2012 two CD collection devoted to the works of Motown session keyboardist (and Funk Brother extraordinaire) Earl Van Dyke. Originally, some of the Hitsville studio musicians would be ''allowed'' to cut soulful Blues and Jazz tracks for the company's Workshop Jazz label, as long as they handled the regular gig, cutting hits on the Hitsville U.S.A. assembly line. By 1964, however, Workshop Jazz was dead. Motown made good on their promise, somewhat, giving Earl Van Dyke a rare opportunity in the spotlight by issuing in his name a single and a subsequent LP, That Motown Sound. Earl's artistic disappointment belies the gems contained within those vocal-less Motown hits and the additional bonus tracks from Motown's vaults that comprise Disc One of this set. Additional previously unheard nuggets can be found amongst the bonus tracks on Disc Two.
The Complete Motown Singles has been a dream project of Motown and soul fanatics for many years, ever since the first decade of Stax/Volt singles was compiled in an impressive nine-disc box set in 1991. The Complete Motown Singles might have seemed like a logical move to soul collectors and fanatics, but it remained in the realm of fantasy for many years because, as enticing as that set was, it was difficult to create.
The budget-priced From the Vaults collects ten tracks Tom Jones recorded over the years, but for one reason or another never released. It's hard to see why these stayed in the vaults – there may be no great lost treasures here, but much of this collection is certainly as good as most of his album tracks. There are a number of weak moments, to be sure (several tracks, such as "Standing Invitation" and "Shady Business," make no impression whatsoever), but covers of Dylan's "I Believe In You" and Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" are reason enough for hardcore fans to pick up this collection.