Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection 1972-1992
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B, Rock, Soundtracks, Classic Rock
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Not the Motown I Know and Love
Tome Raider | California, United States | 07/10/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I have loved the Motown sound ever since I was a little kid. So many of those songs have added pleasure to my life. A few years ago I bought the first box set and voraciously consumed it. Every song there was a classic. I only wished it included a lot more music.
I recently saw that there was a second installment to Hitsville USA. I bought it immediately, and I was encouraged by the generally good reviews here on Amazon. But, wow, I regretfully must report to you that this set does not have the Motown Sound that I know and love. Perhaps a quarter of these songs are very good, but the other three-quarters I do not like at all. They are campy, disco-like atrocities which in my mind are the antithesis of the earthy, passionate, natural sound of real Motown. I do like soul music outside of Motown, but these songs do not come close to even good, authentic soul music. Most of these are bad disco songs which have the second-generation Motown label affixed for prestige. Please don't get this expecting the classic Motown sound, because you won't find it here. Even the small percentage of good songs here don't sound like Motown; I'm not sure exactly how you would categorize them.
The remaining 75% of the music on these discs is of that category of "Music that I Affirmatively Try to Avoid." If Motown was one of the pinnacles of modern music, many of these songs are the valleys. Real Motown was silk; this is a plastic tarp. Again, I emphasize the synthetic, synthesizer-intensive foundation, with the pre-pubescent, screechy, annoying vocals. Motown is all about a thumping, plodding deep bass, with a great guitar groove, and supernaturally beatiful lyrics and voices. Even most of Smokey's stuff here doesn't do much for me, and I love Smokey. The amazing documentary film "In the Shadow of Motown" might have discussed this period in Motown's history, if it did, I'm sure it is characterized as the (steep, almost vertical) decline. The folks who were the subject matter of that film were REAL MUSICIANS, the best musicians the world has ever known; they weren't a bunch of beeping, buzzing computers and polyester-wearing prancing disco-dancers.
I will never listen to these discs straight-through again. I'll just skip over to the few good tracks. The preponderance of these songs were downright painful, they represent the worst of the 70's and 80's. I wish they had merely augmented the collection of real Motown, rather than used the songs which rode on the coat-tails of the real (and legendary) Motown."
Not as good as Volume 1, but what is?!
Daniel Sweeney | Los Angeles, CA | 03/28/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe all of these "Debbie Downers" that are levying two stars on this collection! The nay-sayers appear to be universal in their opinion that this set is not as good as Volume One...which is kinda like saying Derek Jeter is not as good as Babe Ruth! Volume One contains indisputably some of the greatest songs ever recorded by great artists during their peak...how can anybody follow that up?
That said, Volume Two still has much to recommend it. I grew up in the 1980s with a lot of these songs and hadn't heard many of them in eons! Let's be honest, we are bombarded with Volume One's songs ad nauseum and you can turn on any oldies station and get your fill of those songs. Volume Two does not have this problem -- I can't remember the last time I heard "Who's Johnny" by El DeBarge on the radio, as well as many of Smokey Robinson's later hits such as "Just to See Her" and "One Heartbeat." This collection fills many gaps in my collection, and at the risk of sounding cheesy, brings back some memories for me. Give this set a listen for yourself!"