestnuts is merciless in cutting a huge list of classic tracks down to a single disc's worth of the most recognizable. Anyone who's treasured even one or two of these songs and yet never bought a Wonder record will be more than pleased with the acquisition of The Definitive Collection. These records continue to ring with importance and history, but more important, all except two or three remain fresh and capable of surprising even veteran fans. Those listeners may note, though, that Wonder is among the few performers who could release a retrospective containing 15 No. 1 R&B hits and still invite the complaint that the album felt incomplete--not least in explaining how the man transformed himself from a multitalented teenage hitmaker into the funk-pop visionary of Talking Book, Innervisions, and Songs in the Key of Life.--Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Overjoyed
Lots of classic Stevie is packed onto this single disc collection, no doubt about that. It's in chronological order, which means "Fingertips" kicks off the set--dating all the way back to 1962! A small handful of his early work is represented, including "I Was Made To Love Her," but this set really picks up steam in the middle with his brilliant work from the 1970's. Songs like "You Haven't Done Nothing," "Living For The City," "Superstition," "Higher Ground," "Sir Duke" and "Master Blaster" (actually from 1981) are all brilliant and rank among the very best pop and soul music from that period. Wonder's work declined a bit after that, and although "Part Time Lover" and "I Just Called To Say I Love You" were huge hits, they don't hold a candle to the great stuff mentioned earlier. If you're a casual Wonder fan and simply want the biggest hits over the course of his long career, this is for you. But a strong case can be made for the brilliant compilation "Musiquarium." Then go back and find a reasonably priced collection of his 1960's work. There won't be any overlap, and you'll have all the essential Stevie without any of his lesser works.

5-0 out of 5 stars The definitive Steve Wonder htis collection...for now...
The first collection of Stevie Wonder hits came out in 1968, when he was still a teenager. Of course, as a pre-teen "Little" Stevie gave Motown its first #1 album. In retrospect 1968 turned out to be a pivotal year in Wonder's career, which began covering Ray Charles songs and whose first hit "Fingertips, Part 2" actually came as a pre-teen, because that was the year he finally started writing most of the songs on his album (e.g., "My Cherie Amour"). The Wonder years definitively come in the early Seventies when he was putting out albums like "Music of My Mind," "Talking Book," "Innervisions," and "Songs in the Key of Life." This explains why the middle part of this collection is the best. Stevie Wonder is one of those artists where an album like this presenting his best work should give you impetus to go check out his best albums. Certainly there are artists where a good hits collection is all you need to have in your music library, but Stevie Wonder would not be one of those artists whose distinctive blend of odd riffs, incessant modulations and unpredictable melodies take advantage of his three-octave range. Yes, if you have but one Stevie Wonder album "The Definitive Collection" would be the one to get, but you should also explore at least the middle pair of the above referenced quartet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection
Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection~ Stevie Wonder is an amazing collection from a very tallented songwriter and musician. He is intelligent yet not prententious and seems to have great time making his music. A must have...

5-0 out of 5 stars 21 Songs To Adjust Your Mood
This collection is awesome!! Stevie Wonder's music remains timeless. 15 number 1 hits!! Plus 6 more that reigned at the top of the charts! Stevie Wonder's genius cannot be squashed into one CD but they did a GREAT job trying. We all may have our favorites, some have been left out BUT 21 Stevie songs is nothing to complain about. If you grew up with his music, this CD will transport you right back to that time, and leave you overjoyed. A time when EVERYBODY knew all the words to EVERY song, because EVERY cut on the album was great. If you were too young, you still won't be able to keep from groovin' to this CD. Invite some friends & family over. Through the burgers on the grill. Pop in this CD. Feet can't help but move, heads will be boppin', as everyone relaxes to Stevie Wonder's heart and soul he put into his music.

Also, the CD insert is worth reading. A good bit of trivia that they included was how each song rated on the R&B, Pop and Adult Contemporary charts.

5-0 out of 5 stars left out a small number of good songs, but the rest is tight
Love this album, nearly every song is a gem ... Read more


3. Songs in the Key of Life
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Asin: B00004SZWD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1028
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Songs in the Key of Life (1976) was the highest high point of Stevie Wonder's career. More sprawling than Innervisions and Talking Book, this two-LP-plus-EP was also less of a consistent stunner than either of those masterworks. That Songs retains an enormous amount of visionary relevance, though, is demonstrated not only in Coolio's borrowing of "Pastime Paradise" as a template for "Gangsta's Paradise," but in the cold-as-ice synthesized string quartet of "Village Ghetto Land." This is Stevie, so naturally that cut's anger is balanced by the ultra-buoyant "I Wish," "Sir Duke," and "Another Star." The 2000 reissue boasts radically improved remastered sound. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (133)

4-0 out of 5 stars Digital Sound Defiles a Pop Classic
"Songs in the Key of Life" is truly Stevie Wonder's opus. It is hard to imagine this, having already fallen in love with "Talking Book" and "Innervisions." Many, including myself, consider it to be the greatest pop album ever recorded. It is just about the most magnificent, wide-ranging and deeply moving recording I've ever heard. This record truly displays the depth and integrity of Stevie's gifts as a composer, instrumentalist, vocalist and producer. His choice of musicians on this record (including Herbie Hancock, George Benson, and Greg Phillangaines) is of course top-notch. Musically and artistically it is a masterpiece on every conceivable level. However, I am saying all of this of the original recording, not the one you see here.

I have been trying for some time now to dispell the notion that digital remastering somehow enhances the quality of an older record. I have heard remasters that were excellent, and I think for recordings of the 1950's and 60's vintage they can improve the overall fidelity of early stereo. However, Stevie's albums in the early and mid 70's were also masterpieces of recording technology. I have such fond memories of hearing this record on LP and being so entranced by the warmth and intimacy of the sound. Analog masters sound as though the musicians are with you in the room! Many new recordings lack this quality, sounding sterile and reproduced. I was greatly disappointed with this particular remaster, as well as all of the Stevie Wonder remasters that were recently released by Motown. It sounds to me as if someone simply compressed all of the waves and then cranked up the treble about a hundred notches. Some of the cymbal crashes on this record left my ears ringing, I can't understand why so many people prefer to listen to this.

Having come of age after the advent of CDs, I feel I am being as objective as one can be. I think this is not simply an issue of preference, or analog vs. digital. I think this about preserving and respecting the original 'voice' of the record. Stevie Wonder, in addition to all of his musical accomplisments, was a master producer. He knew what he wanted to hear, and when I listen to the original recording I am so stimulated by the entire sonic experience. There are textures and nuances in many of the layers (especially the intricate bass lines and synth work) that have been obscured by the high frequency, high compression sound format that has somehow become the standard. I am afraid that the fascination with technological advancement has superceded the pure listening experience, and it's disappointing.

Nevertheless, the music speaks for itself. I would only advise that those who wish to hear the album how it was intended to be heard in 1976 buy the original.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Isn't Music. This Is History.
For those who care to know, this is my 1,000th review (ladies and gentlemen, please hold your applause!), and I thought it'd be a good idea to revisit Stevie Wonder's still-influential masterpiece "Songs in the Key of Life." Yeah, he's turned in other classics, and I'm also fond of "Music of My Mind" and "Hotter Than July," but "Songs..." ranks up there with "The Beatles" and Prince's "Sign o the Times" as one of the greatest double albums ever released. I still have the original vinyl edition (left to me by my late father), and very little of the material sounds dated, but all of it ranges from "excellent" to "even better." Wonder is most effective when he sings about love, as evidenced on the still-groovy "As" (which George Michael and Mary J. Blige would later cover), the brilliant "Knocks Me off My Feet" (which Tevin Campbell would later cover), and the ever-memorable "Isn't She Lovely." Other songs that hold a place close to my heart are "Another Star," "Sir Duke," and the soaring "If it's Magic." More than a quarter century since its release, this album has lost none of its luster. A classic album as towering as "Songs in the Key of Life" isn't simply music. It's also history.

5-0 out of 5 stars So Lovely, So Funky
Beautiful, rich color and soul. Kicking up the blues into funk, improv, fusion, and prog. Huge fidelity recoding. Songs are so catchy and well-written. You'll be singing the songs before the first of the 2 discs are even finished. A masterpiece.

5-0 out of 5 stars I couldn't belive...
I walked in to record town with 40 dollars that fatefull day. Totaly disgusted with the music sceen today i drifted in to the back of the store. I looked through the artists and stevie wonder's name appeared. Suddenly somthing came over me and i had songs in the key of life in my hand and i was walking to the cash register. I don't know why i bought it, i don't know what came over me. All i know is that this is one of the best albums of all time. Trust me it wont dissapoint you at all, it will inspire you to do greater things. Don't think, just buy it.

Fav. Songs : Another Star, As, Knocks me off my feet, summer soft, sir duke, if it's magic, ebony eyes, isn't she lovely, have a talk with god, i wish, love's in need of love today, saturn, village ghetto land, pasttime paradsie.

THERE ALL EXCELENT!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars ignore songlife's review
it is apparent that u songlife have an incredibly foolish
nature when it comes down 2 stevie's important issues such
as slavery and race in his music. these are important topics
that need be addressed and stevie did it with truth and honesty.
if u r black-well then u r a brained washed negro. if u r white
u have never walked in black peoples shoes 2 understand the
painful effects of slavery and how it still affects black people
even 2day right now at this moment!if u r white, u would not

dare trade places with us black people because u couldn't handle
the stress,strife and racism that we black people have 2 endure
on a daily basis for over 450 years and counting.yes-songs like 'pastime paradise' and 'BLACK MAN'are essential and important 2 stevie's career-or betteryet 4 me and stevie 2 make u more upset about the issues of blacks being oppressed buy stevie's 1971 album 'where i'm coming from'and listen 2
'i wanna talk to you'or stevie's 1980 album-'hotter than july'
and listen 2 'cash in your face' or the track that stevie had
written and produced for the group third world called
'you're playing us too close' from the 1982 album
'you've got the power'/or the track 'its wrong'(apartheid)
from stevie's 1985 album,'in square circle'/or the track
'dark'n lovely' from stevie's 1987 album 'characters'/or the
track 'conversation peace' from stevie's 1995 album
'conversation peace'/now with all that being said i suggest 2u fool- stop living in a 'mickey mouse-disneyland'attitude
because racism is alive and well-because these issues are
important 2 stevie's music-YOU IGNORANT FOOL!!! ... Read more


4. Ultimate Collection
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Asin: B000001AMZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1379
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A brave effort at cramming one disc full of Temptations classics, The Ultimate Collection nevertheless makes a couple of puzzling choices. Why, for instance, include "Error of Our Ways," a very minor mid-'90s hit, and ignore "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" or "I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)," both number ones from their classic period? Still, for the price, it's hard to argue with. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Nice Sampling from a Classic Motown Act
The Temptations were wonderful. David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Otis Williams, and Melvin Franklin were a part of the original hit making lineup in the sixties. This CD has some good classics, but like said before; where's "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep"?! Do we really need "Error of Our Ways"?! That is hardly a great song. Otherwise, while listening to this CD it's good, but you still feel more needs to be there. A nice sampling though!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great Motown groups
This is not quite the ultimate Temptations collection, but it comes close. You could never fit all their great songs on one CD anyway, but the compilers were clearly determined to include some of their later recordings - the last three tracks on this CD. Angel doll, though recorded in 1967, was not one of their big hits - indeed, it was not even released at the time. The inclusion of these four tracks at the expense of real classics, including Beauty is only skin deep, devalues the title somewhat.

Despite the omissions, this is the best single-CD collection of Temptations music currently available and contains many familiar songs. It begins with The way you do the things you do. A big hit in America, it did not chart in Britain. I first came across the song via an excellent cover by Rita Coolidge, but the original version is impressive. Other classic sons here include My girl, Get ready, Ain't too proud to beg, I wish it would rain, Cloud nine, I can't get next to you, Ball of confusion, Just my imagination and Papa was a rolling stone.

Anybody seriously interested in sixties music in general and Motown in particular will enjoy the Temptations. Unless you want to go for a double-CD or a boxed set, this is the CD to choose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good sample of the soulful, tempting Temptations!
This is a terrific compilation from probably the best Motown act ever! Yes, there are few errors here: songs like "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep", "I Could Never Love Another After Loving You", "Loneliness Made Me Realize It's You That I Need", and "Psychedelic Shack" are missing. I think I can understand why Motown did what they decided to do with this. The Temptations were a really special group, and their musical output was beyond vast, both with their hits and misses. A wide overview of this output was given and not just stuck to the same era. That's why songs like "Treat Her Like A Lady", which is from the '80s, and "Error Of Our Ways", from the '90s is on here.
I don't why an a capella version of "My Girl" is here, though. If the four songs mentioned above were on this disc, it would be perfect running at nearly 80 minutes. Things were done to preserve continuity. All in all, you can't resist the temptation of purchasing "The Temptations: Ultimate Collection."

