The Marvelettes – Deliver: The Singles 1961-1971

ARTIST: The Marvelettes

TITLE: Deliver: The Singles 1961-1971

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION:  None

SINGLES: Top 10: Please Mr. Postman (#1 US, #1 R&B), Playboy (#7 US, #4 R&B), Beechwood 4-5789 (#17 US, #7 R&B), Someday, Someway (#8 R&B), Strange I Know (#49 US, #10 R&B), As Long As I Know He’s Mine (#47 US, #3 R&B), Too Many Fish in the Sea (#25 US, #5 R&B), Don’t Mess with Bill (#7 US, #3 R&B), The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game (#13 US, #2 R&B), When You’re Young and In Love (#23 US, #9 R&B, #13 UK), My Baby Must Be a Magician (#17 US, #8 R&B)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Twistin’ Postman, I’ll Keep Holding On, Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead

LINEUP: Gladys Horton, Kathryn Schaffner, Wanda Rogers. Georgeanna Gordon left in 1965. Juanita Dobbins left in 1963. Ann Bogan took over as lead when Horton left in 1967.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: One of the first successful Motown groups found themselves marginalized by the mid-60’s, but roared back as they adapted to the new Motown sound.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “Please Mr. Postman” was the first #1 hit for Motown, and the Marvelettes were queens of the record label. And while their vocals never stopped being quality, as other Motown vocal group became more prominent they slunk back into the lower rungs of the pecking order at the label.

Then they had a renaissance of sorts, first by recording songs of quality and distinction (“I’ll Keep Holding On”, “Danger, Heartbreak Dead Ahead”) that weren’t recognized in their time. Finally, they got back in the higher rungs of the R&B charts until the late 60’s, when Motown went through a sea change thanks to the departure of many writers and producers.

They did deserve better, as they certainly got the short end of songs and promotion from the label as other groups were ascendant. The performances were consistently good for most of their career, it was some of the songs that were lackluster.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The lead singer position went to Rogers in the mid-60’s, and then Horton left after she had a special needs baby in 1967.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

 GRADE A-: They deserved better, and this collection highlights what they had when they had the material.

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