Motown - 2001 – 71 minutes
Soul Music. This most maligned and misunderstood genre has suffered in recent times, mainly thanks to the saccharine warbling of Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder's entire output since 1979. 'Soul Satisfaction 2' redresses all that. It's a call to arms, recalling the golden age of Motown, where brass sections ruled and a love song consisted of more than Lionel Richie stalking a blind girl.
Opening with the thumping beats of Jr Walker and The Allstars, this collection delivers on its promise of soul satisfaction. It avoids the soul standards to provide an offbeat look at the greatest record label there ever was. Tracks like Jimmy Ruffin's 'Everybody Needs Love' are uplifting and guaranteed to make you long for times when dance music didn't sound like car alarms.
Trawling Berry Gordy's vaults for this remarkable combination of floor-fillers and tearjerkers, the producers of this album have come up with some genuine rarities. Not least the startling sound of Stevie Wonder turning Doors' classic 'Light My Fire' into a funky soul number, complete with jazzy harmonica breaks, anticipating the Philly Soul sound that was around the corner.
What makes this selection special is the thought that went into creating it. No half-measures here, no lazy composition, just the tight production and slinky soul sound that Motown is famous for.
Most of the label's favoured sons and daughters are here, Marvin Gaye, Temptations, Gladys Knight, but surprisingly it is Edwin Starr who produces the strongest contributions. His three tracks showcase the sheer range of artists signed to the label and highlight the changes in the soul sound at the turn of the 60's.
A terrific record that avoids cliché and soppy soul suds to provide the solid soul sounds that will make you forgive, if not forget, the abominations these artists produced in the 1980's.
Tracklisting: Good Rockin' - Junior Walker & The All Stars, Goddess of Love – Marvelettes, Forget About Me – Carolyn Crawford, How Sweet It Is (to be loved by you) – Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers, I Wonder Why Nobody Loves Me – Billy Eckstine, I Can't Believe You Love Me – Tammi Terrell, My Baby Loves Me - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Can You Love A Poor Boy - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Just the Lonely - Fantastic Four, Say You - Monitors (1), Hey Girl – Temptations, Everybody Needs Love – Jimmy Ruffin, He's My Kind of Fellow – Gladys Knight & The Pips, I'm Grateful - Four Tops, Don't Tell Me I'm Crazy – Edwin Starr, Edwin, She's Gonna Love Me At Sundown - Detroit Spinners, Running Back and Forth – Edwin Starr, Love Guess Who - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, There You Go – Edwin Starr, Light My Fire – Stevie Wonder, Who Is She (and what is she to you) – Gladys Knight & The Pips, Date With The Rain – Eddie Kendricks, Come Get To This – Marvin Gaye