The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 11A: 1971

The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 11A: 1971


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Berry Gordy moved Motown from Detroit to Los Angeles at the end of 1968 but, like an earthquake, not all of the aftershocks were felt after the initial shift. It took a while for all the dust to settle, for Motown to start feeling like it belonged to Hollywood instead of the Motor City, for the label to get to the point where the showbiz began to eclipse the soul, and that year was 1971. That year, Gordy slowly started to recede from the day-to-day operations of the label, choosing to pursue interests in film and television, but Motown hardly shut down in his absence: they churned out more 45s than ever, releasing so many singles in the course of a single year that when it came time for Hip-O Select to cover 1971 in their comprehensive The Complete Motown Singles series, they had to split the year into two multi-disc box sets. This, Vol. 11A, covers the first six months of 1971, six months that had enough activity for a year -- a full six discs of material, to be precise. The entirety of Motown's 1970 singles output fit onto a six-disc set for Vol. 10, so it stands to reason that 1971 either was an embarrassment of riches or found the label stretching itself a little thin. The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 11A: 1971 proves the latter to be true, containing moments of blinding genius surrounded by cinematic schmaltz and funky filler. Genius is none too strong a word for the best music Motown produced in the first half of 1971, especially the album that defined the year for the label and much of pop music in general, Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. This was the first Motown LP to be an artist-driven concept album, a seismic shift within the label that is just as palpable when it's sampled here by its two hit singles, "What's Going On" and "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," as they sit respectively next to R. Dean Taylor's AM pop and Hearts of Stone's bubblegum soul, two pieces of agreeable fluff that have more to do with the label at large than Marvin's two masterworks. Gaye was hardly the only artist working at a peak during these six months: Stevie Wonder began to enter his mature phase, rearranging the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out," which was backed with the extraordinary "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer"; Smokey Robinson had the great "I Don't Blame You at All"; the Jackson 5 had "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Mama's Pearl"; Gladys Knight & the Pips had the slow-burner "I Don't Want to Do Wrong"; the Temptations hit a high watermark with "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" while David Ruffin had a few great singles that didn't quite take off; Rare Earth's "I Just Want to Celebrate" was the peak of Motown's hippie rock; and the Undisputed Truth's "Smiling Faces Sometimes" proved that it wasn't just Motown's legacy acts that were turning out great music. Nevertheless, it's those Marvin Gaye singles that point out the gap between what Motown's artists were capable of achieving and the product that the label was cranking out. Blinded by the stars of Tinsel Town, the label signed up Sammy Davis, Jr. to cut a single of show tunes, granted Bobby Darin the permission to indulge in his soulman fantasies, and had Bill Cosby mug with Diana Ross on Randy Newman's "Love Story" for Ross' TV variety show -- and this splashy, schmaltzy sound isn't just heard here, but throughout the lesser-known sides. Often, these justly neglected 45s don't sound like singles buried in the back of some dusty record store but rather incidental soundtrack music for a forgotten television show. There are naturally exceptions to the rule -- the great Chuck Jackson gamely struggles with the novelty "Pet Names," Eddie Kendricks' melodramatic "This Used to Be the Home of Johnnie Mae" has some symphonic force, Stoney & Meatloaf's "What You See Is What You Get" is a terrific hippie blues-rock number, and Arthur Adams' scrapped slow blues "Uncle Tom" has a terrific flip, the insistent dance number "Morning Train" -- but for the most part the lesser-known singles here are cornball cultural artifacts, interesting for collectors and soul fanatics, but they pale too easily next to the unadulterated brilliance of the best music here.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/18/2008
Label: Hip-O Select
UPC: 0602517776555
catalogNumber: 001157902
Rank: 130909


