In 1980, Motown celebrated its 20th anniversary with its Superstar Series, a series of best-of collections by artists who had recorded for the label in the 1960s and/or 1970s. Some of the artists who had made Motown successful had moved on to other labels, including Michael Jackson, the Jacksons, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and the Four Tops -- and it wouldn't be long until the label lost Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, and Teena Marie as well. But they wasn't exactly hurting. The company had its share of major artists in the 1980s (Rick James, Lionel Richie, DeBarge, among others), and there was still money to be made from the catalogs of its former artists. Gladys Knight & the Pips left in 1973, but their Motown hits continued to sell long after their departure. Vol. 13 of the Superstar Series focuses on them, and the LP boasts 12 of their most essential Motown hits of 1966-1973. Side one is a nonstop six-song medley that kicks into high gear with "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and also includes such gems as "Neither One of Us," "If I Were Your Woman," and "Daddy Could Swear, I Declare." And side two is every bit as strong, offering equally definitive hits like "The Tracks of My Tears," "Didn't You Know (You'd Have to Cry Sometime)," "Everybody Needs Love," and "I Don't Want to Do Wrong." In other words, Superstar Series, Vol. 13 contains the songs you needed the most if, in 1980, you were seeking an introductory overview of Knight's Motown years.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson