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Early Classics

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Album Review

With his Detroit R&B approach, coupled with a voice that wouldn't have been out of place at Stax, Edwin Starr had all the tools to be a major star at Motown. Although he did score some widely scattered hits, he never really found his stride until he was paired with producer Norman Whitfield in 1970 on the mega-hit "War." This collection dates from just prior to that monumental single, and while the tracks here show an interesting Motown/Stax approach to things, few of these songs really resonate, with the exception of the slow, driving excellence of "25 Miles." Early Classics will be of most interest to serious Edwin Starr fans, while more casual listeners will be better served with one of the greatest-hits collections.

Biography

Born: 21 January 1942 in Nashville, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Rightly revered for the storming protest classic "War," Edwin Starr didn't really need another hit to achieve legendary status in soul circles, so electrifying was that single performance. Starr first made his name as "Agent Double-O-Soul," and when his contract was transferred to Motown, he instantly became one of the roughest, toughest vocalists on the crossover-friendly label, with his debt to James Brown and the Stax soul shouters. Even if nothing else ever matched the phenomenon...
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Early Classics, Edwin Starr
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