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Motown Two

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Given the unexpected success he had with 2003's Motown collection, it's no surprise that blue-eyed soul crooner Michael McDonald reentered the vaults of Hitsville U.S.A. for further inspiration. As was the case with its predecessor, Motown Two draws primarily from the Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder canons, while also making room for such seminal Motown composers as Smokey Robinson and the legendary Holland/Dozier/Holland songwriting team. The former Doobie Brothers frontman applies himself especially well on fare by his icon, Gaye, honoring him with a lush swing through "What's Goin' On," as well as a subtle, samba-infused "Mercy, Mercy Me" and a reading of "Baby ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Given the unexpected success he had with 2003's Motown collection, it's no surprise that blue-eyed soul crooner Michael McDonald reentered the vaults of Hitsville U.S.A. for further inspiration. As was the case with its predecessor, Motown Two draws primarily from the Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder canons, while also making room for such seminal Motown composers as Smokey Robinson and the legendary Holland/Dozier/Holland songwriting team. The former Doobie Brothers frontman applies himself especially well on fare by his icon, Gaye, honoring him with a lush swing through "What's Goin' On," as well as a subtle, samba-infused "Mercy, Mercy Me" and a reading of "Baby I'm for Real" smothered in organ and just a dash of falsetto. Whereas Motown featured instrumental accompaniment by Fourplay, Two features a couple of surprise collaborations: Toni Braxton sounds like a throatier Diana Ross to her silver-haired counterpart's soulful Gaye on "Stop, Look, Listen To Your Heart," and Stevie Wonder peppers a funky rendition of his "I Was Made to Love Her" with his distinctive harmonica sound. A longtime Motown devotee, McDonald once again uses his undeniable talents to pay homage to the considerable legacy established by the "Sound of Young America."
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Michael McDonald's 2003 album of Motown covers, modestly titled Motown, was his biggest hit in well over a decade, so it only made sense that he returned with a sequel to the record a little over a year later -- after all, might as well strike while the iron is hot. Logically titled Motown Two, the album follows the same blueprint as the first record, offering highly polished, professionally produced, expertly performed interpretations of gems from the Motown vaults; it's the sound of young America in the '60s reinterpreted for the adults of the new millennium. While the sound is the same, there are a couple of important differences this time around. First of all, there are a few celebrity cameos, a sign that this project has a higher profile than the first Motown record. These cameos -- Billy Preston on "You're All I Need to Get By," Stevie Wonder playing harmonica on his own "I Was Made to Love Her," a duet with Toni Braxton, "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)" -- all fit seamlessly into the album, and actually enrich the album, giving it warm, open-hearted feel, which is also reflected in a looser performance from McDonald himself. Last time, he was in typically fine voice, but here he really digs into the songs, making this a better listen in terms of sheer performance, but what really distinguishes this album -- and what makes it different from its predecessor -- is that there's a slightly adventurous streak in the choice of songs. There are big hits here, to be sure -- "Reach Out, I'll Be There," "Baby I Need Your Lovin'," "Tracks of My Tears," "What's Goin' On," "Nowhere to Run" -- but McDonald has also dug out some lesser-known tunes like "Tuesday Heartbreak," "After the Dance," and "Baby I'm for Real" that make this album a richer, more enjoyable listen than before. It's the rare sequel that improves on the original.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/2004
  • Label: Motown
  • UPC: 602498678947
  • Catalog Number: 000347202
  • Sales rank: 13,582

