Various Artists

Motown Year By Year: The Sound of Young America, 1973

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While 1973 unquestionably belonged to Stevie Wonder -- who in the space of those 12 months delivered not only one of the era's all-time great love songs ("You Are the Sunshine of My Life") but also one of its most potent social commentaries ("Living for the City") -- the remainder of the Motown stable acquitted itself admirably that year as well, as this 16-track collection amply proves. In addition to Wonder -- both of whose hits are included here -- there was Marvin Gaye, who with "Let's Get It On" delivered one of the most seductive come-ons ever committed to vinyl, as well as the Temptations, who distilled their 14-minute epic "Masterpiece" into a superb single clocking in well under five minutes, and even former group member Eddie Kendricks, who topped the charts with "Keep on Truckin'." Of most interest to collectors, however, will be the inclusion of ex-Temptation Paul Williams' previously unreleased "Feel Like Givin' Up," a title which proved all too prophetic when the singer committed suicide just weeks later.

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