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Album Review

Martha Reeves certainly has come a long way since her days as an A&R assistant at Motown, crafting hit after hit and helping mold the powerhouse Motown sound of the '60s. But what's surprising is that there's really not that many greatest-hits compilations that are both thorough and readily available to discover just how deep the Reeves & the Vandellas catalog truly is. Thankfully, Gold corrects that and then some. Under the steady hand of Motown superhero and Universal executive Harry Weinger, the Motown catalog, which has been long weathered over time, is starting to shine impeccably, and this two-disc, 42-song offering is concrete proof. Gold works its way through their career in chronological fashion, but wastes no time in offering the best of the bunch with "Heatwave" as the third track. All of the other biggest hits are here and then some, and kudos for the inclusion of "There He Is (At My Door)," the B-side to their most well-known single, "Dancing in the Street," as well as the Frank Wilson-penned "It's Easy to Fall in Love (With a Guy Like You)," originally found on the excellent Cellarful of Motown! anthology. The second disc wanes on the Motown stompers a bit, but there's plenty of soulful delights to appease even the most stringent of connoisseurs. Also a pleasant surprise is the inclusion of later '70s material recorded post-Motown at Arista and MCA, including Martha's solo works as well as her cover of Van Morrison's "Wild Night." Overall, it's a great starting point for the casual listener and probably the most reasonable and thorough anthology on the market and most likely one of the best compilations for the Vandellas that will ever be assembled.

Gold, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
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