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Various Artists - Motown Disco
I am not going to lie.  I'm mad I didn't get to put this out first.  For years a friend and I had been envisioning a collection of Motown's mid to late 70s material, a period that most people underrate or straight out ridicule.  After all, Motown virtually pioneered the endless repackaging of catalog, dating to the 60s.  We had done the research, collected the records, made compilations (for private use, mind you).  Then I look up and there this is, commercially available.

Minor player-hating aside, the guys at Six Million Steps did a helluva job in putting this together. Just about essential jam is represented between the two discs.  Presented in chronological order, "Law of the Land," "Love Hangover," and "Got to Give It Up" are historically significant, particularly because they came from the label's biggest stars, which helped to legitimize the genre in the eyes of resistant executives and programmers.  And no Motown star connected with disco as well as the fantastic Eddie Kendricks, who is represented with "Date With the Rain" and "Keep on Truckin'."   

But what raises Motown Disco to the next level is the inclusion of those long-lost gems that are ripe for discovery. I'm talking about "Tailgate" from 21st Creation, Tata Vega's "Get It Up for Love,"  Switch's killer "You Pulled A Switch," which happened to be a childhood favorite of mine. I feel relatively confident there's a bedroom producer looping these cuts as I type. 

Digging deep into the vaults, Platinum Hook and Finished Touch make what I believe are their compact disc debuts with "Standing on the Verge of Getting It On" (yes, the Funkadelic song) and "Need to Know You," respectively.  And what self-respecting gay man can get tired of "I Was Born This Way," Carl Bean's anthem?  It's also nice to see the Dynamic Superiors, led by the flamboyant Tony Washington, get their due, with "Nowhere to Run."  A full overview of their career would be nice (hint.....hint).  Jerry Butler and the Supremes are on here too, but most aren't familiar with their contributions.

There are a few songs I would have liked to see on here, but for all I know there may be another volume planned, so I won't mention them here.

Anyone intimidated by these lesser-known cuts will be relieved that hits from Rick James, Teena Marie, Thelma Houston and Diana Ross (again) complete this essential purchase.  

A well-done job that is sure to save you much money and time, this shows what major labels are capable of when qualified people are given access to the material. 

Copyright 2006 AllThingsDeep.com.  All rights reserved.

 

Released 2005 on Universal

Selected Tracks:

Tailgate
Keep On Truckin'
Behind The Groove
Get It Up For Love
Down to Love Town
Love  Hangover
Nowhere To Run

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