2-0 out of 5 stars It makes you cry...for the wrong reasons
For a serious Temptations fan (exempli gratia, ego) this is a pretty lousy and insufficient compilation. The pattern of lineups in this group can best compared to Lynard Skynard-there are so many flamin' line ups that it gets to the point where it's not the same group anymore; it's just the Temptations by name only. David Ruffin, Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, all of them gone. If you ask me, the real Temptations died the early 1970s. In place of indispensable gems of their golden years (id est, the REAL Temptations) such as "Slow Down Heart", "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep", "Just Let Me Know", etc. this "ultimate collection" includes mediocre, (relatively terrible) latter cuts such as "Error of Our Ways". If you endeavor the enchanted staggering, and soul-moving work buy their studio albums prior to 1976 like "Meet The Temptations" and "Temptations Sing Smokey"; the earlier the better. They are more rare, but they are worth the purchase. Also, almost any other Temptations hits compilation is way better. I give this one an extra star for the beautiful closing track, the acapella of "My Girl". It makes me cry and reminds me:

RIP TEMPTATIONS 1961-1976

5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE THE WAY YOU DO THINGS YOU DO
I SAW THE MOVIE THE TEMPTATIONS AND I THOGHT IT WAS GREAT!
I THINK THE WAY THINGS THE WAY YOU DO IS THE BEST SINGLE
THE EVER EVER MADE!!!!!!!!!! I THINK DAVID IS THE BEST
TEMPTATION!! ... Read more


5. Innervisions
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Asin: B00004S363
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2579
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great recordings of the century.
In his prime (c.1971-1982), Stevie Wonder produced a body of music that ranks among the most original, innovative and consistent ever created. As a composer, lyricist, drummer, keyboardist, harmonica virtuoso, producer and arranger, Stevie was the very epitome of the independent creative artist, and almost entirely self-sufficient at that. "Innervisions," along with 1972's magnificent "Talking Book," is arguably his finest hour. Nine extraordinary songs, with Stevie's finest set of lyrics to accompany his rich, intricate music and arrangements, display a true musical genius at his most intensely creative. "Innervisions" has been universally acclaimed as a landmark recording since it was released and it is easy to see why: there is nothing here short of excellent, and most of it is among Stevie's very best. And not only is the material virtually peerless, but Stevie's production was also unique--in addition to playing almost every instrument on the album, he was busy using synthesizers in ways no one else had ever imagined they could be used. If you buy only one Stevie Wonder record, let this be it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Arguably Stevie's Best
A friend first got me into Stevie, and now I own what you might term the five essential albums - Music of my Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness, and Songs in the Key of Life. After that, let's be honest, he turned into a pile of poop, but boy were the 70s a good decade. Each album is a fantastic record, and Innervisions is perhaps the best. Personally I favour SITKOL, as it is more varied and simply bombards you with musical genius on all sides.

Yet Innervisions is the greatest of the albums Stevie produced when he was doing pretty much all the stuff himself. He plays virtually everything on this record - listen to Living For the City, and you'll be amazed that he's playing every instrument. Whereas SITKOL has a proper 'big band' feel, because he brought in lots of other musicians and created a real wall of sound studio feel, Innervisions remains intimate and personal. That's what gives it its charm.

Unquestionably, these are 9 great songs. Plain and simple. Golden Lady is one of my favourites, a gorgeous song. But Too High is a great opener, All Is Fair in Love is a suitably over the top love ballad, Don't You Worry is a brilliant funky number, and Misstra Know It All (spelt like that because he just wanted to, and about his accountant, apparently) is fantastic, especially the growling finale. Stevie is also the master of the outro, and some can last for several minutes. Don't You Worry and Misstra are ones to look out for here is you are a fan of the over indulgent fade out (as I am). But SITKOL really has the monopoly on outros, and if you're a real connosieur, that's the album for you - look out for As and Another Star in particular, though Isn't She Lovely, Black Man and Summer Soft also clock in impressive repeated choruses.

Stevie is an idiosyncratic musician. Listen to the six second pause on Visions, where he says 'everything must have an ending' before coming back with the next line - geddit?! That's what makes him appeal to me. He has more talent in his sunglasses than most popstars have in the combined body mass of them and their hundred-strong entourage. This is a great album, with immaculate instrumentalism, superb lyrics, that fantastic voice which can do seemingly anything, and funky, groovy, melodic tunes. You should buy this, and then move onto other Stevie terrority, according to taste.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank You Stevie
"Innervisions" quenches my musical thirst. At thirty years old, it is beyond categorization and is a stellar album on so many levels. It is a marvel of studio production. The music is outstanding and (with the exception of a few instruments) is all played by Stevie. It has so much depth, but is so well put together. I frequently pick up on little nuances I hadn't noticed before. The vocals are unbelievable. Stevie Wonder has a beautiful voice with an amazing range and great control. On "Innervisions" he shows that he knows just how to use it and how not to. It's something that you just don't hear from today's popular singers and that is a shame. What I think makes this album so phenomenal and separates it from so many others is the songwriting. So often great music lacks lyrical substance or vice versa. Such is not the case here. The content is insightful, spiritual, socially relevant and presented in a creative and coherent way. It all comes together in nine songs at around 45 minutes. Of all the great albums I have ever listened to this one is my absolute favorite. I would like to thank Stevie Wonder for giving the world this timeless musical treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stevie's Best
This is easily Stevie Wonder's best CD. Though his previous "breakout album" Talking Book did have some innovative tunes, to me it was hindered by a few overly sappy love songs. "Key of Life" is a great album, but isn't as concise. There is only one traditional love song on Innervisions ("All is Fair in Love" is a sad reflection on relationships, but certainly not a romantic ballad). Here's a track by track analysis

1) Too High: Jazzy cautionary tale about drug abuse and its consequences, but subtle enough not to be overtly preachy. It captures the feeling of an addict who exists only to "touch the sky" but never gets there. Outstanding drumming by Stevie (yes, he plays the DRUMS too!!).

2) Visions: Utterly stunning in its beauty. The acoustic guitar work is second to none.

3) Living for the City: The "epic" of the CD describes the tribulations of a man raised in poverty in the South only to find more poverty upon his migration to the city. Yeah, the interlude section is a little cheesy, but still effective and with great vocals as always.

4) Golden Lady: I love how this song keeps going up a key in the end, which signifies the yearning of the singer for his lady. What a great love song.

5) Higher Ground: Once again, outstanding drums and a very funky beat. Like most in my generation, I heard the RHCP cover first (which is a decent interpretation), but it didn't take long to me to realize that this is the definitive verision.

6) Jesus Children of America: Stevie boldly confronts religious fundamentalists, junkies, and even the listener, challenging all to "come clean," all while being backed by insistent gospel harmonies.

7) All is Fair in Love: Laced with agony and pain, Stevie teaches us all about the difficulties of a romantic relationship.

8) Don't You Worry Bout a Thing: A great song about being there to support a friend who is going through a transitional period. Very comforting.

9) Mista Know-It-All: Some think this song is a bash on President Nixon; others interpret it as a stern message against arrogant street hustlers who are looking to corrupt inner-city youth. However you interpret it, it is certainly an effective kiss-off and a creative way to end the album (as opposed to ending it with a sappy love song).

People who have only ever heard "Part Time Lover" may have a hard time accepting Stevie Wonder as a genuine artist, but trust me and the other reviewers, this CD is different. You will not regret buying it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Visions of a Prime Stevie
Stevie Wonder was established as a major talent by 1973, with his previous two albums 'Music Of My Mind' and 'Talking Book' he had abandoned the shackles of Motowns pop-soul hit machine shackles to craft inventive funky and soulful albums in his own unique & distinctive style.

The 3rd album in this vein was 'Innervisions', which has to be one of the mans crowning achievements. 'Livin' For The City' still sounds titanic, an awesome number, as is 'Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing' and the opening 'Too High'. Not only was the mans music incredibly funky but he was now covering issues such as social ills and politics. The closing 'He's Mr Know-It-All' is an enjoyable piano-led groove, and with so many classic cuts on one album this in itself could run like a Best Of record. Theres a nice vibe that runs through this album and the production is real high quality.

This is his 3rd essential in a row, and you have to admire the work of Stevie Wonder what an incredible back catalogue this guy was able to create in the 70s. ... Read more


6. The #1's
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Asin: B0000DD575
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2748
Average Customer Review: 3.97 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In the path of enormously popular collections of number one singles by Elvis and the Beatles comes this crammed (seconds shy of the 80-minute mark) disc from another pop-culture icon, Diana Ross & the Supremes. 14 Diana Ross/Supremes tracks appear in some of their most vivid sound ever, while the post-Ross Supremes get their due with "Stoned Love." Ross’ Hollywood years make for the weakest music here ("Touch Me in the Morning," "Endless Love"), but disco smashes "Upside Down," "I’m Coming Out," and "The Boss" prove as smart, canny, and enduring as Supremes 45s like "You Keep Me Hangin’ On" and "Reflections." The contemporary, yet already dated, remix of "Hangin’ On" at album’s end suggests, in fact, that Ross might make one more dance-floor comeback if paired with the right behind-the-scenes team. Basement Jaxx, anyone? --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (67)

5-0 out of 5 stars Supremely Amazing, Supremely Different
Looking to start your Diana Ross and The Supremes collection? This is THE CD to do it with. Already got the hits? Well, you need this too, because the versions are different, and better than ever!

This collection is amazing and worth every penny. Unlike other compilations that have been remastered, the first 15 songs on this compilation have been REMIXED from their original 3, 8, and 16 multi-track session tapes! For those who don't know, remastering and remixing are very different. Now the songs are crystal clear, have longer fades, and the mixes are a vast improvement. They sound like they were recorded yesterday!

Another reviewer inaccurately wrote that the versions between older compilations are indistinguishable, but he is so wrong. The differences are like night and day. I guarantee it!

Harry Weinger, Andrew Skurow, Jeff Moskow and Suha Gur did an incredible job on this compilation. They must be fans because the proof is in the results. I like their past compilations on Diana Ross (The Motown Anthology, diana - Deluxe Edition, To Love Again), and the Supremes (DR&S Anthology, The '70s Anthology, Rodgers And Hart), but this time, they've outdone themselves. Thank you guys, and keep up the great work!

This collection is wonderful! It includes the best #1 hits, and a few that were #1 on dance charts, AC charts, R&B charts, and regional charts. They even mention other number ones that wouldn't fit on the single disc and TELL YOU where you can find them!

Finally, the Almighty remix is incredible. It has club hit written all over it. These guys have done the best remixes on Cher, Elton John and JLo.

Again, this is the perfect set to to have. You won't be disappointed! Buy it now!

5-0 out of 5 stars NEW AND OLD, YET STILL A CLASSIC
This collection is fabulous, and here's why:
1. This collection is strictly the number ones (Pop, R&B, AC and Dance). If you want just one collection in a neat package, this is it.

2. The songs are newly mixed for clarity and many songs have extended fades. The songs actually sound better than any other collection out there, and not slightly, the differences are truly amazing. One cannot hear the difference on a streaming download, the proof is in the purchase.

3. For those purists who want original mixes, or perhaps more hits than exist here, there are MANY Supremes collections currently available: The Ultimate Collection (Mono masters), Anthology (Stereo masters on 2 CD sets for DR&S, 70s Supremes and Diana solo), a box set, and countless others.

4. Some people are giving this CD less than 5 stars because they want the original albums (there are over 30). I don't think this CD deserves to be penalized this way. Besides, Motown's new Hip-O select line will surely re-introduce several of these albums in the near future, I look forward to it.

Bottom line: Buy this CD, it's well worth every penny...and what a great price!

1-0 out of 5 stars The New Motown Is To Blame
First of all, let me say that if nothing else the cover is beautiful and the pictures were enjoyable. I'm a young woman, however the songs that were released on this album are the same songs that I have always indenifed with the Supremes and have therefore been on compilation after compilation. Where are the previously unreleased tracks? As a buyer, this is the last time I will be sucker to nice packaging & promotion by the likes of Motown. Give us the gems that haven't seen the light of day and it would be nice to keep the ones that are already known in tact! Some of this material was downright butchered.

4-0 out of 5 stars The new mixes are Supreme! BUT --
Tracks 1 thru 14 on this CD are amazing. Track 15 is not as good as the original. Track 24 is fantastic (the new dance remix!)

BUTT - What about tracks 16 thru 23 - the Diana solo #1's???

These are unfortunately BADLY REMASTERED. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" is not the wonderful mono single mix that appears on "The Motown Anthology" or even the stereo single mix from "Motown Year-By-Year: 1970". It is a murky, muddled mess that sounds like it was culled from one of the old 80s CDs.

"Touch Me In The Morning" is - criminally - the early fade rather than the sublime long fade (3:52) that first appeared on "All The Great Hits" and was mixed and remastered by Paul Elmore.

"I'm Coming Out" is slightly SPED UP! It is actually noticeable upon listening. The best mix of the single mix is to be found on the "Disco Years: Vol. 4", remastered by the guru Bill Inglot. And for the best remastered single mix of "Upside Down", you must get "Billboard #1 Dance Hits: 1980", also remastered by Bill Inglot!

Ultimately, while most of the new 1960s Supremes mixes are exciting and pleasing on the ear, the Diana Ross solo mixes on this CD are shoddy. The Diva deserves better!

