The Marvelettes

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In the '80s, Britisher Ian Levine recorded almost every ex-Motown artist living, many whose careers had been dormant for decades, so it's hard to criticize his efforts. He did admirable productions on Bobby Taylor, the Originals, the Elgins, Hattie Littles and some others, but fared worse on productions with Edwin Starr, the Satintones, the Monitors and the subjects of this review, the Marvelettes, whose early hits were pop-oriented, teen-ish sounds. Which means songs like "Beechwood 4-5789," "When You're Young and in Love," "Too Many Fish in the Sea," "My Baby Must Be a Magician" and "Don't Mess With Bill," don't come across well sung by ladies 40 and 50 years old. Levine's work would have sounded better with a crack rhythm section on the Motorcity recordings -- and what happened to the hand claps?