Disc 1

  1. Mama's Pearl
  2. Darling Dear
  3. Let's All Save the Children
  4. You Are Blue
  5. Sweet Water
  6. You Keep Me Hangin' On
  7. Pet Names
  8. Is There Anything Love Can't Do
  9. Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)
  10. You Make Your Own Heaven and Hell Right Here on Earth
  11. Ain't It a Sad Thing
  12. Back Street
  13. What's Going On
  14. God Is Love
  15. Save My Love for a Rainy Day
  16. Since I've Lost You
  17. Don't Pay Me No Mind
  18. Listen to Your Soul
  19. Each Day Is a Lifetime
  20. Don't Stop Lovin' Me
  21. Love Makes the World Go 'Round
  22. Jimmy
  23. Love Makes the World Go 'Round

Disc 2

  1. We Can Work It Out
  2. Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer
  3. I Don't Blame You at All
  4. That Girl
  5. This Used to Be the Home of Johnnie Mae
  6. It's So Hard for Me to Say Goodbye
  7. This Used to Be the Home of Johnnie Mae
  8. In My Own Lifetime
  9. I'll Begin Again
  10. In My Own Lifetime
  11. Never Can Say Goodbye
  12. She's Good
  13. Gotta See Jane
  14. Gotta See Jane
  15. Strung Out
  16. Sounds of the Zodiac
  17. Strung Out
  18. Strung Out
  19. Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On
  20. Cloud Nine
  21. When My Love Hand Comes Down
  22. Steppin' on a Dream
  23. I Won't Weep No More
  24. You Touched Me
  25. Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer

Disc 3

  1. Reach Out (I'll Be There)
  2. (They Long to Be) Close to You
  3. Reach Out (I'll Be There)
  4. Reach Out (I'll Be There)
  5. (I've Given You) The Best Years of My Life
  6. It Takes a Man to Teach a Woman How to Love
  7. What You See Is What You Get
  8. Lady Be Mine
  9. What You See Is What You Get
  10. Nathan Jones
  11. Happy (Is a Bumpy Road)
  12. Nathan Jones
  13. Melodie
  14. Someday We'll Be Together
  15. Never Can Say Goodbye
  16. So Far, So Good
  17. Never Can Say Goodbye
  18. Heartaches
  19. Together We Can Do Anything
  20. Feelin' Alright
  21. Love Story
  22. I Don't Want to Do Wrong
  23. Is There a Place (In His Heart for Me)
  24. I Don't Want to Do Wrong

Disc 4

  1. You Gotta Have Love in Your Heart
  2. I'm Glad About It
  3. You Gotta Have Love in Your Heart
  4. Smiling Faces Sometimes
  5. You Got the Love I Need
  6. I'd Still Love You
  7. I Can Feel the Pain
  8. I'd Still Love You
  9. In These Changing Times
  10. Right Before My Eyes
  11. Reach Out (I'll Be There)
  12. Pass the Plate
  13. Greasy Spoon
  14. Pass the Plate
  15. Dyambo (De-Yambo) Weary Day Is Over
  16. Shebeen
  17. Dyambo (De-Yambo) Weary Day Is Over
  18. Uncle Tom
  19. Mornin' Train
  20. What Is Love
  21. Where Did the Children Go
  22. Crazy About the La La La
  23. Oh Baby Baby I Love You
  24. Crazy About the La La La

Disc 5

  1. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
  2. Sad Tomorrow
  3. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
  4. If I Could Give You the World
  5. You Gotta Sacrifice (We Gotta Sacrifice)
  6. If I Could Give You the World
  7. The Reverend John B. Daniels
  8. Jesus Is the Key
  9. The Reverend John B. Daniels
  10. Candy Apple Red
  11. Woman Alive
  12. Candy Apple Red
  13. I Just Want to Celebrate
  14. The Seed
  15. I Just Want to Celebrate
  16. Maybe Tomorrow
  17. I Will Find a Way
  18. Maybe Tomorrow
  19. What the World Needs Now/Abraham, Martin and John
  20. The Victors
  21. What the World Needs Now/Abraham, Martin and John
  22. It's Summer
  23. I'm the Exception to the Rule

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Blackberries   Vocals,Accompaniment

