Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say...
Daddy Could Swear, I Declare
All I Need Is Time
Between Her Goodbye And My Hello
It's Time To Go Now
This Motown release covers only this seminal R&B act's recordings for the company's Soul subsidiary well; don't look here for, say, the Buddah-label "Midnight Train to Georgia." But all is not lost on this supposed "ult... more »imate collection." Especially when you get Gladys--easily one of the most underrated soul singers--and her Pips tearing through their church-drenched 1967 version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" or ripping into the peace and love anthem "Friendship Train" or the rousing, finger-wagging "It Should Have Been Me" (one of the greatest you're-gonna-miss-somebody songs of the soul era). With the Pips' seamless harmonies and Gladys's wide-open, no-nonsense vocals, these 22 songs are a great introduction to one of the most beloved R&B/pop groups of the '60s and '70s and well worth owning--even if it only tells half of the story. --Amy Linden« less
This Motown release covers only this seminal R&B act's recordings for the company's Soul subsidiary well; don't look here for, say, the Buddah-label "Midnight Train to Georgia." But all is not lost on this supposed "ultimate collection." Especially when you get Gladys--easily one of the most underrated soul singers--and her Pips tearing through their church-drenched 1967 version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" or ripping into the peace and love anthem "Friendship Train" or the rousing, finger-wagging "It Should Have Been Me" (one of the greatest you're-gonna-miss-somebody songs of the soul era). With the Pips' seamless harmonies and Gladys's wide-open, no-nonsense vocals, these 22 songs are a great introduction to one of the most beloved R&B/pop groups of the '60s and '70s and well worth owning--even if it only tells half of the story. --Amy Linden
"This is the best single disc "hits" collection during their Motown/Soul years. Like many "greatest hits" albums, you can't argue what's here but maybe what's not here. However, I do recommend this album along with "The Soul Survivors: (1973-1988)" if you want just the hits. Very Essential."
Clearly the best collection of all their great Motown hits
Paul Tognetti | Cranston, RI USA | 02/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pulled this one off the shelf the other night after hearing that Gladys Knight had performed in our town earlier in the week. My wife and I had seen Gladys Knight and the Pips perform in the summer of 1989 and that concert remains one of the finest live performances I have ever witnessed. Originally released back in 1997, "The Ultimate Collection" features just about every one of the groups charted singles from their highly successful six year stint at Motown. While Gladys Knight and the Pips would achieve their biggest chart success during the mid-seventies at Buddah Records, a good many critics would argue that their best work was probably done at Motown. I would tend to agree with that assessment. Gladys Knight and the Pips were formed way back in 1952 after 8 year old Gladys was the weekly winner on the nationally televised "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour". From that point on there was simply no holding her back. After a couple of highly successful records in the early 1960's Gladys Knight and the Pips arrived at Motown in early 1967. And before that year was out they had a monster hit with the original version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine." Other Top Ten hits would follow including "If I Were Your Woman" and "Neither One of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)" from 1973. As is so often the case some of my personal favorites were not necessarily the biggest hits. Perhaps my very favorite recording is the funky "It Should Have Been Me" which barely cracked the Top 40 in the Summer of '68. And switching gears completely, I was totally mesmorized by Gladys' heart wrenching rendition of the great country standard "Help Me Make It Through The Night". I had forgotten just how great a record that one really was. Add to these other familiar hits like "The End of Our Road" and "I Don't Want To Do Wrong" and you've got yourself a pretty darn good collection. If you are in the market for the all the great Motown tunes then this single disc collection is still the best option around. I have been waiting for years for a collection that spans the entire forty year career of this legendary group. But for now, pop this one in and enjoy. Highly recommended."
The first successful recordings
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 03/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gladys Knight and the Pips made some records before they signed to Motown, but those records were not successful, so these are the earliest important recordings.I heard it through the grapevine was their first major hit, going to number two in the American pop chart (and topping the R+B chart) and also giving them a minor British hit. Gladys recorded the song at around the same time as Marvin Gaye, but Motown originally selected the version by Gladys and the Pips for single release. Marvin's version was released as a single a year later and topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The two versions are very different despite both being produced by Norman Whitfield. He obviously loved the song as he also produced versions by the Isley brothers and the Miracles.There are many other classic songs here, including Take me in your arms and love me, It should have been me (revived by Yvonne Fair in the seventies), Every little bit hurts, If I were your woman, Help me make it through the night and Neither one of us.Gladys Knight is best remembered for the recordings she made after she left Motown for Buddah, including Midnight train to Georgia, but her Motown music is well worth a listen."
Rarely Heard Clasics
Mark Reznicek | Dallas, TX USA | 08/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If your only exposure to the music of Gladys Knight and the Pips is the slick, adult-contemporary stuff from the '70s and beyond, then you're in for a real surprise. This collection of the group's Motown material is generally more upbeat and more soulful than the smooth lite stuff they're more famous for. Gladys is one of the most underrated soul singers ever, and could really belt it out, as demonstrated on this disc. Her deep alto voice is tailor made for conveying the pain and heartache of the deepest of blues. And her backing singers, The Pips, harmonize beautifully. The highlight of this set (besides the definitive version of "I Heard It Thru The Grapevine") is probably "Didn't You Know You'd Have to Cry Sometime", an aching, soulful blast of pure sadness. But really, there are lots of highlights here. Towards the second half of the disc, the more familiar, slow-burn sound of GK and the Pips comes to the fore, demonstrating the group's transition from Motown ravers to soul-lite groovers. There's plenty of stuff to explore here, and marvel over Gladys Knight's incredible voice."
P. DEL VALLE | SAN JOSE, CA. USA | 09/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"IT HAS MANY SONGS NOT ON MOST COLLECTIONS, BUT DOES NOT HAVE A NUMBER OF # 1 HITS. THIS COLLECTION CONTAINS MANY OF THE 45'S THAT DID NOT MAKE IT TO THE ALBUM COLLECTIONS. BUT, IF YOU ARE A FAN OF GLADYS KNIGHT YOU'LL ENJOY THIS COLLECTION. IT COVERS SOME OF THE RARE RECORDINGS THAT WERE PASSED OVER BY THE INDUSTRY."