Widely acknowledged as the top band during their tenure at Motown, the Commodores were one of the bands that kept Berry Gordy's mythical hit machine on top of the commercial R&B game. Especially during a tumultuous period in Motown's history, where artists were changing creative direction (much to Gordy's chagrin) and others were fleeing for other opportunities at labels elsewhere. Amidst all of the drama, the Commodores persevered and made some of the most potent hits of the label's entire catalog. Mapping the evolution of the band primarily from the mid-'70s to mid-'80s, The Ultimate Collection spares no expense in thoroughly covering many of the group's high points, free of traditional greatest-hits filler. Funk-heavy stompers are pared next to some of Lionel Richie's most beautifully penned ballads, showcasing the unbelievable depth and production skills the group had during their heyday. Those wishing to get a fuller scope historically of the evolution of the group would be better-served to check out the double-disc Anthology set Motown issued in 2001. But for those looking solely for the hits, stay where you are. This is the most comprehensive collection of the Commodores' hits you are likely to find in print.
AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston