Various Artists

The 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Motown 1980s, Vol. 1

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This discount-priced compilation of Motown hits from 1980-1985 includes the work of longtime label artists like Diana Ross ("I'm Coming Out"), the Temptations ("Treat Her Like a Lady"), and Smokey Robinson ("Being With You"), as well as relatively new ones such as Rick James ("Give It to Me Baby"), DeBarge ("Rhythm of the Night"), and the Dazz Band ("Let It Whip"). The inclusion of Michael Jackson's "Farewell My Summer Love" is something of a ringer, since it is a track Jackson actually recorded in 1974, given overdubs and a remix to cash in on his Thriller fame in 1984. One-hit wonder Rockwell (aka Kennedy Gordy, son of Motown president Berry Gordy, Jr.) actually has Jackson singing on the chorus of his novelty "Somebody's Watching Me," however, along with Jackson's brother Jermaine, who stayed with Motown when the Jackson 5 decamped and is featured on his own hit, the Stevie Wonder-written and -produced "Let's Get Serious." The collection, which is released with a companion second volume, demonstrates that Motown was still scoring hits in contemporary urban styles long after its 1960s heyday.

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