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.
Excellent quality collection of media clips of the Rolling Stones and shown on various TV shows worldwide from the 60’s to the 90’s. Quality will vary from clip to clip, but overall are 7-8/10. Running time is 383 minutes…
24 tracks. Shazam! features two dozen vocal-free (give or take the occasional rebel yell etc) nuggets written by the great Lee Hazlewood. Star of the show is twang master Duane Eddy with three great tracks: the title number, the menacing 'Stalkin' and 'This Town', a lesser-known 45 from Hazlewood's stint writing and producing gems for Nancy Sinatra and others at Reprise Records. Other key artists include guitar wiz Al Casey, top Wrecking Crew drummer Hal Blaine, renowned arranger,orchestra leader Jack Nitzsche and ace surf combo the Astronauts, not forgetting Dick Dale with his axe-shredding version of 'Angry Generation'.
Looking at the cover, which shows Michael and none of his four brothers, one wouldn’t get the idea that this three-disc set is two-thirds Jackson 5 material. While Michael obviously features prominently in the Jackson 5 songs on The Motown Years, he gets one disc to himself. Altogether, this box collects all the essential J5 and Michael singles and more, including 'ABC', 'Never Can Say Goodbye', 'I Found That Girl', 'I Am Love', 'The Love You Save', 'Ben', 'Rockin’ Robin', and 'I Wanna Be Where You Are'. Released in the U.K., it retails for the price of a single disc and is a convenient way to scoop up a large quantity of high-quality ‘70s pop-soul.
Nick Saloman of the Bevis Frond once again invites us to join him in the obscure pleasures of little-known pop, R&B, and jazz instrumental sides of the '60s and '70s with this collection. A number of the selections featured on Return of the Instro-Hipsters are so obscure that even Saloman isn't sure just who is responsible for them (though he offers some educated guesses on the artists behind such names as Sharks, Oliver Bone, and the Masked Phantom), but there are a good share of solid grooves and kicky melodies to be found here from a number of gifted little-knowns. If you went to the movies in the '70s, "Soul Thing" by Tony Newman will sound familiar, while flautist Harold McNair solos over a Dave Brubeck-influenced piano groove on "The Hipster," Jerry Allen demonstrates new uses for game calls on "Fuzzy Duck," Thunder Road's synthesized version of "Peter Gunn" beats Art of Noise's variation on the theme by more than 15 years, "The Brooke Bond Beat" by Cliff Adams may be the most swingin' tea commercial ever, and the Outer Limits serve up some tough, moody rock, appropriately titled "Black Boots".