Monday, May 29, 2006

The Complete Motown Singles

I'm not one to normally tell you "hey, go look at this neat stuff you can buy on this other site" because, well, I'm much happier if you find things here that you like, but sometimes there is something just too good not the point out.

In early 2005, Hip-O-Select started releasing "The Complete Motown Singles" collection. Each volume covers a year (except volume 1) in the history of the company and features both the A and B sides of every single released during that time period. What you get are the hits you know and love and a whole lot more music that may or may not live up to the company's highlights. You will, though, have as complete a history of the Motown label as has been ever produced (and they have produced A LOT of anthology albums over the years).

Volume 1, a six-disc set, covers 1959 to 1961 and starts with the very first single "Come to Me"/"Whisper" by Marv Johnson. That's followed by the first releases by Eddie Holland (of Lamont-Dozier-Holland fame), Barrett Strong and such little-knowns as the Satintones and the Swinging Tigers. It's not until track 15 on the first disk that the first truly recognizable song comes up, "Money" by Barrett Strong.

Over the next five discs, you'll hear the early hits of the Miracles, Mary Wells, Jimmy Ruffin, the Contours, the Temptations, the Marvelettes and more. The real beauty of the set, though, is being able to hear the complete singles, the hits and the misses, and hear how the Motown sound emerged. Included are multiple takes on some songs that show, for example, how a record sounds with the basic group and vocals and with a string background.

This is a planned 12-part series. To date, they've released Volume 2 (1962 - 4 disks), Volume 3 (1963 - 5 disks) and Volume 4 (1964 - 6 disks). Volumes 5 and 6 are scheduled for later this year.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Another One Gone

There are times that I think the Music Shorts section of the Collector's Corner is mainly obituaries. I guess bad news comes in groups. Today, we lost Desmond Dekker, best known for the hit "The Israelites." He was 67.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Music Shorts

The latest news from the artists of the golden age of vinyl:

  • Keith Richards may or may not have been seriously hurt in his fall and he may or may not have been near death, but it's fairly certain that he's back in the US and getting ready for touring with the Stones next month.
  • Bob Dylan is 65 tomorrow (Wednesday). He is also a DJ for an hour every week on XM Satellite Radio with his "Theme Time Radio Hour."
  • Country singer Billy Walker, his wife and two band members were killed early Sunday in a one-car crash. It is reported that Walker and Slim Whitman were the two driving forces to get Elvis Presley his first appearance on the "Louisiana Hayride." He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1960 during the peak of his career that produced 38 Top 40 country hits. In 1963, Walker beat death when he traded plane tickets with Hawkshaw Hawkins, taking a commercial jet home while Hawkins flew in a private jet that crashed along with Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas. He was 77.
  • Also, Freddie Garrity of Freddie and the Dreamers died at age 65 from complications of emphysema. Their hits included "I'm Telling You Now" and "Do the Freddie."
  • On this date in 1970, the Beatles set a record by selling 3.7 million advance copies of "Let it Be." Compare that to today's music that does well if it sells between 150 and 300, 000 in it's first week.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Music Shorts

The latest news from the artists of the golden age of vinyl:

  • Nancy Sinatra has a brand new shiny star on Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Don't buy Beach Boys memorabilia at yard sales. They may want it back.
  • America will be releasing a new double album on September 26th with one disk being new material and the other being a live concert with a set-list that mirrors their History LP.
  • The Rolling Stones have postponed their tour while Keith Richards recovers from his fall from either a palm tree or a jet ski. Details are still sketchy as are the prognosis for Richard's recovery.
  • Billy Joel also has a double-disc set coming out from his 12-date appearance at Madison Square Garden.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Jay Black May Give Up His Musical Name

It seems that Jay Black of Jay and the Americans has incurred heavy debt and the other members of the original group have offered him $100,000 to give up his claim to the group name. See the full story here.