Universal Music Catalogue raid the Motown vaults again for the third in a series of limited edition seven-inch box sets featuring rare and unreleased recordings by various artists, from The Marvelettes to Gladys Knight & The Pips.
The concept of The Motown 7s series is to revisit the era when Motown was ‘The sound of Young America’ and showcase a selection of fine soulful tunes previously hidden away on albums or CD collections on seven-inch singles.
Such was the productivity of the Motown’s roster of artists, many potential hits were left on the shelf for no obvious reason other than the label just had too much material to choose from. For instance, the first song of Volume 3, The Touch of Venus sung by Patrice Holloway never saw the light of day. Patrice went on to sing backing vocals for the likes of Joe Cocker and wrote the odd hit for other artists, but perhaps her main claim to fame is for being the singing voice of Valerie, the first-ever female African-American cartoon character, in the Seventies’ Hanna-Barbera animated series Josie and the Pussycats.
The stomping It’s Gonna Take a Whole Lot of Doin’ (disc three) by the much-more-famous David Ruffin, formerly singer with The Temptations during their Classic Five period, was just one song of an entire album, David, that he recorded between 1969 and 1971 only for it to be left to gather dust by Motown.
The exact reasons for Motown’s initial dismissal of David (it was eventually released 31 years later) are hazy, although Ruffin’s cocaine addiction and rank unpopularity among label executives probably didn’t help. Nor did the fact that Motown were releasing other great records in 1971 including Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, so it wasn’t like they were desperate for hits.
Gaye is also represented in this collection on disc six with his version of It’s Not Unusual and, on the flipside, We’ll Be Satisfied, a duet with Tammi Terrell (whom, incidentally, Ruffin asked to marry in 1965, despite the small inconvenience of already being married with three kids, not to mention having another girlfriend on the side).
At the time of writing, details of the set’s packaging are unclear, but we would assume that it will follow the style of Volume 2 – i.e. a lift-off lid box; each single housed in Motown company sleeves; sleeve notes on a four-page colour 7” x 7” insert; plus a download voucher for all tracks as MP3s.
The Motown 7s Vinyl Box: Volume 3 is released on 23 September 2016.
- The Touch of Venus – Patrice Holloway
- Your Love Can Save Me – The Marvelettes
- The Way You Been Acting Lately – Al Kent
- My Love Is Your Love (Forever) – Barbara Randolph
- It’s Gonna Take a Whole Lot of Doin’ – David Ruffin
- Sweet Was the Love – The Four Tops
- The Stranger – Gladys Knight and The Pips
- The ‘In’ Crowd – Jimmy Ruffin
- Show Me the Way – J.J. Barnes
- I’m Gonna Make It Up to You – Kim Weston
- It’s Not Unusual – Marvin Gaye
- We’ll Be Satisfied – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
- Crying in the Night – The Monitors
- Head Over Heels in Love With You Baby – The Spinners