ARTIST: Martha & The Vandellas
TITLE: 50th Anniversary – The Singles Collection – 1962-1972
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 20: Come and Get These Memories (#29 US, #6 R&B), Heatwave (#4 US, #1 R&B), Quicksand (#8 US, #7 R&B), Live Wire (#42 US, #11 R&B), In My Lonely Room (#44 US, #6 R&B), Dancing in the Street (#2 US, #8 R&B, #4 UK), Wild One (#34 US, #11 R&B), Nowhere to Run (#8 US, #5 R&B, #26 UK), My Baby Loves Me (#22 US, #3 R&B), I’m Ready for Love (#9 US, #2 R&B, #22 UK), Jimmy Mack (#10 US, #61 R&B, #21 UK), Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone (#25 US, #14 R&B), Honey Chile (#11 US, #5 R&B, #30 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Third Finger, Left Hand, I Can’t Dance to That Music You’re Playing
LINEUP: Martha Reeves, Rosalind Ashford, Annette Beard. Betty Kelly replaced Beard. Lois Reeves replaced Kelly. Sandra Tilley replaced Ashford.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Motown, pure Motown. The most underrated of the Motown super groups.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This collection collects the A and B sides from their Motown singles (including Spanish versions and remixes, plus some album cuts). Yeah, it’s a lot of music. Yet, it’s well worth it, as the B sides were some of their best work.
Reeves’ powerful voice, the backing vocal arrangements, and the playing by the Funk Brothers led the group to great heights. However, back-to-back-to-back, you can hear that a lot of the arrangements were very similar (“Heatwave” and “Live Wire”). That’s a little bit of a detraction, as is the remixes, etc.
At times, they’ve been given the short shrift compared to the other Motown groups, but make no mistake, they’re worthy of the accolades given to the other groups.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Martha Reeves went solo in 1973 as she didn’t want to move to LA. But she did anyway to start her solo career.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but this is enough for any fanatic.
GRADE: A: There are some superfluous extras, but that shouldn’t take away from the power-packed tunes here.