5-0 out of 5 stars Diana Ross and the Supremes the #1's
I buy every every Diana Ross and the Supremes Package because Holland Dozier Holland produced the greatest songs of the 1960s.The Supremese remain tyhe best charting group in American history. 19 top ten hits including 12 number one hits in just eight years.The HDH team is the greatest American-born composers of the Rock Era., and maybe their race is the cause of them never getting grammys. All together HDH produced and wrote 12 number 1 and 27 top ten hits in four years. Only Lennon and McCartney surpass them. Each song is memorable and delicious. The remix of "You Keep Me Hangin'On" is worth buying the disc by itself. I liked some of the new re-mixes of the other songs. Diana's music was an addied bonus. Imagine what could be done with other songs by the Supremes if remixed with some verve and nerve? Each song is good,it is too bad that there were not more re-mixes. They are Supreme angels of 1960s and 1970s Rock and Soul. They just keep me and all their other loyal fans hanging on for the next re-issue. These sisters were aand are the paragons of glamour and good taste. Nobody will be unhappy with this package. The Diana Ross song are classy anbd remind us that before BET African Americans could be romantic and funky and en vogue without looking, dressing, and singing like self-hating stereotypes of demimondain in black-face. The showman ship and dedication to excellence with always made new fans for these girls from the Brewster Projects. They will never be replaced given the current crop of performers with no respect for themselve or their race. ... Read more


7. At the Close of a Century
list price: $59.98
our price: $53.99
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Asin: B00003002I
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2695
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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At the Close of a Century may seem a rather portentous title for a box set, even one showcasing the work of such a formidable writer-performer as Stevie Wonder. Consider, though, that these discs appear a few months before Wonder's 50th birthday and that he's already spent 36 years making records; he has more right than most to get a little highfalutin when invoking temporal milestones. Despite various retrospectives over the years, Close is the first to cover the arc of Wonder's entire career. By the end of the first disc we've heard his early Motown hits and watched him develop into the masterful artist who'd go on to stack up landmark album after landmark album in the '70s. (Aretha Franklin's Wonder-penned hit "Until You Come Back to Me" is here in a rare version by the composer.) The string of LPs from Talking Book (1972) to Hotter Than July (1980) provides gem after gem on the two middle CDs--with all of 1973's Innervisions save one cut represented--while post-"Master Blaster" winners such as "That Girl" and "Overjoyed" are the meat of the final disc. Add a smart booklet of essays, photos, and a discography, and this handsome package starts to look like a sharp addition to the collections of even hard-core Stevie buffs. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (96)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Boxed Sets EVER!
Too often, record labels spend an inordinate amount of time planning how a boxed set LOOKS, but not what makes it up. Witness the many sets loaded with lame-o live cuts of songs you love, rare B-sides few people outside hardcore fans remember or demos made when the artist was still in diapers. In the case of Stevie Wonder, there had never been a single or double disc CD set that accurately covered the breadth of the man's career. And make no mistake, Wonder was that rarest of performers: his appeal crossing generational lines (from the sixties to the nineties), musical lines (name me one seventies rock fan who doesn't rock out to "Superstition") and commercial/experimental lines (his seventies albums employed synthesizers in innovative ways). His songs retain their magic, charm, boldness and genuine soul easily, effortlessly and with true-born genius. Likewise, Motown's usual short-changings (inferior sound remastering, single vs. album cuts, short-shrift booklets) are set aside here to paint a vivid portrait of a seminal modern music figure. Taken in this context, it's easy (and logical) to list Wonder alongside the 20th century's finest singer-songwriters: Bob Dylan, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Lennon-McCartney, Noel Coward. From the Little Stevie Wonder years ("Fingertips") to the seminal pre-rap seventies funk-rock workouts ("Living For The City") to his unquestionable skills as a balladeer ("I Just Called To Say I Love You"), this 4-disc collection is, simply put, one of the best boxed sets ever produced. Absolutely essential!

4-0 out of 5 stars FRONT LINE pushed to the back of the line once again...
At first glance I was impressed with the wide spectrum of songs included. Maybe Stevie deserves more that just a quartet of discs. (As an example, upon opening up his vast back-log of unreleased material in boxed set form, Springsteen ended up rush-releasing his "TRACKS" album, to collect ommitted trax).

None the less, as I read the reviews from AMAZON customers I could not help but note the number of gross ommisions. Granted, you can't please everyone, but over the course of 4 discs, you'd think you could hit the mark on every major cut.

My Personal Plee was for the extended 12" mix of FRONTLINE that I own in album form, but I would have settled for a single version. With its riveting groove and strong lyrical message, you would have thot its unclusion a no-brainer.

It is a bit unfair to dock the 312 minute marathon a star for one left out song but as I add up the number of complaints, I think there are some missing moments here (DON'T DRIVE DRUNK, ALFIE, and so on).

Maybe a live, rarities and B-sides disc is in the works, but the great, great early to mid-sixties Moptown cuts are so, so wonderful, it's a shame Little Stevie does not think as much about his past (he had Motown pull the 3-LP LOOKING BACK anthology from disctribution).

I wish those would come back once more...

5-0 out of 5 stars WONDERful
This is truly the best Box set and retrospective I have ever bought. This is well worth the money. I love how it starts from his early work and ends at his most recent work. I love every CD. Motown did a fabulous job in collecting Stevie's work and giving it to his fans. I am elated when I put all the disk in my player and listen for hours. I love the booklet, that is included. It is wonderful when you learn more about an artist and this gives you exactly that.
Thank you Motown for such awesome work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Closest Thing To A True Retrospective!
There are other "Greatest Hit" collections for Stevie Wonder but this one is probably the best one! It has nearly everything from the beginning of his career up until the mid-90's! True, it'll miss a song or two but overall, you can't complain! Get it! Worth the money!

5-0 out of 5 stars TOTALLY WODER-FULL
The ultimate collection of Stevie Wonder's work. Every song brings back memories and stays strong for today's market. If you have to own one of Stevie Wonder's CDs, this is the one to get. ... Read more


8. The Ultimate Collection [1998]
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B000001AOH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2101
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' 25-cut disc is the single mostimpressive one of Motown's Ultimate Collection series (which features 17artists). Combining Smokey's endlessly inventive twists on romance (good andbad) with the Miracles' handful of straight-up party hits, it showcases one ofAmerican pop's most sure-footed and touching acts. The frontman's prowess assinger, writer, and producer lights up each of these single mixes;less-celebrated tracks like "My Girl Has Gone," "(You Can) Depend on Me," and"The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage" stand as tall as the many oldies-radiostaples featured here. (For much more, including "Mirage's" unstoppable flipside, "Come Spy with Me," check out the four-disc 35th Anniversary box set.)Robinson and his collaborators, both in and out of the group, regularly injectedundeniable emotion into their creamy constructions, making for a stack of tracksthat remain as relevant as the contemporary creations of fans Lennon-McCartney and Bob Dylan.--Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars No question about it....still the best collection available
Checked out all of the other available offerings on amazon.com and found that this is still the best available collection from one of the pioneer groups at Motown. And the price is right too. Although Smokey Robinson and the Miracles were never on Motown's "A" team in terms of chart success, they were nonetheless a reliable money maker for the label for over a decade. Lead singer Smokey Robinson, who wrote all but three of the selections on this disc, has long been regarded as one of America's greatest tunesmiths. From the first big smash "Shop Around" released in 1960 until their the final #1 hit "Tears of A Clown" in 1970, the Miracles were on the charts almost continuously. You'll find nearly all of their hits on this 25 track disc. Among my personal favorites are 1967's "More Love" and "Baby, Baby Don't Cry" from 1969. It is really quite amazing that the Miracles did not achieve even more chart success then they did. Thanks to the masterful pen of Smokey Robinson, the group had a seemingly endless supply of material to work with. Alas, Smokey left the Miracles and went solo in 1972. The Miracles went on to have a couple of more big hits over the next few years. And Smokey enjoyed some chart success on his own as well. In looking over some of the other reviews here on amazon.com the verdict is virtually unanimous. This is a five star selection!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC MOTOWN
Smokey Robinson is what Bob Dylan described as "the greatest living poet". Whether you agree or disagree, this compilation album easily gives you an understanding of that statement as the vast majority of these tracks remain stunningly unique!Robinsons' vocals are crystal claear throughout and the best of the hits include their first single release, SHOP AROUND, YOU'VE REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME, I SECOND THAT EMOTION and the two very fine classics that are possibly their very best cuts (certainly amongst their most famous), THE TRACKS OF MY TEARS and THE TEARS OF A CLOWN. The classic sound of Motown was defined by groups like Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Robinson was one of the most talented songwriters at Motown. He produced most of Diana Ross and the Supremes early recordings as well as major hits for The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes (their 1972 FLOY JOY album). An excellent compilation from one of Motowns best groups!

5-0 out of 5 stars Undeniably "miraculous!"
Certainly, a fitting compilation of the group's best songs! These aren't all in chronological order like some of the other "Ultimate Collections" are. That shouldn't detract from your enjoyment, though. That matters the least. I don't thank Motown missed anything when this was being put together. For someone young, I know Smokey and the Miracles well, and there are some songs I never heard of. Those were remarkable, too. It felt like the disc was never going to end. 25 songs is a perfect line-up. This is certainly one of the best Motown "Ultimate Collections." Second my emotion, for it's worth your while!

5-0 out of 5 stars being related to Smokey's best friend makes this even cooler
Smokey Robinson is best friends with my grandpa, Ronald Welser.
I got to hear this pre-release due to this fact.
It is awesome.
Buy it NOW if you like Smokey.

5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting Motown group
In Britain, Smokey and the Miracles are remembered primarily for two songs, these being Tracks of my tears (later revived by Linda Ronstadt) and Tears of a clown, but they were more successful in their homeland. Among their American hits to be found on this collection are I second that emotion (later revived by the Supremes and Temptations), Shop around (later revived by Captain and Tennille), Mickey's monkey and You've really got a hold on me. All of those hits came in the early sixties, before Motown's success spread internationally.

Smokey was a prolific songwriter, but as the sixties progressed, he gave many of his best songs to other Motown acts, so hits for his own group tended to be smaller and fewer. The last significant American hits they had together were If you can wait, which just missed the American top ten in 1968, and Tears of a clown, which was actually released on an album in 1967 but became a transatlantic number one in 1970. So their biggest hit came at a time when they were a fading attraction. It did not revive their career, which ended as a unit with 1972's We've come too far to end it now.

A separate compilation in the same series is available of Smokey's solo recordings with Motown. Being with you and other solo gems can be found on that compilation. So, this excellent collection of their best songs together includes all the essentials, something that cannot be said of all the compilations in this series. ... Read more


9. The Very Best of Marvin Gaye [Motown 2001]
list price: $21.98
our price: $17.99
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Asin: B00005LZT9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1186
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Another Marvin Gaye overview/introduction? Why not? Pullingtogether the usual hits from "I'll Be Doggone" to "Grapevine," "What'sGoing On" to "Let's Get It On" to "Sexual Healing"--all musts for anyR&B or pop fan--this two-CD set also offers treats for the Marvinconnoisseur. Foremost are the previously unreleased "Where Are WeGoing?" which marries Nixon-era (and beyond) social concerns to alilting groove that brings to mind Spinners records ofthe period, and an alternate mix of Gaye's rare version of "His Eye Ison the Sparrow." Very Best also pays proper tribute to Gaye'sfinal years at Motown with the full 11-plus minutes of the intensely,casually funky "Got to Give It Up," Here, My Dear'ssmoldering "Anger," and several tracks from the under-heard LoveMan/In Our Lifetime sessions. More than just aprofit-generating package from the parent company, it's a loving, roundedselection that's sure to widen newcomers' perceptions of a greatartist's creativity and spirit. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mercy, Mercy Me these discs are a great compilation
Marvin Gaye wrote the book of Motown. He brought style. He brought millions of fans to his side, and to Motown. His music has come in handy lately in the hard times America is going through right. His song "What's going on" was done by twenty or so artists in different ways and made into a cd benefiting victims of September 11. Remember the crazy clothing, the high platform boots. Remember his music. Remember him. Think what one song has done to help our nation. This cd brings out all his qualities. His first disc of the pair portrays the love appeal with 'Ain't no mountain high enough', "I heard it through the grapevine' and 'To busy thinkin' 'bout my baby' and others. The second disc has more insightful, deep songs like 'Inner City Blues' 'Where are we going' and 'What's going on'. It has the sex appeal in 'Let's get it on' and 'Sexual Healing'. And of course the a girl-heartthrob song 'Distant Lover' This awesome album brings out the best attributes in the legendary Marvin Gaye.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Definitive, Fantastic¿ the best ever Compilation
What can I say. There has never been such a beautiful Marvin Gaye compilation. I've owned every LP, CD and DVD. This is the nicest thing I've ever seen on Marvin. But nuff about me. The sound quality on this-the remastering-is sensational in every way. I hear things I never heard on songs like "Grapevine," "Hitch Hike," "You," "What's Going On," "Inner City Blues," the list goes on. Also offered here for the first time are two previously unreleased songs. The newly discovered "Where Are We Going?" and the alternate version of the rare gem "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." Plus other rarities like the single only releases "You're The Man" and "Ego-Tripping Out." Another MAJOR point is that aside from the out-of-print boxed set "The Master," the is the only Motown compilation that has the CBS track-and final masterpiece from MG- "Sexual Healing." So you get EVERY HIT on these double CD set. Deluxe, beautiful digipak packaging (with photos I have never seen before) done by the same guys who brought us the other jewel of the year, "What's Going On (Deluxe Edition)." These are by far the best Marvin Gaye releases ever. Pick the latter up if you haven't done that yet. You will LOVE the unreleased, new song "Where Are We Going?" It sounds like it was recorded yesterday. The wonderful essay by Gaye biographer (and "Sexual Healing" author) David Ritz should not be overlooked. very refreshing. This CD is for all ages and colors.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Marvin Gaye Retrospective
It took Motown nearly 20 years to finally get it right, and release the first career spanning collection of Marvin Gaye's music. It begs the question one question, however: what took them so long? Marvin Gaye was arguably the most influential rhythm and blues artist of his generation and this moderately priced 29 track double C.D. is the best retrospective of Gaye's work. It is the only "Best of" CD that will aquaint the casual fan with the scope of Marvin's career. There are some unreleased treats for the collector, but the avid fan will want it because it's the first comprehensive set of Marvin's hits since the refinement of digital technology. Many of Marvin's early hits were actually mixed through car radio speakers, so they would sound good on an AM car radio, which was the primary method of marketing music in the early sixties. The muddy mixes of many of Marvin's early hits are cleaned up, and the upper and lower registers of don't "bleed" into mid range sounds.

