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Brenda Holloway: The Motown Anthology

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Album Review

Throughout her career, Brenda Holloway regrettably lived in the shadow of several Motown divas who garnered more of the spotlight than she did (sometimes quite unfairly). This is one of several artistic tragedies in the Motown catalog; a story of talent that rang fresh and potent but never really received due diligence for one reason or another. Thankfully, Motown is slowly correcting these facts and giving several artists their moment in the sun with well-packaged, comprehensive anthologies highlighting the artist's best-known works along with a generous portion of outtakes. Holloway's Motown Anthology is no exception. The first disc features the two full-length records she recorded for Motown: Every Little Bit Hurts and Hurtin' and Cryin', the majority of which was previously unreleased to the public. Every single hit Holloway had is included here, making this a must-have for Motown enthusiasts, Northern Soul aficionados, and fans of stunning, timeless soul music. The second disc offers a generous helping of rare singles and previously unreleased material, featuring an outstanding rendition of "All I Do Is Think About You," an intense interpretation of "He's My Kind of Fellow" (made known by Gladys Knight & the Pips), and the stomper "I'm on the Right Track." It's a shame material of this quality and caliber had to linger and gather dust in the Motown archives for so long, as Holloway — on her worst day — sounds better than most do on their best days, but this collection was definitely worth the wait. It's an immense joy to listen to, start to finish. Kudos to Motown U.K. for having the initiative to finally make these treasures available for all to hear.

Customer Reviews

Kind of perfect

Spot on phrasing, timing and pitch perfect, how has this voice escaped being THE female voice of Motown? Indeed one of the great voices of pop music. Certain female R &B singers today are nowhere close to this kind of subtlety (It used to be called soul). They can yell out their lungs forever but never have the power or range of this voice. There's depth and resonance here and a lightness too. The slight huskiness gives richness; a yearning tenderness lends a new vulnerability to classics like Summertime or Embraceable You. But there's nothing backward or downtrodden here; like all her work the best-known single, Every Little Bit Hurts is bright and confident, her voice lighting up the material. This is class, immediate, brilliant and outstanding value. You get a whole career for exactly two pounds more than I paid for fish and chips on Saturday. They too were very good incidentally, but this music lasts forever.


Born: 21 June 1946 in Atascadero, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the sexiest singers on the Motown label, Brenda Holloway was also one of its grittiest, with a strong gospel influence more typical of Southern soul than the company's usual polish. Best known for her ballad hit "Every Little Bit Hurts," Holloway also recorded (and co-wrote) the original version of "You've Made Me So Very Happy," which soon became a hit for jazz-rockers Blood Sweat & Tears. Holloway was born in Atascadero, CA, in 1946 and grew up in the Watts section of Los Angeles; as a...
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Brenda Holloway: The Motown Anthology, Brenda Holloway
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