Various Artists

Motown Year by Year: The Sound of Young America, 1964

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With the British Invasion in full swing by 1964, Motown responded with one of the most consistent and creative years in the label's history, entering a period of sustained brilliance which continued well into the next decade. This 16-track collection captures the Motown Sound in its ascendancy, nicely juxtaposing familiar favorites like Martha & the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street," Mary Wells' "My Guy," the Four Tops' "Baby I Need Your Loving" and the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go" alongside lesser-known gems from Marvin Gaye ("You're a Wonderful One"), the Spinners ("Sweet Thing") and Eddie Holland ("Leaving Here"). The inclusion of a pair of relative rarities -- Liz Lands' "Midnight Johnny" and the Serenaders' "If Your Heart Says Yes" -- makes the set worthwhile for longtime Motown collectors as well.

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