Martha & the Vandellas

Live Wire! The Singles 1962-1972

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AllMusic Review by

This two-CD box set includes all of the top singles and many of the flip sides that Martha Reeves & the Vandellas cut for Motown. All the hits are here, of course; the collector will be especially interested in the B-sides and non-hit singles, many of which employed the songwriting talents of Motown regulars like Holland-Dozier-Holland and Mickey Stevenson. There's also the rare single (featuring Gloria Williamson on lead vocals) cut by the Vells in 1962, before Reeves took top billing and the group changed their name. Eight of these cuts have never been released on album before. Among the non-hits, there isn't anything to match "Heat Wave" or "Dancing in the Street," but Reeves' astonishingly powerful voice never falters. She was arguably Motown's most talented female singer, but the label's investment in her seemed to flag as the decade progressed. The later material lacks the distinction of her classic period, though the 1970 album track "I Should Be Proud" is a little-known (if somewhat heavy-handed) protest against the Vietnam War.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:52
2 2:23
3 2:49
4 2:27
5 2:24
6 2:46
7 2:38
8 2:36
9 2:31
10 2:30
11 2:49
12 2:38
13 2:42
14 2:57
15 2:45
16 3:01
17 2:55
18 3:09
19 2:10
20 3:00
21 2:54
22 2:47

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:52
2 2:12
3 2:34
4 2:51
5 2:39
6 2:06
7 3:00
8 2:37
9 2:37
10 3:06
11 2:40
12 3:02
13 2:56
14 3:06
15 2:29
16 3:02
17 2:57
18 3:26
19 3:02
20 2:43
21 3:08
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