Marvin Gaye acquired and lost three monetary fortunes during his 23 year musical career. Each time Marvin was confronted with failure, he successfully reinvented himself and gained an even wider following. He became the first black popular music performer to gain complete artistic control over his work, which laid a blueprint for independence to guide other black artists, most notably fellow Motown musician, Stevie Wonder. Marvin Gaye introduced topical and political commentary into his music with his transcendental 1971 album, "What's Going On." Curtis Mayfield may have predated Gaye in the use of social commentary, but no album produced, before or since, has carried the stunning immediacy of "What's Going On." It has become an artistic benchmark by which all other musical accomplishments have been measured.

"The Very Best of Marvin Gaye" doesn't overlook any aspect of Marvin's multifaceted career. The dapper young star of the Motown stable with a string of AM radio hits, his successful pairing with Tami Terrell and Kim Weston for duet albums, his stellar 1970s career as both a protest artist and singer of jazz infused love ballads and his final incarnation as the sleek singer of "Sexual Healing" in his trademark smoking jacket. Marvin Gaye lived in an era that produced the most talented rhythm and blues singers in history. In the ten year span from 1963 until 1973 artists like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Al Green were either emerging or established performers.

Despite all of his personal demons, Marvin Gaye's career spanned well into the 1980s, when most of his peers from the golden age of soul had either died prematurely or had developed a formulatic approach by using the same production template for every album. Marvin refused to use a cookie cutter approach. Marvin Gaye wasn't afraid of taking chances, reinventing himself and redefining his artistry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent career-spanning compilation
This comprehensive collection contains all Marvin's important American hits as well as highlighting other aspects of his music, including his political songs of the seventies. His British hits were sometimes different from his American hits. Three UK top ten hits are missing, though as this is an American compilation, there is no reason why they should have been included. Abraham Martin and John was an American hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - perhaps it was felt that Marvin's version was better for the UK market. You are everything, a duet with Diana Ross, made the UK top five. Onion song, a duet credited as being with Tammi Terrell but recorded with a stand-in, made the UK top ten.

The classic American hits (not all of which charted in Britain) are all here including Can I get a witness, How sweet it is, I'll be doggone, Ain't that peculiar, I heard it through the grapevine, Too busy thinking about my baby, That's the way love is. What's going on, Mercy mercy me, Trouble man, Let's get it on and Got to give it up. Some of his duets are here, too, including Ain't no mountain high enough, Your precious love, If I could build my whole world around you, Ain't nothing like the real thing, You're all I need to get by (all with Tammi Terrell) and It takes two (with Kim Weston).

Marvin always considered himself a balladeer like Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole rather than a typical R+B singer, but his early attempts to establish himself in this role were not a success. Eventually, he did gain acceptance as a balladeer after proving that he could do the R+B material - compare his definitive version of I heard it through the grapevine with the Gladys Knight version, released a year earlier. Marvin actually recorded the song before Gladys but Berry Gordy initially rejected his version. It shows what perseverance can do.

Marvin once again had Berry Gordy worried when he completed his anti-Vietnam album, What's going on. Motown had always been primarily a singles label so this album was completely alien to the marketing department, although it appears that many people at Motown loved it. Once again, Marvin was right. The album was a huge success and three of its tracks are here - they are the first three on CD 2.

This double-CD is a nice introduction to the music of Marvin Gaye, one of the finest soul singers of the twentieth century.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Very Best of Marvin Gaye
probably one of the very best of all cds, ever. ... Read more


10. Talking Book
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B00004S36A
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3867
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars Long Over-due Remastering Worth The Wait
At Last!Stevie Wonder's four "70's Power Albums" get a serious digital makeover.For years the CDs sounds as if they're from a fourth generation master,let alone the original album packaging being chopped up for its smaller predecessor.After hearing At The Close Of A Century and it remastered sound on many tracks,the treatment for Talking Book was around the corner.Not only does it sounds as if I'm in Electric Lady studios(among others) but the packaging includes the original notes,lyrics as well as the translation of the braile message originally inside the gatefold.As for the songs,the clavinets sounds more squashy(Maybe Your Baby)and sinister(Superstition),while the synths on Blame It On The Sun(my favorite song of all time)makes the sadness prevelent in the songs lyrics even more deeper.The jazz inflections in You've Got It Bad Girl and Lookin' For Another Pure Love sound sharper now making you wish Stevie play this type of music more often.You & I ,already remastered for the recent boxed set finally does away with the left channel glitch after the "Don't Worry What Happens To Me"line.Kudos to Harry Weinger for his research as well as Kevin Reeves for his remastering job.Now Talking Book speaks in a more beautiful sound.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stevie Wonder- Talking Book (1972, Universal)
Musical genius Stevie has made himself even more popular with the song 'You Are the Sunshine of My Life' & 'Superstition', but the main highlight songs here are 'You And I', 'Youve Got it Bad, Girl', 'Lookin For Another Pure Love' & 'Blame it On the Sun'. Almost with the same mood as "Music of My Mind" with some depressing, slow songs, Talking Book is the second Stevie CD in my collection and I love the album very much. It's very good and, like usual, is full of powerful messages, but not like 'Innervisions'. More people prefer "Innervisions" & "Songs in the Key of Life". My personal favorites are "You've Got it Bad, Girl", "You and I" & "Blame it on the Sun". "Blame it on the Sun" is the saddest song ever made in music history (with "Hero of Heroes" from the "Swordsman 2" movie starring Jet Li as being the second saddest song) & I cry and get very emotional every time I hear "Blame it on the Sun"!

5-0 out of 5 stars Stevie on 'The Next Level'
Having finally been allowed the freedom to record the kind of music he wanted to with 1971s 'Music Of My Mind', Stevie Wonder came back in 1972 to build on that foundation with 'Talking Book'.

This album is another great capsule of Wonders inventive & individual style. The man really had a style all to himself back then & with this album takes himself to the next level. 'You Are The Sunshine Of My Life' is a classic love groove that kicks things off, and 'Superstition' rides one of the greatest guitar riffs that was ever recorded. From front to back the production is awesome, slick keyboard melodies & guitars, with bongo-based beats. My personal cut has to be the bouncy 'Maybe Your Baby', a great fonk number. 'Big Brother' is another inventive cut with its heavy drums and harmonica based groove.

Stevie Wonders sound is just undeniable to me. The man created an awesome body of work in the 70s and this is another of those classic Must Own albums.

5-0 out of 5 stars It don't get much better than this.
If you don't have this in your collection, BUY THIS ALBUM!!!

And then go straight to track 9 - Looking for another love.
If only I could write stuff like this. The structure and composition of this album is pure genius. Obviously Stevie was going through a tough time when he made this album, and every emotion comes through when he sings.

I love this album. It's one of those albums that you just never get tired of playing.

5-0 out of 5 stars I believe...
I first became interested in this music upon hearing the closing track to the film "High Fidelity," which is "I believe (&c)," the last track on this disc as well. I had heard "Superstition" before on the radio, and I liked the sound of that track as well. So I sprung for it, and it has become one of my favorite records (I orginally got it on vinyl, then on CD) of all time. While people tell me that "Innervisions" is the one essential Stevie release, with "Songs in the Key of Life" in second place, I put this one above both. It sounds rawer than either, more unpredictable, yet with a nice studio polish that can be expected from Stevie's work. It's a rock album as much as it is a soul album, and it can also be deeply political ("Big Brother" has new relevancy in the age of the erosion of our civil rights). It's full of feeling, love and creativity. It's really too bad Stevie couldn't keep this quality up after "Key of Life," but the fact that anyone could produce an album this consistently good is amazing. It's in my top-ten list folks, and may be in yours if you give it a chance. ... Read more


11. What's Going on
list price: $9.98
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Asin: B00007FOMP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2069
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (114)

5-0 out of 5 stars Like Ali, it's the greatest!
I've owned this cd for 3 years and it can't be touched. I'm 27 and I listen to all kinds of music from pop/rock like Rod Stewart to serious rap like N.W.A./ Dr. Dre, old stuff like Chuck Berry to newer stuff like Eminem. However this album is the best. I heard Inner City Blues when I was in high school and went and bought his greatest hits. Then a few years later I heard this album and I was amazed. The songs flow from one into the other, the messages are all good and hey, Marvin is one of the best voices we'll ever hear. Rarely do you get an album that every song is good; actually maybe only this album and Michael Jackson's Thriller (remember that's why Thriller is the best selling album ever). It's funny though, after watching that music special that appeared on all the channels after the World Trade Center attack I thought someone would sing What's Going On, but noone did. However, a few weeks later a few singers together released a version, but nothing compares to the original. Right on Marvin.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's More Relevant Now Than Ever.
Having just approached the one year anniversary of September 11, I'd thought it be a good idea to revisit Marvin Gaye's 1971 masterpiece, "What's Going On." Originally recorded as a commentary of the socially turbulent 1960s, "What's Going On" has lost none of its power after more than thirty years, and its messages still possess relevance in today's climate. Gaye addresses the environment ("Mercy Mercy Me"), the future of our children ("Save the Children"), and war (the title track). The brilliant finale "Inner City Blues (Makes Me Want to Holler)" obviously wasn't written in reference to the WTC attacks, but I can imagine many people relating to the frustration and anger with which Gaye sings this song. But "What's Going On" also possesses spiritually uplifting messages of positivity, and these messages couldn't be needed more urgently as the survivors of 9/11 struggle to adapt and move ahead. The beautiful "God is Love" is still tough enough to move this grown man to tears, while "Wholy Holy" inspires us to come together, believe in Jesus and "rock this world's foundation."

September 11 was a day that forever rocked this nation's comfort zone, forcing us to reassess our lives and priorities. But instead of conforming to the often dubious forms of patriotism that keep surfacing in this country, let's revisit this still-stunning classic and learn from its messages of optimism and faith.

5-0 out of 5 stars simply one the BEST musical compositions of all time
This is simply put the greatest body of work ever written for the public to enjoy, and yet to learn from too. He was not just writing for one person, he wrote this for all of us.

It stands alone in the music world, in high demand still, even after its 1971 release. Motown did not want this album, it was too volitile to release in 1969, so it sat for a year and a half. Yet it revoloutionized music, it was an album, a concept album when America was into singles still.
I am so glad they realized someone had to say what was said on this disc. To me this is a work of musical, and spirtual art. He is speaking of himself and of society, all in one beautiful musical journey.If you have never heard this work, listen to this disc, and listen with an open mind.

It is simply one the BEST musical compositions of all time. Timeless and powerful, a piece of love from a man who was so troubled in his own life. He gave us a message from God, a gift he could not ultimately find himself, peace and love.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest ever
Marvin had broke out of Motowns formulaic hit making machine with this 1970 album and set out to record the kind of music he wanted to make. The result was 'Whats Going On', possibly the greatest R&B album ever. That title track is just eternal.... What a groove!

The whole atmosphere Marvelous Marvin creates here is just incredible! Moody and dramatic numbers about the world, people of today, social ills... The songs are carefully crafted and flow into each other one by one, culminating in the all time classic high of 'Inner City Blues'. 'Mercy, Mercy Me' is also present, and the rest of the material is equally inspired and pleasurable on the ear. Marvin was in the zone with this one, just as important & relevant today as it was back then, essential.

5-0 out of 5 stars Legend
There are NO type of words to describe HOW beautiful this album is! I mean, people had been saying that for a while before I finally copped it around 2000 but when I finally heard the album with nine tracks in all its glory, I was floored! I mean, this is what a TRUE artist IS! Marvin Gaye is more than just a musical legend, he is a legend for the entire world. Each song he had done, he always knew how to invoke so much emotion, so much pain, so much hardship and still come out with a piece of beauty.

Save Sam Cooke and Al Green, no other artist turned R&B upside down and made it personal better than the man hailed from the Chocolate City. With his 1971 album, "What's Going On", Brother Marv went from singing about NEEDING love all the time to singing about WANTING love not only for himself but also for the entire world from ghetto to ghetto, backyard to yard, country to country. Forget Elvis, Marvin was truly a rock & roll innovator. He proved Black artists can sing a full album full of personal anguish and make it touch you deep inside your heart.

