"Because this first-ever set of Mary's "Greatest Hits" started life as a vinyl album (originally Motown LP 616, released April 15, 1964), it was confined to twelve selections. It reached all the way back to her debut Motown release, "Bye Bye Baby" which first appeared on Billboard's R&B chart on December 19, 1960. Good song, but a belting, bluesy shouter well removed from the kind of singing most people would come to typically associate with Wells. Maybe that explains it's placement among the tracks, it was also the last song on side 2 of the LP, as well.The album then quickly moved on to the golden era when Smokey Robinson began writing and producing Mary, starting with "The One Who Really Loves You" in February 1962. Though Holland-Dozier-Holland serve her fine here too, with "Old Love" and "You Lost The Sweetest Boy," it was Smokey who racked up the most and the ones best remembered. In the order they continued, "You Beat Me To The Punch," "Two Lovers," "Laughing Boy," "Your Old Stand By" backed with "What Love Has Joined Together, "What's Easy For Two Is So Hard For One," and finally, Mary's career capstone, "My Guy." It's original flipside, "Oh Little Boy" (penned by William Stevenson & Eddie Holland) is also featured. It's individual popularity was virtually assured simply because SO many people bought "My Guy."All of these selections, of course, are on the "Ultimate Collection" set now too, but that's in mono. Until Motown takes a fresh new tackling of Mary's material, this is the set you want, if you want stereo versions. It's just past 11 years since Mary left us in July of 1992, and "My Guy's" 40th birthday is just around the corner. I have this set in CD, stereo vinyl and mono vinyl versions - I don't expect to be forgetting Mary any time soon."
Another decent but incomplete collection of the best of Mary
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1964, the year the Beatles led the British Invasion Mary Wells was Motown's biggest star and had a #1 hit with the classic "My Guy." That would end up changing, not because of the Beatles, but because of Diana Ross and the Supremes, who would have three #1 hits at the end of the year and become the second biggest hit makers on the planet. Then there was Wells' decision to leave Motown for 20th Century Fox, after which her career was nowhere near the same. Given she was only 21 when "My Guy" hit the top of the charts, this collection of her "Greatest Hits" can only engender thoughts of what might have been for Mary Wells.
Mary Wells became a star when Barry Gordy signed her as a teenager and she had her first Motown hit, "Bye Bye Baby" (#45 on the Billboard Pop charts, although most of her songs always charted better on the R&B charts). This collection includes three other Top 10 hits, all of which were written and produced by Smokey Robinson: "The One Who Really Loves You" (#8), "You Beat Me to the Punch" (#9), and "Two Lovers" (#7). In fact, Robinson wrote the first eight tracks on this album, which includes "Laughing Boy" (#15) and "Your Old Stand By" (#40). "What's Easy for Two is So Hard For One" (#29) and "You Lost the Sweetest Boy" (#22) are also pretty good.
With her soft voice, Mary Wells was a soul singer who could sound both shy and sexy at the same time. However, with only a dozen tracks this is a less than satisfying collection, because it is missing some hits, such as "What's the Matter With You Baby" (#17), "I Don't Want to Take a Chance" (#33) and "Once Upon a Time" (#19). This album was the first Mary Wells hit collection to be produced, and while it covers the basics be aware that the 2-disc set "Looking Back 1961-1964," put out by Motown, would be the much better choice for her fans. However, for the casual fan who would like to have a bit more than "My Guy," but do not know what other hits should or should not be included, then this "Greatest Hits" collection can fill the bill."
Mary Wells is one of the greatest of the Motown artists
Lawrance M. Bernabo | 03/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mary Wells was the first, and really the greatest of the Motown divas. This album has several hits that those unfamiliar with her name will still recognize. My favorites are You Beat Me To The Punch, Two Lovers and What's Easy for Two. This is an essential album for anybody who likes the sound of early '60's rock. Mary Wells voice is unique - earthy and sexy - and the arrangements are outstanding."
MARY WELLS ALWAYS HAD OUR HEARTS, GOD BLESS HERE
Butch | 05/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WHEN YOU LISTEN TO MARY WELLS,WITHTHE BEATS AND CHANGES,HERVOICE ON TOP,YOU LISTEN TO HER, BREAKING IT DOWN, SO EASY LOVE HURT, FALLING IN LOVE. MARY MADE THE MUSIC THAT LIFE IS ABOUT!MARY WELLS WILL ALWAYS LIVEIN OUR HEARTS FOREVER!"
Greatest Hits - Mary Wells
Butch | Charlotte, NC USA | 05/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of times you get a "Greatest Hits" album and there are holes that make them less than great. It is not the case with Mary Wells Greatest Hits. You will enjoy it from the beginning to the end. No fillers and no news recordings."