Various Artists
Various Artists

“Motown 1*s” (NPG)

More than just a record label, in its heyday Motown was a complete aesthetic – a style, attitude and sound, first the brash, sassy girl-pop of the Marvelettes and Martha and the Vandellas, then the stylish romance of the Temptations and the Four Tops, eventually giving voice to more race-conscious sounds of Marvin Gaye, Edwin Starr and Stevie Wonder, and later forging a compromise with mainstream white pop with the likes of the Commodores and Boyz II Men, culminating with last year’s remake of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by white soul singer Michael McDonald, included here as a bonus track. This collection of two-dozen number-one tracks offers a fine overview of the Motown magic.[ 4/25/04 ]

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