No track is a filler and it's not so much the music but the message behind it that hits home. Telling a story of the singer's brother returning from Vietnam and asking that important question ("What's Going On"), his Rip-Van-Winkle sense of things-gone-by ("What's Happening, Brotha?"), his descend to drug abuse ("Flying High In The Friendly Sky"), and Marvin's own messages of trying to understand his place ("Right On"), trying to understand why the world is in such a disarray ("Mercy Mercy Me"), tormented because the children of the world are already going through terrible times while living in the ghetto ("Save the Children") to accepting Jesus into his life and also asking those not to question His majesty ("God Is Love") to embarking on a mission to conquer all hate ("Wholy Holy") and finally exposing the truth of his surroundings as poetically as he could in the streets ("Inner City Blues"--which is his landmark single IMO, but it's hard to choose THE landmark since Dude has had so many "landmarks"). This album told a STORY. It wasn't all out there like the work from the Beatles and the Beach Boys, less raucous than music from the Rolling Stones and the Temptations (who was going through a "psychedelic-soul" phase) and was just as serene as the music that would be released soon afterwards from these acts:

Issac "Black Moses" Hayes

Curtis Mayfield
His fellow Motown brotha, the Wonderful Stevie
Leon Ware (who would also produce a classic album along with Marv five years afterward)

And much, much more.

It also paved the way for Black acts to personally write about their own troubles like a book and not so much about pleasing youngsters but pleasing the soul within us. After Sly Stone, Marvin Gaye helped bridged the gap in Black music. This album remains his ultimate landmark but he was just getting started. This will be his decade to shine.

You know the only bad thing about it is that the man who inspired a lot of R&B, rock, pop, hip-hop and soul singers today is no longer with us to experience and tell us more stories about ourselves that before, we didn't have an idea or clue about, also his music is so timeless because the stuff that had happened when he recorded this in the late-'60s and early-'70s (Vietnam, civil rights movement, Black Panthers, etc), is still going on today in 2004 (Iraq, civil rights lawsuits, injustice among celebrities, the FCC, etc).

Long live Marvin P. Gaye, Jr. forever and ever!

My overall rating of this classic: 10+

As I said in the title, LEGEND is all that needed to be said! We love you and miss you, Marvin. ... Read more


12. 50th Anniversary Anthology (Dig)
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's The Same Old Songs...Only Better!
In honor of the group's 50th anniversary, Hip - O records has put out this magnificent two - disc retrospective dedicated to the wonderful music of the Four Tops. From the classic Motown hits to the excellent if not well - known 1970s' recordings to a few 1980s' goodies, everything that you could possibly want is here.

Disc 1 features every hit they scored on Motown. Whether you enjoy "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'", "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch", "It's The Same Old Song", "Reach Out", "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" or "Bernadette", you'll find all your favorite songs on this disc. Also, there are some rarely heard tracks included here, such "Ask The Lonely", "7 - Rooms Of Gloom", "You Keep Running Away" and their magnificent covers of the hits "Walk Away Rene", "If I Were A Carpenter' (their version easily buries Bobby Darin's), "It's All In The Game", "River Deep, Mountain High" (with post - Diana Ross Supremes) and "MacArthur Park" which closes disc one.

Disc 2 is very different from anything on the first disc. While the first disc solely from the Motown era, the bulk of disc 2 is made up by their 1972 - 79 stint at Dunhill. During this time, they scored two top 10 smashes, the funky message song "Keeper Of The Castle" (number 10, not number 4 as the liner notes list) and the mooth, soothing "Ain't No Woman (Like The I've Got)" (number 4), the latter of which is among their most popular songs. The rest of their 1970s' recordings featured here weren't hits (with the exception of the top 20 "Are You Man Enough" from "Shaft In Africa"), but remain just as good, especially "One Chain Don't Make No Prison", "Midnight Flower", "Catfish" and "H.E.L.P.".

As for the 1980s' hits, there's the huge 1981 hit "When She Was My Girl", as well as the sensual "Tonight I'm Gonna Love You All Over" and the gorgeous "I Believe In You And Me", which became a hit for Whitney Houston in 1996. There are two songs they did that were recorded for movies: the "Grease 2" theme "Back To School Again" (as one reviewer already pointed out, this song was the only good thing in the film) and "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space", a Levi Stubbs solo number from "Little Shop Of Horror" (Stubbs did the voice of Audrey in the movie". Also there's the lush "I Just Can't Walk Away" from their short - lived Motown return, and "Indestructible", a duet with an uncredited Smokey Robinson that became their final hit in 1988.

This is such a great set. It's not entirely complete, as the singles "Ain't That Love" (from their short - live stint at Columbia Records), "You Gotta Have Love In Your Heart" (another post - Ross Supremes duet) and "Sad Hearts" (a 1983 release) are missing. But they are not among their most popular recordings, and their absence is not notable. This is a set that I hope you will consider buying soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reach For The Top(s)
The Four Tops have been performing for 50 years as of 2004, a feat few if any other groups have accomplished. Their longtime partnership has been cemented by their enduring friendship and their lead singer's resistence to record solo. Even after one of them passed on, they carried on with a new member.

Disc 1 begins in 1964. This was the year they signed with Motown and hit it big with "Baby, I Need Your Loving", the first of a string of hits written and produced by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland. The song went to number 11 and paved the way for a long line of hit singles. Their next single, "Without The One You Love (Life's Not Worthwhile)" floundered on the charts, missing the Top 40. The follow - up, "Ask The Lonely", fared slightly better, but the Tops were in desperate need of anothr big hit. H - D - H gave them "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)", an infectious composition that went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. The next single was the soundalike "It's The Same Old Song", which went to number 5. "Something About You" and "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" both made the Top 20, while "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" faltered at number 45. It was 1966 that Holland - Dozier - Holland produced the groundbreaking "Reach Out, I'll Be There". With this single, they moved out of the realm of piano - driven dance numbers into serious music. The soundalikes "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" and "Bernadette" both made the Top 10. Then "7 - Rooms Of Gloom" and "You Keep Running Away" failed to duplicate the success of those 3 singles. The Tops scored 2 Top 20 hits "Walk Away Renee" and "If I Were A Carpenter", both of which were covers of previous hits. In 1968, Holland - Dozier - Holland left Motown, leaving The Four Tops without a guiding force. Frank Wilson soon took over the studio reins, and produced two hit singles for them: a cover of Tommy Edwards' number one hit "It's All In The Game" and "Still Water (Love)". They also scored a hit with a cover of "River Deep, Mountain High", a duet with The Supremes. Three singles produced by Frank Wilson and group member Lawrence Payton followed, including an electrifying cover of "MacArthur Park".

Disc 2 begins with "A Simple Game". This was a strange collaboration with The Moody Blues that went to number 3 in Britain. The group recorded the album "Natured Planned It" in 1972. It was their last album for Motown. That year, they left the label and signed with Dunhill. Their first single was "Keeper Of The Castle". the song was a huge hit. It was their first Top 10 hit since "Bernadette" 5 years earlier, going all the way to number 10. "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)" followed. A heartfelt ballad, it climbed up the charts to number 4 and was their first single to sell 1, 000, 000 copies. They scored another hit with "Are You Man Enough". But the remaining Dunhill years were not successful and they left the label by 1979. In 1980, they scored a hit with "When She Was My Girl", which went to number 11. It was their last hit. They returned to Motown in 1983, but left after 2 years. In 1987, "Indestructible" became their last top 40 hit.

I suggest you buy this album. It's a great introduction to one of the greatest vocal groups ever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reach For The Top(s)....
Since 1964, The Four Tops' fresh and vibrant brand of classic R & B remains timeless in its own right. With their shimmering harmony vocals (led by the sparkling lead voice of Levi Stubbs), plus wonderous production work by Holland - Dozier - Holland, and just great songs. Today, they still tour, although they are no longer called The Four Tops (they changed it to simply The Tops after second Lawrence Payton died of liver in 1997).

After struggling for 10 years on major record labels like Chess and Atlantic, The Four Tops (originally known as The Four Aims) hit it big when they signed to Motown in 1964. They were paired with the production team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland. The trio produced the foursome's first single for the label, "Baby, I Need Your Loving". After years of struggle, the Tops hit it big when the single broke into the top 15 on Billboard's Hot 100. Two more Holland - Dozier - Holland songs, "Without The One You Love (Life's Not Worthwhile) and "Ask The Lonely", failed the match of the success of the first single. The band had yet to have a top 10 hit. The wait ended when Brian, Lamont and Eddie gave them "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" and "It's The Same Old Song". The wait was finally over: the former song went to number one for 2 weeks while the latter ascended to number five. Two more top 20 hits followed before their writer/producers gave them what are probably their 3 greatest songs. The first in this string was the uplifting "Reach Out, I'll Be There". The song returned them to the top of the charts for two weeks. The next single was as simlar to reach out as "It's The Same Old Song" was to "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)". Nonetheless, "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" soared into the top 10. The next single was yet another soundalike, though with a slightly different lyrical content, "Bernadette", their third consecutive top 10 single. Their next single, "7 Rooms Of Gloom", only went top 20, and they abandoned H - D - H for cover versions of "Walk Away, Renee" and "If I Were A Carpenter", both of which became top 20 hits. In late 1967, Holland, Dozier and Holland left Motown, leaving the Tops without a guiding force. After Johnny Bristol and Norman Whitfield produced two consecutive flops for the group, they teamed with Frank Wilson, who produced two hits for the group, a cover of Tommy Edwards' number one hit "It's All In The Game" and "Still Water (Love)". After that, they had a hit with a duet with The Supremes on a cover of "River Deep, Mountain High". Three singles produced by Wilson an group member Lawrence Payton followed, including a dynamic cover of "MacArthur Park".

Disc 2 begins with their final two Motown singles, "A Simple Game" and "(It's The Way) Nature Planned It". Neither helped boost their chart status at home, though the former, a strange collaboration with The Moody Blues, was a top three hit in Britain. In 1972, they finally left Motown. They signed with Dunhill. Their first single for the label was the Dennis Lambert - Brian Potter composition "Keeper Of The Castle". Recording the song turned out to be a wise move; it was their first top 10 hit since "Bernadette", climbing up to number ten. But it was the next single that proved to the world that the Top were back on top. The cool, swaying ballad "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)" featured a great vocal by Levi and sailed to number four. The next single, "Are You Man Enough", made the top 15, but subsequent singles like "Catfish", "One Chain Don't Make No Prison" and "H.E.L.P" failed to match the success of the first three singles. By the end of the 1970s', they were again without a record label. In 1980, they signed with Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records. Their first single for the label was "When She Was My Girl". The record was a monster hit, reaching number 11 on the pop charts, number 1 on the R & B charts, number 9 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, and number 3 in the U.K., an impressive feat for a band many assumed had peaked in 1967. But, alas, the renaissance was short - lived, as subsequent singles on the label flopped. In 1983, they returned to Motown and were reunited with Holland - Dozier - Holland for the single "I Just Can't Walk Away". The single failed and they left the label yet again. In 1987, they released an album on Arista titled "Indestructible". The title track featured an appearance by Smokey Robinson and went into the top 40, their last single.

This is a great collection to celebrate the anniversary of The Four Tops. The set is filled with timeless music. Not to mention a great booklet with insightful liner notes and details about the songs. Buy it today.

5-0 out of 5 stars All The Hits and a Few Wonderful Surprises
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Four Tops' formation in 1954, this Anthology compiles all of their significant chart hits over the years, with a couple of nice surprises thrown in. Motown of course is where they recorded the bulk of their hits and that tenure is represented on the first 30 (of 48) recordings. The leadoff track - 1964's "Baby I Need your Loving" - was the Tops' first collaboration with the songwriting-production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. It established a winning formula: lyrics that entail Levi yearning for or proclaiming his love for a girl he has lost or can't have; pulsating music cut in a (high) key out of Stubbs' regular vocal range, the subsequent strain causing his pleas to sound even more dramatic; background vocals with a full, almost Spectorian resonance, thanks to the addition of Motown's resident session singers, the Andantes.

After a mediocre "Baby I Need Your Loving" soundalike "Without The One You Love" stiffed, the Tops rebounded in 1965 with the majestic ballad "Ask The Lonely," their first number one smash "I Can't Help Myself" and "It's The Same Old Song" (and truly the latter was, a melodic retread of "I Can't Help Myself"). The Tops reached their commercial peak in late 1966 to early 1967 with some of the most exciting recordings they ever cut: "Reach Out ("I'll Be There)," "Standing In The Shadows Of Love," "Bernadette," and "Seven Rooms Of Gloom." In late 1967, however, Holland-Dozier-Holland abruptly left Motown in a dispute over financial compensation. This prompted the label to release year-old remakes of "Walk Away Renee" and "If I Were A Carpenter" as follow-up Tops' singles. They are proof that the Tops could make a hit out of practically anything.