Technical Credits

Ivory Joe Hunter   Producer,Photo Courtesy
Wayne Henderson   Producer
Clifton Davis   Composer
Marvin Gaye   Composer,Producer
Chuck Jackson   Producer
Deon Jackson   Composer
Chris Kenner   Source Material
Gladys Knight   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Randy Newman   Composer
Smokey Robinson   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Hugh Masekela   Producer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Arthur Adams   Composer
Gene Page   Arranger
Barrett Strong   Composer
R. Dean Taylor   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Joe Hinton   Composer
Tom Clay   Composer
Wade Marcus   Arranger,Audio Production
King Floyd   Composer
Sheldon Harnick   Composer
Jerry Bock   Composer
Nick Ashford   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Tom Baird   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Harold Battiste   Arranger,Audio Production
Renaldo Benson   Composer
Jimmy Bowen   Producer,Audio Production
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Johnny Bristol   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Vernon Bullock   Composer
Leonard Caston   Composer
Henry Cosby   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Hal David   Composer
Hal Davis   Producer
Lamont Dozier   Composer
Oma Drake   Composer
Dino Fekaris   Composer
Ernie Freeman   Arranger,Audio Production
Harvey Fuqua   Composer
Anna Gordy Gaye   Composer
Berry Gordy   Composer,Audio Production
George Gordy   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Eddie Holland   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer
Peter Hoorelbeke   Composer
Ivy Jo Hunter   Composer
Gary Johns   Memorabilia
Terry Johnson   Producer,Audio Production
Mel Larson   Composer,Producer
Stewart Levine   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jerry Long   Arranger,Orchestra Director
Jerry Marcellino   Composer,Producer
Clay McMurray   Composer,Producer
Ronald Dean Miller   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Alphonso Mizell   Composer
Ray Monette   Composer
Warren "Pete" Moore   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Paul Nixon   Photo Courtesy
Lawrence Payton   Producer
Freddie Perren   Composer
Deke Richards   Composer,Producer
Paul Riser   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Orchestra Director
Jimmy Roach   Arranger
Caiphus Semenya   Composer
Willie Shorter   Arranger
Valerie Simpson   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Bobby Taylor   Producer,Audio Production
Russ Terrana   Producer
David Van De Pitte   Arranger,Orchestra Director
Kathy Wakefield   Composer
Harry Weinger   Augmenting
Norman Whitfield   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Stevie Wonder   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Syreeta Wright   Composer
Nick Zesses   Composer
William Guest   Composer
Dr. John   Contributor
Duke Browner   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Ollie McLaughlin   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Mike Valvano   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Bill Dahl   Track Annotations
Doug Flett   Composer
Jonas Gwangwa   Composer
Merald "Bubba" Knight   Composer
Allen Story   Composer
Candice Ghant   Composer
Sylvia Moy   Composer
Harry Langdon   Photo Courtesy
Barry Feinstein   Photo Courtesy
Jim Hendin   Photo Courtesy
Gilles Petard   Photo Courtesy
Weldon McDougal   Photo Courtesy
Elgie Stover   Composer
Delores Wilkinson   Composer
Jackey Beavers   Composer
Cleveland   Producer
Corporation   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Pat Lawrence   Executive Producer
Jeff Smith   Art Direction
Dick Holler   Composer
James Nyx   Composer
Harry Webber   Liner Notes
Patti Jerome   Composer
Leslie Milton   Composer
Carl Cutler   Composer
Lindsey Griffin   Composer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Frank Beaty Wilson   Producer
Michele Horie   Art Direction
Quattrocchi   Art Direction
Andrew Skurow   Tape Research
Lawrence D. Brown   Producer
James Carmichael   Arranger
Fuller B. Gordy   Composer
Jack Goga   Composer
Melanie Dancy   Composer
Freddie Gorman   Composer
Ed Nuccilli   Arranger
Keith Hughes   Producer,Track Annotations
Ivy Jo   Audio Production
Eric Charge   Photo Courtesy
Andrew Flory   Liner Notes
Ralph Terrana   Producer
Ralph Terrnan   Audio Production
John Barnett   Composer

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