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 You're All I Need to Get By
  2. 2 I Was Made to Love Her
  3. 3 Reach Out, I'll Be There
  4. 4 Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)
  5. 5 Baby I Need Your Lovin'
  6. 6 Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
  7. 7 The Tracks of My Tears
  8. 8 What's Goin' On
  9. 9 I Second That Emotion
  10. 10 After the Dance
  11. 11 Nowhere to Run
  12. 12 Tuesday Heartbreak
  13. 13 Mercy Mercy Me
  14. 14 Baby I'm for Real
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Michael McDonald Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals
Billy Preston Hammond Organ
Michael Thompson Guitar
Lenny Castro Percussion
Bernie Chiaravalle Guitar (Nylon String)
Simon Climie Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Vinnie Colaiuta Drums
Steve Crawford Background Vocals
Nathan East Bass
Isobel Griffiths Conductor
Abraham Laboriel Sr. Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums
Audrey Martells Background Vocals
Shandra Penix Background Vocals
Tony Swain Synthesizer, Clavinet
Fred Vigdor Alto Saxophone
Sharon White Background Vocals
Stevie Wonder Harmonica
Mitchell John Background Vocals
Lawrence Johnson Background Vocals
Kevin Whalum Background Vocals
Tim Carmon Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Wurlitzer
Yvette Preyer Background Vocals
Tiffany Ransom Background Vocals
Toby Baker Keyboards
Darwin Hobbs Background Vocals
Sherrie Kibble Background Vocals
Tamar Braxton Background Vocals
Nicky "Misschief" Shaw Percussion, Drums
Simon Clime Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Kimberly Mont Background Vocals
Kendra Carr Background Vocals
Abraham Jr. Laborel Drums
Jay Malcomb Background Vocals
Rachel Oteh Background Vocals
Drea Rhenee Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Ivory Joe Hunter Composer
Marvin Gaye Composer
Smokey Robinson Composer
Toni Braxton Duet
T-Boy Ross Composer
Nick Ashford Composer
Thom Bell Composer
Renaldo Benson Composer
Al Cleveland Composer
Simon Climie Arranger, Programming, Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing
Henry Cosby Composer
Linda Creed Composer
Lamont Dozier Composer
Alan Douglas Engineer
Shannon Forrest Engineer
Anna Gordy Gaye Composer
Eddie Holland Composer
Brian Holland Composer
Nick Ingman String Arrangements
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Warren "Pete" Moore Composer
Don Murray Engineer
Allen Sides Engineer
Valerie Simpson Composer
Tony Swain Executive Producer
Stevie Wonder Composer
Gavyn Wright String Conductor
Leon Ware Composer
Grady Walker Engineer
Marvin Tarplin Composer
Toby Baker Arranger, Programming
Lula Mae Hardaway Composer
Jonathan Shakhovskoy Digital Editing
Nicky "Misschief" Shaw Arranger, Programming, beats
Simon Clime Arranger, Programming, Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing
Joel Evenden Engineer, Digital Editing, Virtual Audio Engineer
Lisa Patton Brown Personal Assistant
Signia Productions Team Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    A Great Time!

    I love this CD. No one else could have shown such respect for these wonderful songs. I have a big smile on my face during and after listening to it. What a soul sound he has. What fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A+ to Michael

    I absolutely love the remakes. Some people can do it and some can't and Michael McDonald can do it so well. He puts his soul into an already great song. The combination music and vocal is great. Thanks Michael for your Motown versions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Terrific Album

    This album is great! And I can't understand the idiots who say it's bad. Speaking as someone who wasn't around during the Motown era, Michael McDonald does a service to us for remaking the songs. Motown II is even better than the first. Michael McDonald has such a soulful voice that when I first heard him in the 80s as a kid on the radio, I thought he was black! Yes, few artists can remake Motown classics well, and McDonald is that artist. Anyone who doesn't like the album needs to get their ears examined!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Oh My God...

    ...what a tremendous disappointment. This CD is flatter than a pancake. After painfully listening to it once i gave it to my much older brother-in-law. Hopefully he can find something good about it. But, i must be even minded here, the #4 song, Stop Look Listen, did approach some artistic and creative music. It is really shameful that the very talented voice of Michael M. was wasted on the other poorly arranged and poorly sound-engineered cuts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse!

    Thank you Michael McDonald! Thank you for butchering some of my favorite Motown classics! The first Motown album was bad, and this is even worse! Listen to the sound samples and prove it yourself! Do yourself a favor: Don't buy this CD! Save your hard-earned money and buy some REAL Motown collections by the artists who know what Motown soul should sound like.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Michael McDonald Rocks!

    For those of you who have never heard and seen Mike McDonald live, I have nothing to say to you...except for that he is the greatest performer I have seen in a very long time. I absolutely love his singing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fine wine? I don't think so.

    It is sad to me that one who cannot make original music that sells, rips off proven hits in an attempt to salvage an already mediocre career. I mean this guy was doing MCI commercials this past summer! C'mon, if I want to hear a Marvin Gaye song, I'll play my Marvin Gaye album. You wouldn't rent Brewsters Millions to watch the Yankees play baseball...would ya? At the end of the day the songs are great but not when Mr. McDonald sings them. You can't remake a classic and do it justice, especially with those old, tired chords. Everyone gets mad when Puff Daddy takes a song, but when this guy does it, it goes to the top of the charts. Why? This is the most egregious example of musical theivery since Vanilla Ice stole Queens "under pressure". For shame Mr. McDonald tisk tisk.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What a sequel!

    If you liked Motown, you will LOVE the follow up CD. Michael McDonald, like fine wine, gets better with age!

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