Tammi Terrell

The Essential Collection

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Setting aside Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's Greatest Hits and The Complete Duets (which anthologizes and collects, respectively) her 1967-69 material with Marvin Gaye, The Ultimate Collection is the best Tammi Terrell retrospective available. Thankfully including just one duet with Gaye, this Spectrum compilation features 17 solo tracks -- virtually all the material Terrell recorded at Motown on her own (even a solo version of her duet hit "Two Can Have a Party"). Beginning with her Motown debut "I Can't Believe You Love Me" and "Come on and See Me," her twin R&B hits during 1966, The Ultimate Collection proves Tammi Terrell recorded a lot of glorious solo material for Motown. She usually worked with Johnny Bristol and Harvey Fuqua, who made her a stunning alternative to Diana Ross or Martha Reeves with standouts like her cover of the Isleys' "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" or "Tears at the End of a Love Affair." The final song, included presumably just for comparison, is one of her finest Marvin Gaye duets: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

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