Various Artists

Remembering Roots of Soul, Vol. 2: Birth of Motor Town

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Detroit's LuPine Records issued several fine singles in the mid-'60s, tracks that featured a rougher, deeper soul sound then rival Motown Records. In truth, listening to the cuts on this interesting compilation, it is tempting to call the LuPine sound a direct mix between the hard soul of Stax and the stylish pop of Motown, and history actually bears the proof. The Primettes, featured here on "Tears of Sorrow" and "Pretty Baby," moved on to Motown and became the Supremes. Eddie Floyd, represented here by "I'm Her Yo Yo Man" and "I'll Never Find Another Girl Like You," became a fixture at Stax, as did Wilson Pickett, whose group the Falcons has three tracks collected here. Marv Johnson's "All I Need Is You" and "I'll Get Along" have a sort of proto Motown pop feel to them (you can almost imagine Marvin Gaye doing the former and Smokey Robinson the latter), and the Corvells sound like a trial run for a Motown girl group on "He's So Fine" and "Baby Sitting." Another highlight is Don Revel's "Return of Stagger Lee," which resurrects the archetypical gambler for another go-round. In all, this is a fascinating compilation of hard-driving Detroit soul, with just a hint of pop.

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