Although most of the '90s found Teena Marie without a record deal, both Motown and Epic continued to profit from her legacy by putting out best-of collections. In 1994, Motown released I Need Your Lovin': The Best of Teena Marie, a generous, gem-laden collection that spans 1977-1981 and clocks in at 73 minutes. Essential Motown hits like "I Need Your Lovin'," "Square Biz," "Behind the Groove," and "I'm a Sucker for Your Love" are offered along with some excellent album tracks, including "Déjà Vu" (a lovely ballad that was written by Rick James and reflects on reincarnation) and Irons in the Fire's title song. Motown also offers two previously unreleased ballads that were recorded before she had any albums or singles out: 1977's enjoyable "Don't Turn Your Back on Me" and a heartfelt cover of the Brenda Holloway hit "Every Little Bit Hurts" (which James wrote and produced for Marie in 1978). It's unfortunate that the songs remained in the can for 16 and 17 years, but better late than never. All four of the albums that Marie recorded for Motown in the late '70s and early '80s (Wild and Peaceful, Lady T, Irons in the Fire, and It Must Be Magic) are well worth having. But if you're seeking an introduction to her Motown output, this 12-song CD would be the logical place to go.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson