Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Martha & Vandellas Reeves|
Come and Get These Memories//Heatwave
Listen to Samples
First two American albums
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 05/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The only American hits from these albums were the two title tracks, although this was before Dancing in the street captivated the world and ensured Martha and the Vandellas a permanent place in pop history.For those to whom it matters, Come and get these memories was originally released only in mono, but the previously unreleased stereo version of the album is used on this CD.Many cover versions are included on these albums. It was common practice to fill albums with covers, but I don't mind (indeed, I enjoy them) as long as they are performed well, as they are here. The covers include Can't get used to losing you, Tears on my pillow, More (theme song from Mondo Cane), If I had a hammer, Then he kissed me, Hello stranger, Just one look, My boyfriend's back and Mockingbird.Besides the hits and covers, there are many other lesser-known Motown songs, perhaps the best known of which is A love like yours don't come knocking every day.As if these two albums weren't enough temptation to buy this CD, four bonus tracks have been added - Quicksand, Live wire, My baby won't come back and Undecided lover."
Comprehensive original Vandellas
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 01/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The story goes that Martha Reeves was yanked from her secretarial chair to fill in when Motown needed a singer at short notice for a song intended for Mary Wells. As a result, she and her group, soon to be named the Vandellas (derived from Van Dyke Street in Detroit MI and the torch singer Della Reese) cut their first record, I'll Have To Let Him Go, in August 1962. In June they had backed Marvin Gaye on his single Stubborn Kind Of Fellow, and later sang back up on his album, and went on the road with him as Marvin Gaye and the Vandellas. On their solo spots they were able to preview the forthcoming single, Come And Get These Memories, which was finally released in March 1963 and reached the national Top Thirty in the US.
The success of this single, which launched a new Motown sound, prompted the rush creation of an album to capitalize on the sales potential, also named Come And Get These Memories. Both singles were included, along with Jealous Lover, a Holland-Dozier Holland song that had appeared on the B-side of the hit single. Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier were their principal producers, though Mickey Stevenson, who had discovered Martha in the first place, produced three tracks; and one stray track, Give Him Up, was written and produced by Smokey Robinson in December 1962.
Recording of the album was completed in April and May 1963 and included hits of the day such as Can't Get Used To Losing You, a Pomus-Shuman song which, perhaps bizarrely, had been given to Andy Williams, and the Imperials' Tears On My Pillow; and new songs such as Holland-Dozier Holland's A Love Like Yours, whose hit potential was not spotted as it was consigned to being the flipside of Heatwave later in the year, but with Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound production became a big hit in the UK for Ike and Tina Turner in 1966. There He Is (At My Door) was an another important song in Martha and the Vandellas' personal history as it had been recorded the previous year by Martha's group, the Del-Phis, and released as by the Vels, with Gloria Williamson singing lead. The Vandellas version turned up again with a new vocal in 1964 as the flip of Dancing In The Street. The album concludes with their version of Mary Wells' Old Love (Let's Try Again), which was later re-used as the B-side of Live Wire.
The album was recorded to four-track at Hitsville Studio A and released only in mono, but has here thankfully been mixed in its entirety to stereo for the first time.
The next single, (Love Is Like A) Heatwave, featuring Thomas 'Beans' Bowles on sax, had been recorded in June, along with Ruby and the Romantics' Hey There Lonely Boy, even as the first LP was coming out. It was a massive US hit and went top five nationally in the autumn of 1963, as well as hitting number one in the R&B chart.
The album Heatwave was even more rushed than the first, according to Martha Reeves having been recorded in one long August night. I expect some instrumental tracks had been laid down beforehand, and there would have been further overdubbing to do, but even so it remains quite a feat. The result is a party record, with all but Heatwave being contemporary pop hits. Both albums feature the original Vandellas, Rosalind Ashford and Annette Sterling.
It seems strange now to hear the three girls sing Spector hits such as Then He Kissed Me and Wait Till My Bobby Gets Home; middle of the road standards like More and Danke Shoen; old school folk protest like the gospel-influenced If I Had A Hammer; current girl group hits like the Angels' My Boyfriends Back; and R&B in the form of Barbara Lewis' Hello Stranger and the Inez and Charlie Foxx favourite, Mockingbird. When it was released in September 1963 it was expected to be disposable, ephemeral pop, and the arrangements are rudimentary, but the performances stack up well. The US stereo version of the album has been adopted on this release (a modified tracklisting was used when the album was released in the UK eighteen months later).
Their next two, non-album singles, Quicksand and Live Wire are also included as bonus tracks. Both are in stereo mixes, Quicksand being different to those previously available, and there is a rare Norman Whitfield production, Undecided Lover, to close. The only mono track is My Baby Won't Come Back, the B-side of I'll Have To Let Him Go, which Martha wrote with collaboration from Mickey Stevenson.
This is a comprehensive airing of all of the original Martha and the Vandellas' output, up to Live Wire (which may have Betty Kelly instead of Annette Sterling), with only the B-side Darling I Hum Your Song unaccounted for, in definitively-mastered sound quality."