Out this week from Universal Music, The Early Motown EPs is a limited edition ‘various artists’ vinyl box set with Motown’s first seven EPs together for the first time…
Beginning an EP reissue series of rare Motown recordings from the three labels that formulated the Motown Sound – London American, $tateside and Tamla Motown – this vinyl compilation of 28 recordings showcases the burgeoning talents of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Brenda Holloway, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Supremes, The Miracles and more.
In the Sixties, record labels realised four-track EPs could be a useful marketing tool to boost the profile of emerging artists and whet appetites for their current or forthcoming albums. Motown EPs released in Britain came with glossy photo front covers (usually, but not always, with pictures of the artists) and sometimes carried mini-essays on the back of the sleeve giving extra information on the featured artists from across the pond.
Of the seven EPs reissued in this set, five are/were mini-compilations of an eclectic range of Motown artists (these were branded as either ‘R&B Chart Makers’ or ‘Hitsville USA’). The other two EPs focus individually on early tracks by The Miracles and pre- teen prodigy Stevie Wonder respectively.
Each of The Early Motown EPs box sets is individually numbered and includes a download card. The sleeves of each EP inside are almost identical to the original designs, but the sharp-eyed among you will notice that the $tateside logo has been replaced by Tamla Motown branding. Commenting on the SoulfulDetroit.com forum, Paul Nixon, the compilation producer of this and many other Motown reissues for Universal Music, explained why.
‘It wasn’t until way down the process that it became obvious that the $tateside logo could not be used as it now belongs to Warners,’ he wrote. ‘The London logo I believe is still with the Universal family. Future [Universal Music] sets will not be affected as they were carried on the Tamla Motown label. Otherwise these sets will be lovely. They are half-laminated like the original EPs and are as close to the originals as possible.’
The Early Motown EPs is released on 27 November 2015.
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- 1. Shop Around – The Miracles
- 2. Who’s Lovin’ You – The Miracles
- 3. Ain’t It Baby – The Miracles
- 4. The Only One I Love – The Miracles
- 1. Heatwave – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
- 2. A Love She Can Count On – The Miracles
- 3. Hitch Hike – Marvin Gaye
- 4. My Daddy Knows Best – The Marvelettes
- 1. I Call It Pretty Music But The Old People Call It The Blues Pt. 1 – Stevie Wonder
- 2. I Call It Pretty Music But The Old People Call It The Blues Pt. 2 – Stevie Wonder
- 3. Work Out Stevie, Work Out – Stevie Wonder
- 4. Monkey Talk – Stevie Wonder
- 1. I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying – The Miracles
- 2. Love Me All The Way – Kim Weston
- 3. A Breathtaking Guy – The Supremes
- 4. As Long As I Know He’s Mine – The Marvelettes
- 1. Can I Get A Witness – Marvin Gaye
- 2. Too Hurt To Cry, Too Much In Love To Say Goodbye – The Darnells
- 3. Leaving Here – Eddie Holland
- 4. Quicksand – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
- 1. Run, Run, Run – The Supremes
- 2. Just Ain’t Enough Love – Eddie Holland
- 3. The Way You Do The Things You Do – The Temptations
- 4. Can You Do it – The Contours
- 1. Baby Don’t You Do It – Marvin Gaye
- 2. I’ll Always Love You – Brenda Holloway
- 3. Devil In His Heart – Carolyn Crawford
- 4. Candy To Me – Eddie Holland