Martha & the Vandellas

Greatest Hits [Motown]

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Released at the height of Martha & the Vandellas' success, this 12-song compilation assembles most of the group's hit singles from their first three years as a recording act. It's difficult to criticize a collection that gets such soaring numbers as "You've Been in Love Too Long," "Dancing in the Street," "Nowhere to Run," "Live Wire," "Wild One," "In My Lonely Room," and "Heat Wave" together in one place, although it should be pointed out that the selection is hardly a valid snapshot of the group's singles -- amid the presence of those pounding, anthem-like fixtures of 1960s soul, the album overlooks a few of their more ballad-oriented hits, such as "I'm Ready for Love," although it does open with the gorgeous, lyrical "My Baby Loves Me" and "Come and Get These Memories," their first single to make an impact on the charts. Also missing, because of the release date of this collection, are the 1967-era hits "Jimmy Mack" and "Honey Chile." As with most Motown albums of this period, original pressings (especially in mono) have a dense, thumping sound that makes them a choice listening experience.

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