Various Artists

Motown Chartbusters, Vol. 11

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Another eminently listenable compilation spotlighting the Motown label's brightest stars, Motown Chartbusters, Vol. 11 mixes up the magic a little, leaving some of the older stable in the background and allowing others to take a little more of the spotlight. Case in point -- the Commodores, who usually appeared on three or four tracks per Chartbuster, but here are represented by just two songs, "Still" and "Wonderland," although Diana Ross still remains a strong selling point across "Upside Down," "My Old Piano," and "It's My House." So far, then, it's the usual suspects. Delve a little deeper, though, and it begins to get interesting. Jermaine Jackson may have been recording solo since the early '70s, but he really got his solo career rolling at the end of the decade, and that is reflected here with the inclusion of his first R&B number one hit, "Let's Get Serious." Rick James funks up the set with "Big Time," while soul belter Teena Marie adds two tracks, "Behind the Groove" and "I Need Your Lovin'." And that just leaves a couple of surprises to round out the set, as Syreeta scores two mentions with "He's Gone" and her duet with Billy Preston, "With You I'm Born Again." The sleeper here, of course, is the inclusion of High Inergy's "Make Me Yours." A nice, level compilation with a couple of unexpected tricks up its sleeves, Motown Chartbusters, Vol. 11 probably won't bring oohs and ahhs from the soul superfreaks. But, with value for money across 16 fat tracks, it's still a groove-vibed ride worth taking.

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