Martha & the Vandellas

Dance Party

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One of the great party albums of the 1960s, Dance Party was, oddly enough, the work of a Motown act that wasn't known for delivering great albums. Martha & the Vandellas had enjoyed some serious hits from 1964 onward, but hadn't quite measured up in the LP department until the release of Dance Party in the spring of 1965. Made up of material from singles that went back to the previous summer, the album benefited from the presence of the group's biggest single, "Dancing in the Street," its follow-up, the hypnotically pounding, driving, soaring "Wild One," and the classic "Nowhere to Run," surrounded by a trio of well-above-average B-sides and covers of such Motown dance standards as "Mickey's Monkey" and "Hitch Hike." Even the rest was hardly filler, however, with Martha Reeves turning in a gloriously impassioned performance on the ballad "There He Is (At My Door)" and the group acquitting itself beautifully on "Motoring." Each side was always good for at least two plays at any self-respecting teen party of the '60s, and it all still holds up today.

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