Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
D.V. Lindner | King George, VA, USA | 10/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was, honest to God, the first album on the Motown label itself, originally #600, and released in August, 1961. (For scale, the Supremes "Where Did Our Love Go" LP of August 1964 was #621).Mary got two singles of minor chart action with the title song, and "I Don't Want To Take A Chance." She also takes a turn on the Miracles "Shop Around" and "Bad Girl" and Marvin Gaye's failed first single, "Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide." This is old stuff, and Berry Gordy was producing Mary in a bluesy style well removed from the more the more softly romantic (and commercially successful) manner Smokey Robinson hit upon when working with her.Nevertheless, it is fascinating to listen to, just to hear an artist and a record company both taking their first steps toward what would be the eventual enduring legacy of each."
Mary Wells' First Album
T. A. Shepherd | Palmdale, Ca. 93550 | 02/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember the white Motown LP label on this one. This was before they used the blue label with the map at the top but mostly I recall being introduced to such songs as I Don't Want To Take A Chance, Let Your Concience Be Your Guide and Come To Me. The latter song was Marv Johnson's released nationally on United Artists. Mary was backed by The Ray-Ber Voices on many of these tracks, most notably Bye-Bye Baby. Here Mary reached into the heart of Little Richard belting out one of the greatest rock & roll records ever made. The bluesy "Please Forgive Me" wasn't a great song, but her 17 year old voice would convince us otherwise. "I'm So Sorry" had her pleading and squealing for favor and is also a great performance. Less than equal performances of Shop Around and Bad (Girl) Boy are best overlooked. Come To Me is of superior quality, however and I'm Gonna Stay has a nice Latin feel with a New Orleans twist. Let Your Concience Be Your Guide is filled out with a brass section that Alan Toussaint would have been proud of and is a sharp contrast to the sparse arrangement on Marvin Gaye's original. Her second single, I Don't Want To Take A Chance and biggest hit to that point, was punctuated with a strings section much like The Shirelles and The Drifters hits of the day so it was decided to bring in Sammy Lowe to arrange her next single "Strange Love". Although a moving song, the record failed to chart and Smokey Robinson was brought in to produce the rest of her hits at Motown. Listening to this first album, one can easily tell that Mary was heading for greater things. Her early vocals reveal her love for blues, jazz and gospel and even point to her ability as a writer (she wrote Bye Bye Baby with Jackie Wilson in mind). Four more albums would follow on the Motown imprint, each one showing progress culminating in showing a flair for singing standards (especially with Marvin Gaye), but her departure from Motown in 1964 proved a bit premature."