Teena Marie

Greatest Hits [Motown]

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The various best-of collections by Teena Marie that surfaced in the '80s and '90s focus on either her Motown output of the late '70s and early '80s or her Epic recordings of 1983-1990. When Motown put out this Greatest Hits collection in 1985, Marie had been signed to Epic for two years. There was certainly no love lost between Marie and Motown; in the early '80s, she had fought a well-publicized legal battle with Berry Gordy's outfit. Regardless, Motown knew that Marie's Motown catalog was a gold mine, and the label continued to make money from that catalog when it assembled Greatest Hits (which shouldn't be confused with a 1991 Epic CD that has the same title). This release isn't as generous as some of the Marie best-ofs that Motown subsequently provided; while Greatest Hits offers nine songs (mostly abridged versions), Motown's more comprehensive I Need Your Lovin': The Best of Teena Marie contains 12. Nonetheless, the songs that Greatest Hits does offer are excellent. Essential hits like "I Need Your Lovin'," "Square Biz," and "I'm a Sucker for Your Love" are included, and if a novice was seeking an introduction to Marie's Motown output in the mid-'80s, Greatest Hits wasn't a bad way to go. But when I Need Your Lovin' came out in 1994, Greatest Hits suddenly became a less attractive option -- not only because it is more generous and contains the longer versions of Marie's hits, but also because it offers chart information and insightful liner notes by writer Fred Bronson. If you had to choose between Greatest Hits and I Need Your Lovin', the latter would definitely be the best choice. But again, Greatest Hits wasn't a bad way to go if, in the mid-'80s, you wanted a collection of Marie's Motown essentials.

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