In 1968 and 1969, other Motown writer-producers like Ivy Jo Hunter, Johnny Bristol, and Norman Whitfield attempted to fill the void left by Holland-Dozier-Holland's exit. None of their work with the Tops, however, penetrated the pop or r & b top 20 (although the ponderous "What Is A Man" ranks with their best recordings). In 1970, Frank Wilson took over as the Tops' producer for the landmark Still Waters concept album. Wilson ditched the Andantes from the background and put more emphasis on the Tops harmonies. As evidenced by the hits "It's All In the Game" and "Still Water (Love)," the Tops had risen to new melodic heights. They were followed by more of Frank Wilson's well-crafted singles like "In These Changing Times" and "(It's The Way) Nature Planned It" as well as the stunning "A Simple Game," a one-off collaboration with the Moody Blues.

Unfortunately these 1971-1972 singles received little promotional support from Motown and struggled on the charts. Frustrated, the Tops left the label in late 1972 and signed with ABC subsidiary Dunhill Records. At Dunhill, they immediately hit with the urban message song "Keeper Of The Castle," the Shaft in Africa theme "Are You Man Enough," and the multi-format symphonic smash "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)." With the countrified "Sweet Understand Love" and their funkiest recording ever "One Chain Don't Make No Prison," the Tops maintained the high quality through 1974, but their 1975-1976 r & b hits (including the disco "Catfish," the reggae in molasses "Midnight Flower") were duds. This period concludes with the Tops' dance smash "H.E.L.P." which is finally making its cd debut (pleasant surprise number one).

In 1981 the Tops signed with Casablanca, where they released two of their strongest albums ever. They are represented here by the retro smash "When She Was My Girl," its amorous follow-up "Tonight I'm Gonna Love You All Over," the wedding staple "I Believe In You And Me" (Levi's performance buries Whitney Houston's hit version), and the Grease II theme "Back To School Again" (the only redeeming component of that film). Bringing this retrospective to a close are "I Just Can't Walk Away" a stirring ballad from their shortlived return to Motown in 1983, and "Indestructible," their final top 40 entry from their lone 1988 Arista album, plus Levi Stubbs' wondrous contribution to the Little Shop Of Horrors film, "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" (pleasant surprise number two). The Tops also recorded many great album tracks over the years (most of which can be found on their box set FOUREVER). But if you only want the hits - all of them - this double-disc collection is the set to get.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect...the best collection of 4 Tops music out there
Finally they got it right! This collection contains all of the Four Tops' American Top 40 hits (and nearly all of their Hot 100 hits--I double checked with Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles book) and even includes their 1988 hit "Indestrutible." This collection offers ALL of the hits, wonderful art work and liner notes, and is available at a discounted price. There's no going wrong with this one! ... Read more


13. Every Great Motown Hit
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Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Like The Man Says: "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing"
There are several Marvin Gaye compilations available--both single-disc and box set. So it simply becomes a matter of finances which one you choose. For the budget-minded this collection is ideal. Not only do you get every Top 10 Motown hit (except for the inexplicable omission of his first--"Pride and Joy"), you also get his four Top 10 hits with Tammi Terrell: "Your Precious Love," "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "You're All I Need To Get By." [Before anyone gripes about the absence of 1982's "Sexual Healing," you need to remember that Gaye had switched labels to Columbia by then.]

Like labelmate Stevie Wonder, Gaye's Sixties hits were smart pop songs with catchy hooks and fairly safe subjects--love and romance being the principal. Like Wonder, Gaye too would eventually wrest creative control from the powers that be at Motown and by the early Seventies was creating socially conscious songs like "What's Going On," "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)."

This is a terrific, if concise, overview of the genius of Marvin Gaye. Originally released in 1983, these tracks have been remastered and sound simply amazing. If your record library doesn't already include these songs, this is a great place to start. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best Singers and Song Writers ever....
To any person who likes music, the name of Marvin Gaye is filled with pleasure and pain. Pleasure for the great music he created, pain for the fact he is no longer with us. When I die, and if I go to heaven, I am going to look for Marvin and hope he is still composing and singing. People, you have to own at least one Marvin Gaye album to call yourself a person who likes music. Let's get down to it:
THE GOOD: 1) SONG SELECTION. Some of these tracks I had not heard of before, but that does not matter. I bought this one on name recognition alone and I was not sorry. Every track is a classic and you do not have to be a fan of this type of music to enjoy this one. Tracks like "Mercy Mercy Me" and "What's Goin' On" are classics. On top of that, it is nice to explore tracks you might not have listend to otherwise. 2) SOUND. Classic, rich, and full of passion are just three of the words that I would use to describe his sound. There are many more of course, but that would take more space then I am allowed. 3) EMOTIONAL. Each track is so full of emotion that I could not help but swing with it. When the song was up-beat and happy I found that I had a smile on my face, when the track was a downer, then I frownd. Whatever the emotion instilled within the track I found myself feeling the same way.
THE BAD: 1) PRICE. I know that I should expect to pay more for a collection CD, but 29 bucks is way over the top. Shame on the person that though 29.99 was a good idea.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Just like Black Sabbath is the founding fathers of modern rock, Marvin Gaye is one of the founding fathers of Rap/Hip-Hop/Pop. Sure, preformers before him where writing and singing of the samethings that he was, that was what the jazz/blues movement is all about. Marvin Gaye gave mainstream acceptance to a sound that might have never come to light without him. I miss you Marvin! This album, although a classic and priceless, does not get a "must have" status simply because there are better albums containing better selections.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marvin makes you happy
I love this CD, it too is one of my favorites. As Marvin sings his heart out on songs with Tammy Terrell (You all I need to survive) and on the hit "I heard it through the Grapevine" I am blown away. I love how it ends with the song of my childhood, "Got to Give it Up" which was played at block parties and would get everybody up and off of their feet. This is a must buy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing
I was never a Marvin Gaye fan before I bought this album. He was honestly a little before my time. As a teenager who's brought up in an age of crappy pop & rap, I recently went out looking for some real musicians. This was one of the artists I sought out, & man I am glad I found him. I found it incredibly refreshing album, this guy is an exquisite artist. Buy this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars essential listening
Marvin Gaye was one of the greatest if not the greatest soul singer ever and if you need proof of this, I sugguest buying this compilation. While there is other great Marvin Gaye material out there(check out "What's Going On" and "Sexual Healing"), these Motown Hits were his greatest work. This is the best Marvin Gaye compilation on one disc out there. ... Read more


14. Stevie Wonder - Song Review: Greatest Hits
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Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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Thirty or so of Stevie Wonder's biggest hits--many of themenduring classics--make up this double disc. That's the good news. Thebad news is that they're sequenced here about as well (or maybe not) asyour CD player's "random" function might do it. Leading off with"Part-Time Lover"--a major chart record, no doubt, but hardly therouser you'd expect for an opener--is puzzling enough. It's when theprogramming starts veering from highlights of his self-produced period("Sir Duke") to Motown assembly-line pieces ("My Cherie Amour") thatthe head-scratching really begins. And don't try to count the greatmoments that are missing. This will do in a pinch, but if you own noStevie, be advised that better overviews of Wonder's career (the finestby far being the four-CD box At the Close of aCentury) are available. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (55)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Try
Stevie Wonder is one of the most spectacular artists still living today. I understand how hard it is to try to consolidate ALL of the major hits of such an artist. The task is mind-blowing. Yet you would think the people who put this together would at least start in a particular order (chronological maybe). Starting with square one is usually important, especially for new fans. After we're past that fact, then we see that they are missing some very important milestone songs. You might want to put an artist's first major hit on the album (FINGERTIPS)! Other songs were not nearly as important: "Love's Light in Flight", "Hold On to Your Dreams", and "Hey Love" to name a few could have easily been replaced with hits like: "For Once In My Life", "Knocks Me Off MY Feet" or even "Isn't She Lovely".

To 2 CD set's credit, there are some very commendable liner notes by someone obviously pretty educated (from Stanford). There are also rare songs like "Ebony and Ivory", "The Redemption Song", and quiet hits like "That Girl", "All I Do", and "Kiss Lonely Goodbye" which is not on the box set. This is a good CD if you just want to hear some Stevie Wonder (nothing wrong with that). For true fans, you may want to get a more extensive album (Looking Back, Essential, and At the Close of a Century). Although this CD set does not have everything, it has enough for me to say that I wouldn't trade it for the world. The rare tracks and selective arrangement make this an album to take into consideration.

4-0 out of 5 stars Different versions the world over
A single disc version of SONG REVIEW is available which I bought in 1998. As you can expect, the track listing is extremely tight to fit the most essential tracks in. But they have missed some very important tracks (eg. Boogie on Reggae Woman, Higher Ground). Not long after I noticed that a friend had also bought this CD. Her copy was also a single disc edition but a different track listing to mine. For pete's sake I thought. The record company really stuffed up with this release. While I am happy with my tracklisting, her tracklisting is much more definitive. I have looked at the American double CD release and it is missing tracks than are on my single CD.

The solution is to buy Stevie's wonderful studio albums. I bought Song Review simply to have a compilation but it in no way does the man justice. if you have ever wanted a Stevie album look no further than "Songs in the Key of Life" or "Innervisions".

When will record companies release compilations correctly?

3-0 out of 5 stars Good But Not Great
Stevie Wonder is an excellent artist because he has had so many memorable songs during his career. However, this 2-CD compilation is not good enough because I don't know who would want this (not to mention certain hits missing). If you are a Stevie Wonder fan, then you probably have his 4-CD "At The Close Of A Century" so you don't need this. If you are a casual fan, then the "Definitive Collection" is your best choice since it's one CD and enough songs to justify buying. This collection is just too much for a casual fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stevie Wonder
Stevie is the best.Plain and simple.If you love get the At The Close Of A Century Disc set. If you like him so-so get The Definitive Collection.Or if you dont know him that well get Songs in the Key of Life which has all the hits but not as many as the other two.

4-0 out of 5 stars Song Preview: Greatest Bits
This collection suffers from the same problem that afflicted Pat Benatar's "All Fired Up: The Best of ..." and David Bowie's "Singles Collection" -- if the record company could find a shorter version, they used it. What follows is the time for some of my favorite songs (not a complete list), with the version found on "At the Close of the Century" versus "Song Preview":

Superstition 4:26 > 4:02
Living For The City 7:23 > 3:41
Higher Ground 3:42 > 3:09
Boogie On Reggae Woman 5:13 > 4:09
Master Blaster (Jammin') 5:09 > 4:49
Part Time Lover 4:12 > 3:43

Here are some of the bigger songs missing from Song Preview that you'll find on Century:

Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day
Until You Come Back To Me
For Once In My Life
Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday
We Can Work It Out
If You Really Love Me
Superwoman
Isn't She Lovely
You Haven't Done Nothin'
...and a few others (Century is 4 CDs)

Don't fool around with this package -- get Century. Century also supplants "Original Musiquarium", which also had the full-length versions but is missing many tracks included on Century. ... Read more


15. The Ultimate Collection
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Asin: B000001A9Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2771
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

It's hard to think of a more quintessential pre-disco-era supergroup, and this really is the ultimate collection of the Jackson 5's finest. From the super-sweet "I'll Be There" (which went on to become one of the most-covered songs in recent history) to the peppy pop of "I Want You Back," the period's essence is in every single high note. The Afros, the bell-bottoms, Michael pre-identity crisis, it's all there and so much more fun than anything any of the clan has done since. This is a great party album: classics like "ABC," "Never Can Say Goodbye," and "Rockin' Robin" sit alongside more jazz-influenced tracks like a cover of the Isleys' "It's Your Thing," and are guaranteed to keep all feet on the dance floor. --Rebecca Wallwork ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Compilation, great songs, still fresh
What a great cd! The young motown sound, is fluent in these great guys. Not just Michael, we get the whole crew with this one. Here is my track breakdown. 1. I want you back - my favorite ever track from the Jackson five. Strong Opening. Amazing track. 2. ABC - one of their two most famous tracks. This was originally made to convey Michael's innocent personality, and it did. A major hit, and a great song. 3. The Love you save - another upbeat song. Great track. I like how the Jackson 5 have all different sounds, and don't copy an old tracks sound 4. I'll Be There - another famous track. Softer, slower, yet still powerful, and great. 5. It's Your Thing - A great remake of the Isley Brothers hit. The Jackson's give it a flavor of its own. So many good tracks in a row! 6. Who's Lovin You - I didn't like this track that much. It had the slow-dance feel to it. Good harmonizing, not a favorite though. 7. Mama's Pearl - I really enjoyed this track. Michael just makes this track great. His lead vocals, with "Hey Little girl, let down your curls," made the song so great. 8. Never can Say Goodbye - another famous track by the Jackson five. This is a good track, I wouldn't say it's amazing, but it is a good track. It grows on you though. 4.6/5 9. Maybe Tomorrow - this was a good track. I liked it 10. Got to be there - Michael sings this one alone. Showcases his vocal skills. Though young, he has still got the goods. 11. Sugar Daddy - loved this track from it's beginning. What a fabulous track. 12. Rockin' Robin - another famous track. Really good. 13. Daddy's Home - Jermaine takes this one home. He pulls it off with finesse. 14. Lookin' through the windows - not bad, but not terrific. could have been better. 15. I wanna be where you are - Michael leads this track. I like the verses, and the back sounds, but the chorus could be better. Michael has a great voice, and it is really shown in this track. 16. Get it together - I really enjoyed this track. You could hear Michael's voice changing in this track. It became lower. I just get dissapointed at this point everytime, because the cd is coming to a close. 17. Dancing Machine - we all know this from Smokey Robinson, and the Jacksons hit all the notes with perfection. Great track, great remake. 18. The Life of the party - I didn't really like this track compared to the others. Not fabulous. Definitely not a favorite of mine. 19. I am love - Parts I & II - a soft, pretty song. Lengthy, but pretty. 20. Just a little bit of you - a fabulous track, another by MJ himself. Great track, leading to the closing of a great cd. 21. It's Your Thing ('95) - the non-remix was a hell lot better. This wasn't a bad remix, but the original was a lot better.

