So far, the most unbeatable Walker collection
D.V. Lindner | King George, VA, USA | 09/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't help wondering if the fact that I'm answering Amazon's prompt to `be the first person to review this album,' could have anything to do with why Motown kept it in print for so short a time...? The fact that I already had everything on it except for the last five songs on disc 2 didn't cause me to hesitate at all about wanting this one added to my Walker collection. That's because like the similar sets on Mary Wells ("Looking Back"), the Marvelettes ("Deliver The Singles"), and Martha & the Vandellas ("Live Wire"), Walker's set also used original mono singles masters. In his case as in theirs, this restored his hits to their original kick-ass sonic punch, just the way all of us old enough to remember them when they were new wanted to hear them again. (Motown kicked off its own too-brief `back to mono' period superbly with the first "Hitsville U.S.A." boxed set.)Every major hit of Walker's is included here, and the only thing I find missing is my favorite `B' side, "Tune Up," but that's readily available on the original "Shotgun" LP as well as "Ultimate Collection." But this is definitely the set to have first and foremost, and if I didn't already have it I wouldn't hesitate to buy it used. Neither should you, if you love Walker. This set divides the two different phases of Walker's successful Motown years perfectly too. All of the rawer `Shotgun'-era hits of the mid-to-late 60s are on disc one, and the more seductive and sophisticated `What Does It Take'-era material that represented Walker in the 70s, are on disc two.While I stand by my opinion that Motown's MID-60s hits should always be somehow available in their mono versions, in Walker's case, I'd also like to see his 1975 two-LP "Anthology" album transferred to CD, and that should be stereo. Some of Junior's later hits like "Gotta Hold On To This Feeling," "Holly Holy," and the majestic "Way Back Home," were notably longer in their stereo LP versions. True fans can only be sated by having BOTH. (It wasn't until late 1972 that ALL of Motown's singles were issued once and for all in stereo.)Alas, this proved to also be a sad purchase for me too, in its way. I sent away for it on November 7, 1995, and by Thanksgiving the story was in the news that Junior Walker had died. I wonder if the wish he stated in "Way Back Home" was followed: "When it's finally time to take me away, let me rest in the land where I used to play." Rest in peace, Mr. Walker, and in the assurance that, as long as people know how to tap their toes, your musical legacy will NEVER die."
Jr. fans rejoice!
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 03/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jr. Walker and the All Stars were among the greatest, but sadly underrated acts on Motown. The gravelly vocals, searing organ of Vic Thomas, the co-vocals of Willie Woods, and that SAX which does for Saxophones what Satchmo did for trumpets! This contains all the great singles and some of the lesser-known album cuts and b-sides. Unfortuantely, some stuff remains on Jr. Albums that are not here and the albums themselves (The 1970 Live Album, Road Runner, Soul Session, A Gasss, Moody Jr. Rainbow Funk, Peace and Understanding Is Hard To Find) are sadly not on CD. But until Motown wises up and puts that stuff back out there where it belongs, fans of Jr. and the uninitiated can enjoy this excellent 2-CD set for the time being."
Wish I Could Buy This One Myself.
Andre M. | 01/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why isn't this CD in the stores? I have a few of the songs on 45 rpm, but would love to have them on CD. I'm still hopeful."