Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ain't It the Truth: Best of Mary Wells 64-92
Genres: Pop, R&B
20th Century Fox, Jubilee and Epic Winner!!
oneblockfromheaven | California | 11/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In addition to her Motown compilations, there are several excellent individual CD compilations that cover her work on 20th Century Fox Records (on the Ichiban label), Atco Records (also on the Ichiban label) and Jubilee (on the Sequel Records label).
For those wishing to discover what Mary's work was like after she left Motown, and yet not ready to invest in the individual label compilations mentioned above, this is a condensed version of some of her best work for 20th Century Fox (6 songs), Jubilee (7 songs) and Epic Records (2 songs); none of her Atco work is included on this CD.
Her work for 20th Century Fox utilized her vocal styling that had become her trademark at Motown (soft and sexy), even doing one song co-written by old Motown label mate, Barrett Strong, "Stop Taking Me For Granted"; the songs are well done and enjoyable, using producers like Carl Davis, but the only song from her stay at 20th to make a dent in the Top 40 was "Use Your Head"; a couple managed to do pretty well on the R & B charts.
For the Jubilee label, Mary went into a more creative and grittier vein; all of the songs here were written and/or produced by Mary and her husband, Cecil Womack (brother of Bobby Womack, for those of you not familiar with him). When Mary first began with Motown she was definitely more R & B than soft and silky and the songs here are all in a heavy R & B vein. The songs are also more personal, reflecting a more worldly, knowing Mary. Though none of the songs hit the Top 40 charts, several such as "The Doctor" managed to do quite well on the R & B charts.
Of her work for Epic, one song managed to become a dance-floor hit ("Gigolo") and her work for that label tried to re-establish her more in line with the style she had become famous for during her Motown days. Hopefully, one day, there will be additional material released from the Epic Records vaults; her only album release for that label, "In And Out Of Love", was actually very well done and showed a lot of promise of things to come; too bad there was no follow-up LP.
A couple of songs that she did for Warner Bros./Reprise have shown up on some soul compilations, but hopefully there is enough material in the Reprise vaults to warrant a complete compilation of her work for that label, one day.
If you haven't heard any of her work on Jubilee and/or 20th Century Fox, you'll be very pleased with this CD and perhaps be inspired to purchase the complete Jubilee and 20th Century Fox compilations mentioned earlier. You will find, like so many of us have discovered, that Mary's career definitely did not end with Motown. She proved that she was willing to try different styles and grow as an artist and this made her a "success" in spite of not having any more "hit" records."
SULTRY & SOPHISICATED VOCALS~BRAVO MARY!
Bradly Briggs | TOLUCA LAKE, CALIFORNIA | 05/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Opening with cool finger-snapping accented by a bad bass tag, "Ain't It The Truth" is a smoldering and very sophisicated soulful classic that should have been a huge #1 hit and would have been if it weren't for the radio ban that is said to have been put on Mary Wells post-Motown work...this was really a crime as this smooth hypnotic classic clearly shows...engrossing songs continue on this wonderful multi-label Essential Mary Wells Collection from the 20th Century Fox debut album that should have been a huge success as the quality was there and I personally wore out several vinyl copies of this overlooked classic and at the time everyone that I knew loved all of the great songs on this superb release as none of them are filler! Minimal airplay was given to numerous great single releases from this solid 20th Century Fox debut and these easily surpassed Mary's great Motown output for their high quality production values plus wonderfully imaginative arrangements yet mainly for Mary's deeply soulful magnificent vocals which were at a wonderous new peak...listen to the beautifully haunting and lushly romantic classic "Never, Never Leave Me" and the very catchy and rhythmic "He's A Lover" and while these great songs were top-twenty R&B hits it is clear that they should have been huge chart-topping hits on the pop charts as well as Mary has never sounded finer. Mary Wells wonderful 20th Century Fox output still holds up today as the best from the great musical sixties as each and every incredible song is infused with great passionate vocals that go deep inside of the brilliantly diverse set of romantic songs that are filled with wonderfully inspired performances by alot of great musicians..."The Doctor" shows Mary in a new funkier groove on her Jubilee Records releases which are all her own original compositions that are a completely stunning collection of richly varied classics that would have been mega-hits with any exposure at all. Closing this essential collection for anyone who loves great once-in-a-lifetime singers are two great songs from the 1981 Epic album "In And Out Of Love" which sadly has yet to be released on compact-disc and is one of Mary's greatest ever...this major work is another that should have been a huge hit but again Mary received no support from radio and while "Gigolo" which is over five minutes of soulful bliss was a big dance club hit it was not enough to make this great "In A Out Of Love" album the success that it deserved to be given that it is a totally awesome collection of richly varied songs with Mary in peak vocal form giving the greatest performances of her brilliant career which spanned thirty years. "These Arms" closes this superb collection with Mary in a lush grandly orchestrated setting that beautifully showcases her magnificent vocal for us to be able to savor and enjoy over and over...this is a very moving and stunning collection and get it fast while it is available as this kind of greatness will never happen again!!! Thank you Mary Wells for sharing your great talent and gorgeous voice for so many years...they were sublime and you are missed!"