A fabulous cd, and a must buy. I highly recommend this cd. It is a must have in your cd collection, and a great addition. The Jackson 5, have great voices and great songs, and this ultimate collection, is... the ultimate collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Overstuffed but enjoyable collection from the Motown legends
This album goes to prove that sometimes less is more. It's simply contains more Jackson Five than most people need.

The group's peak(artistically) was short and even some of their better tracks like "Sugar Daddy" and "The Love You Save" have a slight almost rinky dink quality about them. Worse, there's simply no reason to listen to Jermaine's disembowlment of the beautiful Shep and The Limelites' classic "Daddy's Home".

Still, there's a lot here to enjoy. The debut single "I Want You Back" with its dynamic arrangement and a world conquering vocal by Michael Jackson is one of the all time greatest Motown hits. "Dancing Machine" is an effective disco number that foreshadows Michael and the group's later more adventurous work at Epic. On "I'll Be There" Michael sings with a purity and innocence almost unknown in modern popular music and "ABC" is an endless source of bubblegum delight. Additionally, the record gives listener's the educational opportunity to witness the birth of one popular music's greatest careers(Michael not the J Five). Even the worst material here (except for "Daddy's Home") is listenable.

This is a good compilation but realistically only a few tracks (those mentioned above and one or two others) are up to the standards set by the classic Motown hits or Michael's solo work. If this were a more economic package, the group's minor but important Motown legacy would be better preserved.

4-0 out of 5 stars This is such a fun CD
for those of us who grew up with the Jackson 5. It is missing some of the later stuff from just the "Jacksons", but it'll do for a great compilation. I can usually just put it on a let it go all the way through, it's got a pretty good lineup of tracks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jackson 5 rules!
Jackson five is my favorite group of singers! They are talented, and all the songs on all of their albums are the best! Jackson 5 is wonderful and entertaining! YOU SHOULD BUY THIS ALBUM!
Also get Michael Jackson when he is a solo singer!

(Justin Timberlake is a copycat off of Michael Jackson. CAUTION: do not buy Justin Timberlake)!

4-0 out of 5 stars Here Comes Johnny
It is a little-known fact that there was once a sixth member of the Jackson 5. His name was "Johnny." His stint lasted from 1968-1969, just before the 5 made it big. Whether or not he was actually a Jackson remains a mystery, but my theory is that he was the lead singer virtuoso of the group--that is, until little Michael's intense envy caught up with him. Either that, or Big Joe, in his notoriously paranoid, abusive father kind of way, suspected that Johnny was always on acid and plotting to sabotage the group, forging them in a direction that would be problematic for their impending popularity...probably in the form of cover versions of the Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" and the Velvet Underground's "Black Angel's Death Song." Perhaps Joe's suspicion stemmed from Johnny's blatant overuse of the carnival synthesizer--to the point where the Doors' organ on "Light My Fire" sounds almost clean and sober in comparison.

Progressive musicianship aside, Johnny was a force of charisma. He could do a mean acapella and somehow rallied the group to try a groovy rendition of "My Girl." His short-lived contributions can be found on the ultra-rare recording THE JACKSON 5...AND JOHNNY, which Amazon.com unfortunately does not carry. If you can get past the archaic recording techniques--which make Johnny sound like he's in the middle of a rainstorm with a million watts of feedback filtering through the mic--you'll notice that Johnny's departure from the Jackson 5 left a void that could only be filled with straight-A bubble gum pop.

So where's Johnny? If I had more time and money on my hands, I would be formulating theories and drawing up a book and TV movie proposal for The Jackson Six: the Untold Story. I can't even offer any assistance in acquiring a copy of this rare Johnny recording. I discovered it last night by accident on the floor of my friend's car, we gave it a spin, and as my ears inhaled the first few magical notes, I knew it was my duty as a Jackson 5 fan to inform other Jackson 5 fans of Johnny's existence, even though I'm sure that to you diehards this is probably old news. You probably even saw Johnny in concert. Lucky you.

Amazingly enough, the Jackson 5 made it without Johnny, and this collection of hits is proof. If you want to really try to figure out the point when MJ lost his marbles, decided he wanted to pull a Peter Pan and remain forever a little boy, you can. There's enough masked pain here to consume a year's worth of psychoanalysis. Listen closely, and you can hear the perils of child stardom in his voice, especially when it wavers and sounds disturbingly feminine for a little boy, and it's like some unnamed force is giving him an imaginary lashing. Just like when I ponder the Beatles' breakup and Jodeci's untimely dissolve, I can't help wondering in "what if" mode. Had Johnny stayed with the group, would the King of Pop have learned to grow up somewhere in his childhood? We all might have lost something (well, almost...those little boys probably would still have their innocence). ... Read more


16. Essential Collection
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Asin: B00001QGS4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5680
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

While Gladys Knight and the Pips spent large portions of the '60s, '70s, and '80s on the charts, this smart CD is the first attempt to compile high points of their tenures at various labels (Motown subsidiary Buddah, Columbia, MCA). While Knight proved equally at home with smokin' church-bred R&B (the original "I Heard It Through the Grapevine") and uptown pop (an unfortunate medley of "Try to Remember" and "The Way We Were"), she was most effective on plainspoken tales of everyday people. That's the reason "Grapevine," "Midnight Train to Georgia," "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," and "Save the Overtime for Me," recorded over a 15-year span, sound so much of a piece. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Only Collection To Cover All Of Their Labels
Gladys Knight and the Pips are one of the most successful groups in R & B history. Gladys' ultrasoulful voice was a nice blend of southern warmth and fiery gospel, while the Pips provided tuneful backup that contained plenty of character. They recorded for several labels over the years and this 18-track collection includes samples from all of them.

This chronological retrospective leads off with 1961's "Every Beat Of My Heart" (versions of which charted on both Vee-Jay and Fury) and its follow-up on Fury "Letter Full Of Tears" (written by the great Don Covay). A move to the Maxx label resulted in 1964's enclosed minor hit "Giving Up" (written by future disco star Van McCoy).

At this point Gladys & the Pips were major stars on the chitlin circuit, but mainstream success eluded them until they joined Motown in 1966. The collection includes six of their biggest Motown hits, such as the frenetic original version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" and the lovely ballads "If I Were Your Woman" and "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)."

In spite of their successes at Motown, Gladys and the Pips always felt like second-class citizens there (Miss Ross of course always got preferential treatment) and moved over to Buddah in early 1973 when their Motown contract was up. It was at Buddah that they made their most memorable music and this set includes (again) six of their biggest hits there, among them their signature song "Midnight Train To Georgia," the funky barnburner "On And On" (from the film Claudine) and an effective live version of "The Way We Were" teamed with "Try To Remember."

A jump to Columbia in 1979 resulted in a lot less hits than their tenures at Motown and Buddah reaped, but there were a few great moments, such as the enclosed Grammy winner "Save The Overtime For Me" and a version of "Hero (Wind Beneath My Wings)" that remains definitive. This collection then closes with Gladys & the Pips' last number one r & b hit - another Grammy winner - the call & response funkster "Love Overboard" on MCA from 1987. Since then, Gladys has remained at MCA and has occasionally put out solo albums that have been critically successful (although not big sellers).

While this collection is the only one available to contain hits from all of Gladys & the Pips labels, there are quite a few major hits that were left off. They include the haunting r & b # 1 "Part Time Love" and the joyful "Make Yours A Happy Home" from the Buddah years as well the bopper "Landlord" from the Columbia years. These hits can be found on the 17-track Soul Survivors collection that concentrates on Gladys & the Pips' biggest hits between 1973 and 1988. To get all of the Motown hits, I suggest you check out The Ultimate Collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for Lovers OF Real SOul
Gladys KNight&The Pips get Right all over this Disc.Gladys Knight can Run Circles around any of The New Jills out here.Mariah,Whitney,Mary J,Toni Braxton,etc.. Need To Go to Gladys School 101 for SOUL Classes.Nobody today can give you the feeling that she can.you feel the Warmth&Soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars "one of the most beloved groups of our time:
Hip-O Records have released a compilation to end all compilations, spanning almost 30 years in music from 1961 to 1987, every conceivable hit from Gladys Knight & The Pips is inclusive. This soulful, funk and doo-wop artist has touched our hearts over the years in music, with a deep creative devotion to lyric and message. Knight has the edge over todays artist such as Mariah and Whitney, with such sincerity and heartfelt warmth through each song and performance.

Each selection is a gem on its own merit - "EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART" the opening track - "LOVE OVERBOARD" the closing track. Highlight though, is "HERO (WIND BENEATH MY WINGS)" prefer this over the Bette Midler version, Gladys seems to tribute The Pips, with lyrics like "you always walked a step behind".

Must have for all fans of music that jammed over three decades and pioneered the sound of today - Gladys Knight & The Pips is the - ESSENTIAL COLLECTION for you!

Total Time: 66:35 on 18 Tracks/ Hip-O Records - 314 545 029 2 (1999)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD! Truly An Essential Collection!
This is the first Gladys Knight CD I have bought, after hearing so much about her. She is great! It is true what they say about Gladys Knight, that God missed the honey when He made her wonderful voice, resulting in soul and style. The music flows through your soul into the deep recesses of your heart. This CD keeps it real through the music, folks. Buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Daddy Could Swear, I Declare.
Finally, a one disc compilation from all labels! This is an excellent one stop collection of Gladys' finest songs. The classics "Midnight Train To Georgia", "Daddy Could Swear I Delcare", "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", "I've Got To Use My Imagination", "Love Overboard", "On And On" and "Neither One Of Us" are all here, digitally remastered. Oftentimes, Gladys is an overlooked cornerstone to soul music. Her voice is so silky smooth in her delivery, and her gospel singing is simply the best. This essential collection is a must have for any rock collector. ... Read more


17. Fulfillingness' First Finale
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Asin: B00004S35Z
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8902
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (61)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Consistent Winner!
The mid-70's belonged to Stevie Wonder, and this 1974 release a year after the masterpiece "Innervisions" finds Stevie in more relaxed mood. From Michael Sembello's beautiful guitar intro on 'Smile Please' to Stevie's laid back vocal delivery, the smooth tone to the proceedings is set immediately. 'Heaven Is Ten Zillion Light Years Away' is his most passionate gospel number ever and features a simple one-man-band sound that suits the material well. The stark, stunning piano ballad 'Too Shy To Say' finds him standing emotionally naked while confessing the kind of deep love we all feel at one time or another, but simply can't put into words. Yearning doesn't even begin to describe how he sounds here. "Boogie on Reggae Woman" and "You Haven't Done Nothin'" are the big hits here and are both uptempo, funky clavinet based tunes that lift the listener both in mind and body. Special Note: check out the Jackson 5's catchy 'doo de wop' backing vocals on "Haven't Done...." Classic! The remainder of "Fulfillingness....." is mostly flawless ballads (the classic "Creepin", "There Ain't No Use", the scary "They Won't Go When I Go" etc.) that round out the album quite nicely. This is highly recommended middle-period Stevie before his artistic pretensions got out of hand on his next project. Smooth and imminently listenable from start to finish.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quiet Stevie Wonder Classic Get Its Remastering Due
"Fulfillingness' First Finale" is often neglected among Stevie Wonder's classic recordings, following 1973's groundbreaking "Innervisions" and preceeding 1976's seismic "Songs In The Key Of Life." Perhaps realizing this CD re-release could fall between the cracks among Wonder's other 70s studio sets (let along his subsequent hits collections), engineer Kevin Reeves masterfully brought Wonder's songcraft and detail from this collection, reminding many of its musical depth 25 years after its release.

Motown was often known for putting first-rate re-releases on second-rate vinyl. Thus, the CD revolution (and 90s digital remastering) makes "Fulfillingness'" even more an overjoy. You now hear the slight giggle before the funereal "Too Shy To Say," the off-beat hand clap in the funk indictment "You Haven't Done Nothin'," the grunts and growls (and Paul Anka's background vocals!) in the moving "Heaven Is Ten Zillion Light Years Away," the almost mocking "Bye, bye" chorus in "It Ain't No Use." These details, along with trademark stellar backup by guitarist Michael Sembello, bass master James Jamerson, and vocalists Niecy Williams and Minnie Ripperton, are now clearer, brighter, with melodies further and fresher toward the surface.

This album, with its lyric images of inner beauty "Bird of Beauty," "Smile Please,") and spirituality (the frightening "They Won't Go When I Go," written with Syreeta) set to some of his most thorough melodies and arrangements, is as emotionally moving and cohesive as any of Stevie Wonder's more acclaimed releases. "Fulfillingness First Finale," bad grammar and all, is among Stevie Wonder's finest music; which is to say, among the best ever created. Absolutely essential.

