At first glance, a 10-CD collection of all the chart-topping hits produced by Motown housed in a little replica of the Hitsville U.S.A. home office in Detroit might seem like a dream come true. But take a look at the track list, particularly on the latter discs, and you'll discover what a schlock-filled nightmare lies ahead. There's no disputing that Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and many others backed by the Funk Brothers pumped out a wealth of timeless music from the 60s to the early 70s, but when Berry Gordy Jr. relocated to Los Angeles, the Motown magic didn't make the trip.
Chances are, boomers who'll get a nostalgic kick out of hearing age-defying classics by Gladys Knight & the Pips, Martha & the Vandellas and the Jackson 5 won't be thrilled to hear Lionel Ritchie croon 20 tunes, and the less said about El DeBarge, T.G. Sheppard, Shanice, Profyle and the Gunn Family the better. A selection governed by the unseen hands behind the charting system might suffice for a quick Christmas cash-in, but a far better overview could easily have been assembled with some attention to artistic quality, historical relevance and track sequencing.
Top Track: What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted, by Jimmy Ruffin