5-0 out of 5 stars Effortless masterpiece
To say that Stevie Wonder experienced an "artistic peak" in the early-to-mid 1970s seems like a gross understatement. Here's a guy who, if he had retired after "Signed Sealed and Delivered" would be remembered as a great Motown soul artist, who then took an enormous leap forward into a realm of creativity that combined an avant-garde approach both to rhythm and to electronic instruments, with a naked expressiveness about a wide range of emotions and feelings, from love to grief to political rage. All the while, manufacturing the freshest-sounding melodies and richest harmonies this side of Brian Wilson.

If you haven't explored this music, take your pick from "Music of My Mind," "Talking Book," "Innervisions," this album, or its follow-up "Songs in the Key of Life." They're all equally accomplished, with their moments of sheer ecstasy, and I would say they're all essential listening.

I happen to prefer "Fulfillingess'..." slighly over the others, because for me it hits its emotional targets with songs like "Smile Please," "Creepin'" and "It Ain't no Use," and sets up some deeply funky rhythms with "You Haven't Done Nothin'" "Boogie On Reggae Woman" and "Bird of Beauty." Whereever you start, you won't be sorry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deserves More!
When it comes to blending moods,textures,funkiness and mellowness with that ever important quality of song NO ONE can
and probably will match Stevie Wonder!His words abound in high
sociopolitical optimism while also reveling in often regretful
romantic revelries!And he wraps all that into this a sea of
tasteful arrangements,slightly jazz texutures and a great sense of a groove!
Now THAT'S just the overall sound!There are classic hits
like "Boogies On Reggae Woman" and the scathingly political
"You Haven't Done Nothin'".And when the rest of the album consists of songs like "Creepin'","Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light
Years Away" and the as yet undiscovered "Bird Of Beauty" sound
even MORE like potential hits then you've got it made!

5-0 out of 5 stars Yolanda Reis
This album I dedicate to an old GF. I haven't heard the album or seen my old GF for about 25 + years. Stevie was "our" favorite recording artist. I recently pulled out the dated vinyl format and put it on the dinosaur device and played it. Man!! Stevies music and vocals became timeless for me. This album from front to back is one of the must have for those who like quality content. Whether the song "Creepin", "smile please", or "boogie on reggae woman" its all good. I in fact had forgotten how good. Later today I am gonna go buy the CD version of this timeless contribution by The great Stevie Wonder. And Yolanda, where ever you are.....this ones for you........ ... Read more


18. The Ultimate Collection
list price: $13.98
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Asin: B000001ANV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5292
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Cramming 25 songs onto a single CD, this set captures the Tops during their peak 1960s years, when they rode the pens of Holland, Dozier, and Holland to the top of the charts. Combining the writers' pop melodies, a gentle Motown groove, and Levi Stubbs' earthy lead vocals, the group landed 11 Top 40 singles by 1967, all of which are included on this compilation. Unfortunately, The Ultimate Collection omits later gems such as "Keeper of the Castle," "Ain't No Woman," and "When She Was My Girl," but that leaves room to delve into the unique partnership between the Tops and their songwriting triumvirate. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars A strong collection of Four Tops music
One of Motown's finest groups of the sixties, the Four Tops will be forever remembered for Reach out I'll be there, a timeless classic which opens this set. It was number one in Britain, America and many other countries.

This collection includes many other big hits, including Bernadette, I can't help myself, Standing in the shadows of love and Its the same old song, all huge hits in Britain and America.

Their first success came via Baby I need your loving, which gave them a top 20 American hit, but the song was covered by the Fourmost and it was their version that charted in Britain.

This is not a complete collection, as it omits If I were a carpenter and River deep mountain high, a song they recorded with the Supremes after Diana Ross left that group, but it really requires a double-CD to do full justice to this excellent group. Nevertheless, if you just want a single CD, all the tracks that really matter are here, superbly re-mastered.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Four Tops are TOPS!!
Stu Hackel says in the liner notes, "They stayed united for 43 years. No one in music ever did that. No one." Indeed, so true, and they're still together as an act today. It's now wonder with a great voice like Levi Stubbs leading them off, great songs from a great song-writing team, and the Motown magic provided by the Funk Brothers. "The Ultimate Collection" is an in-depth look at the Tops' years at Motown. Just about every record they released with Motown is on here with some very good B-sides like "I Got A Feeling". It's got ME rockin' and a-reelin', I must say! Don't look for "Keeper of the Castle" or "Ain't No Woman Like The One I've Got," for those were from their ABC/Dunhill years, since this is a MOTOWN collection. Personally, I feel that "Something About You" is one of their all-time best. You'll agree once you'll hear that infectious beat. The reason the sound quality might not fit your expectations is beacuse all the recordings were the original masters used on the 45 RPMs. There are many pros and cons about this. The pros would be that if anyone owned any of these 45 RPM records from back then can now hear exactly as they sounded. It sounds like remastered 45s! The cons would be that if one hears a song like "Reach Out I'll Be There," or "It's The Same Old Song" on the radio it sounds different than the 45 and may not be what you're used to hearing. Reverb may be deleted and an instrument may not be as loud. These are such details you shouldn't worry about. Other great tunes are "Ask The Lonely", "Still Water", "Shake Me, Wake Me" and "I'll Turn To Stone." They are all superior. If you're looking for a defenite worthwile compilation of the Four Tops, look no further; you hit the jackpot.

4-0 out of 5 stars All the great Motown hits but no longer the best collection
The Ultimate Collection , released by Polygram in 1997, contains all the great Motown hits of the Four Tops. The group, formed in Detroit in 1954 remained together for more than forty years until Lawrence Payton passed away in June 1997. Listen again to see what made the Four Tops a major part of the legendary Motown "Sound of Young America" in the mid 1960's. Enjoy again favorites like "Reach Out, I'll Be There", "Baby I Need Your Lovin'" and of course their signature song "I Can't Help Myself" from the golden year 1965. In addition, sample other big hits like "Standing In The Shadows of Love", and "Bernadette" as well as some of the lesser known chart hits like "7 Rooms of Gloom" and "Something About You". All in all, there are 25 tracks on this disc and a nice 12 page retrospective of the groups incredible career. But the hits began to dry up in the late sixties and the Four Tops departed Motown in 1972.
The group signed on with Dunhill records in 1972 and over the next 8 months had three Top 20 hits including "Keeper of the Castle" and "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)". But although the group would continue to maintain a very strenuous concert schedule, their chart appearances were much more intermittant after that. In 1981, they scored with "When She Was My Girl" from the motion picture "Grease 2". It was their biggest hit in years. Finally in 1988, they recorded their last charted single "Indestructable" which NBC Sports tapped for their 1988 Summer Olympics coverage.
Why am I telling you all of this? If you are a big fan of the Four Tops I suggest you skip this CD altogether and choose the recently released "Four Tops 50th Anniversary" CD now available from Hip-O records. The remastering job is considerably better and for just $2.00 more that 2 CD package gives you not only all the great Motown hits but all of the groups post 1971 hits on the other labels as well. It is really a better value.

2-0 out of 5 stars ditto, music fan from chicago
I wholeheartedly agree with the previous 2-star post. This CD (along with the Supremes CD) is a grand collection of historic R&B music spoiled by seemingly unprofessional mixing and EQ work. The result is a mid-frequency heavy mix plagued with overloaded sounds. For anybody who is interested in bass guitar, the poor sound quality often makes it harder to listen to Jamerson. Look for other albums/compilations.

2-0 out of 5 stars the ultimate collection has shortcomings...
Buyer beware, both the Supremes and the Four Tops "Ultimate Collections" are difficult to listen to. It seems the remastering process left these CD's sounding slightly distorted and harsh on the ears. It's a huge shame because the song selection here is phenomenally good. The recent Millenium collection is too skimpy, and the Essential Collection from RCA leaves out 7 Rooms of Gloom. Unless one wants to shell out more cash for the 4 disc box set, i would suggest getting the anthology CD, even the old version. The remastering may sound weaker but it beats sounding distorted. ... Read more


19. Let's Get It on
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Asin: B00007FOMQ
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Sales Rank: 16851
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Second Best Gaye Album
There are three are three Marvin Gaye albums that I consider flawless and warrant a rating of 5 stars. Let's Get It On, I Want You and Here, My Dear. This is second to I Want You. All three should be purchased by R&B fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gettin' it on with Marvelous Marvin
Marvin hit big in 1971 with the matured and political 'Whats Going On' album, and followed it up with an awesome blaxploitation soundtrack called 'Trouble Man' in 1972. The Man was on top form and in 1973 dropped this album 'Lets Get It On'.

Marvin abandons his politics and began his path down the Mr Lover Man route with this release. Things kick off with the title track, still a wonderful, classic groove all these years later. 'Distant Lover' is a cool slow jam, and all the songs here are well arranged and flow nicely. However, whilst this has a lot of funky good time jams on it, there is still some dark edges, particularly the ominous finale 'Just To Keep You Satisfied', a moody & painful number that gives us a sneaky glimpse into the mind of Trouble Man... Overall a great follow up to 'Whats Going On', I miss the more serious Marvin but by this point the man was too damn stoned & riding high to care. A great 70s work.

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 is not enough
Sing it brotha. This album will always be a classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sexual Healing
After the success of What's Going On, Marvin Gaye moved away from social issues to issues of the flesh. Let's Get It On finds him singing about sex, not just about the physical pleasure one gets, but on a spiritual level. The title track is almost sermon like in it's delivery where Mr. Gaye dispenses with all pleasantries and asks his lover to get it on. He not only feels good, but he feels sanctified. The song has a silky sound that matches Mr. Gaye's smooth vocals. The rest of the album finds Mr. Gaye searching for a love that will help him find that balance between the real and spiritual ecstasy he so desperately craves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic, but avoid temptation
An utterly classic, highly-recommended album, but if you have the previously-released remastered version you don't need this. The two bonus tracks are the abbreviated single edits of two album tracks - hardly worth an upgrade. If you have the two-CD special edition, you've got it all. ... Read more


20. Gladys Knight & The Pips - Greatest Hits
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Sales Rank: 19595
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection!
Gladys Knight & The Pips has had a lot more than just ten hits, but the first 8 songs on this album is perhaps their 8 best. I'm very happy that the last two songs "Letter Full Of Tears" and "Every Beat Of My Heart" are included which is hard to find on CD. You won't go wrong if you buy this, but if you want more songs on one CD then get their most recent collections : "Essential" and/or "Ultimate Collection".

4-0 out of 5 stars Soul Survivors
This is the absolute crème de la crème of hits from Gladys Knight and The Pips' in the late 1960s and up to the middle 1970s. Of course this long-lasting soul outfit has been a hit machine for many decades and this collection is anything but comperehensive, while at the same time containing their most enduring chart hits.

There's the achingly beautiful I Heard It Through The Grapevine and the equally emotional Neither One Of Us, the rousing Friendship Train and the magnificent number 1 hit Midnight Train To Georgia. My other favourites include The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me, and I've Got To Use My Imagination.

Gladys Knight & The Pips started their hit-making career in the early 1960s and in my opinion reached their peak in the period from 1968 to 1974 that is covered by this album. If you just want the very greatest hits by this legendary soul band, this album is ideal. For those who would like a more comprehensive set, I recommend The Essential Collection (1999) that also includes their graceful version of The Way We Were/Try To Remember and the passionate I Don't Want To Do Wrong from 1971.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Thing Ever Happened to Music
I really hope that one day, when all is said and done, and the musical gods come down to mother earth to execute their musical rapture, that the heavenly and soulful sounds of Gladys Knight and the Pips will be the theme music for that magical ascension into the pearlie gates. When I hear the smooth yet contentious nature of Neither One of Us, I am reminded of how, at age 15 when I first heard this song, I knew that I was being taught a lesson about life that I had yet to visit. I have payed that visit over and over again. And as a result, I know now what I didn't know then.

But when I hear those famous words, "I'd rather live in his world, than live without him in mine," I've truly come to know and feel the level of commitment and selflessness that defines the essence of love and desire. It doesn't matter who he is or where he is, she wants to be there with him at all cost. Kinda like my mama and daddy.

This album will eventually evolve into classical music, as the struggles inherent in the music are classical. I am proud to say I heard it all when it was new, and only too glad to share it with the new. Gladys Knight and the Pips is a musical institution, a phenomenom that will be warming hearts, and soothing souls long after mother earth has vaporized. Their musical magic will keep going On and On.

5-0 out of 5 stars She really delivers a soulful medley of her greatest hits!
Gladys has always been my favorite and this CD reminded me of why. Even as a child I knew that she sung from the soul. I listen to this in the morning before work and it gets me pumped for the day and in the evenings on my treadmill. The mix between the fast songs and the slow ballads glide you through the full range of her tremendous vocals. This is a great CD and the last 2 songs on the CD give you a little bit of Gladys we don't see very often. Great CD!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is Gladys and the Pips at thier greatest!
As always, Gladys Knight & the Pips have a soulful song for every occasion. No matter what kind of mood I'm in, whether I'm riding on the Midnight Train or the Friendship Train, this collection can handle it. I definitely enjoy this group of hits from one of the great soul divas and her famous family back-up. ... Read more


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