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The Ultimate Collection [1998]

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All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Motown Records is a bit like the Walt Disney Studios, in the sense that both organizations made a good deal more money in recent decades marketing their histories and reputations than they have in creating very much that's new -- indeed, Motown hasn't been an active label, in the sense of recording any new artists, in more than a decade. Apart from its Anthology series in the mid-'70s, however, the label seldom came up with anything that could hold a permanent place in a collection, or was reasonably comprehensive. Then came the Ultimate Collection series, which was timed to coincide with the first technological upgrade in CD mastering to 20-bit digital audio. This disc has ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Motown Records is a bit like the Walt Disney Studios, in the sense that both organizations made a good deal more money in recent decades marketing their histories and reputations than they have in creating very much that's new -- indeed, Motown hasn't been an active label, in the sense of recording any new artists, in more than a decade. Apart from its Anthology series in the mid-'70s, however, the label seldom came up with anything that could hold a permanent place in a collection, or was reasonably comprehensive. Then came the Ultimate Collection series, which was timed to coincide with the first technological upgrade in CD mastering to 20-bit digital audio. This disc has 25 songs that encompass all of the Top Ten hits by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles released between 1960 and 1969 as well as their 1970 number one hit, "Tears of a Clown", but also some of their finest B-sides "Choosey Beggar," "Who's Lovin' You" and an album track or two of significance, and it also sounded significantly better than any prior hits collection on the group, including the upgraded Anthology two-CD set issued just three years earlier. What's more, while it in no way supplants the four-CD 35th Anniversary Collection, it offers one track that didn't make it onto that set, the second version of "Way Over There," which -- though it never charted -- is a brilliant piece of writing, singing, and production. After all, "Way Over There" was the very first actual "Motown" single; in fact, it was one of the most ambitious and beautiful records that Berry Gordy ever produced personally -- and it did sell a reported 50,000 copies, which was significant enough in helping to keep the fledgling company afloat. That's as much of a "history lesson" as this CD provides, though people will always happily hear history lessons like that. Mostly, it's a gorgeous flood of sound washing over you for 70 minutes, though not quite like you've ever heard these songs -- including the gently ringing rhythm guitar on "Tracks of My Tears," the in-your-face drums that open "My Girl Has Gone," and the strings of the Detroit Symphony on "Way Over There," but most of all the silky lead and backing vocals, which have never sounded closer or smoother. The standard is now 24-bit, and someday there may even be a DVD audio or SACD of hits by the Miracles, but for a collection featuring some of their most enjoyable and best-sounding music, no one is going to be cheated by buying this disc.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/10/1998
  • Label: Motown
  • UPC: 731453085725
  • Catalog Number: 530857

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles Primary Artist, Track Performer
Smokey Robinson Indexed Contributor, Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Marcus Belgrave Trumpet
Jack Brokensha Vibes
Larry Nozero Saxophone
Dennis Coffey Guitar
Johnny Griffith Keyboards
Herbie Williams Trumpet
Richard "Pistol" Allen Drums
Jack Ashford Percussion, Vibes
Lanny Austin Saxophone
Bob Babbitt Bass
George Bohannon Trombone
Thomas "Beans" Bowles Saxophone
Eddie "Bongo" Brown Percussion
Angelo Carlisi Saxophone
Russell Conway Trumpet
Henry Cosby Saxophone
Bob Cousar Trombone
Lefty Edwards Saxophone
Eli Fontaine Saxophone
Danya Hartwick Flute, Piccolo
Billy Horner Trumpet
Ivy Jo Hunter Keyboards
Clarence Isabell Bass
James Jamerson Bass
Uriel Jones Drums
Patrick Lanier Trombone
Kasuku Mafia Saxophone
Joe Messina Guitar
Eugene BeeBee Moore Saxophone
Bernie Peacock Saxophone
Carl Raetz Trombone
Melvin "Wah Wah" Ragin Guitar
Paul Riser Trombone
Ernie Rodgers Saxophone
Don Slaughter Trumpet
Andrew Smith Drums
Gordon Staples Conductor
Andrew "Mike" Terry Saxophone
Johnny Trudell Trumpet
Danny Turner Saxophone
Earl Van Dyke Keyboards
Don White Trombone
Jimmy Wilkins Trombone
Eddie Willis Guitar
Eddie Jones Trumpet
Marvin Tarplin Guitar
Bill Johnson Trombone
Richard Wylie Keyboards
Robert White Guitar
John Wilson Trumpet
Eugene Rodgers Saxophone
Benny Benjamin Drums
Ted Buckner Alto Saxophone
Detroit Symphony Orchestra Strings
Joe Williams Bass
Floyd Jones Trumpet
Maurice Davis Trumpet
Technical Credits
Smokey Robinson Producer
George Jackson Contributor
H.B. Barnum Arranger
Johnny Bristol Producer
Al Cleveland Producer
Henry Cosby Producer
Lamont Dozier Producer
John Esposito Contributor
Berry Gordy Jr. Producer
Fred Hammond Contributor
Brian Holland Producer
David Irvin Art Direction
Bill Levenson Contributor
Warren "Pete" Moore Producer
Kevin Reeves Contributor
Paul Riser Arranger
David Van De Pitte Arranger
David Ritz Contributor
Adam White Contributor
Michael Wilding Contributor
Dana Smart Contributor
Catherine Ladis Contributor
Jerry Rappaport Contributor
David Harley Contributor
Bas Hartong Contributor
Alan Warner Contributor
Stu Hackel Liner Notes
Paul Foley Contributor
David H. Jones Composer
Pat Warner Contributor
Bill Baran Contributor
Michelle Piza Creative Services Coordinator
Karen Kwak Contributor
Warren Moore Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I grew up listening to Motown.... Marvin, the 4 Tops, the Temps, Martha, Barbara Lewis (I was never a big Supremes guy). A lot of people don't realize that Smokey wrote hit after hit for all the aforementioned performers (and for Berry Gordy's pockets). These tracks prove that he was equally gifted in front of the mike. Listen to the heart-wrenching beginning of 'Oooh, baby baby', "I did you wrong, my heart went out to play...." Later in the song his vocal gymnastics sound effortless (until you try to sing along). Smokey never breaks a sweat. All the GET UP AND DANCE hits are here, 'Goin to a gogo', 'shop around', 'second that emotion', 'Mickey's monkey'.... In my opinion, tho, where Smokey and the Miracles really shine is on such cuts as 'mirage', 'more love','I may not be the one you want, 'Yesterlove'.... They're all here, and you won't be able to get the volume high enough. I don't think you can get a better profile of this great group on a single disc. Now if I could just find a Temptations hit compilation that includes '(Loneliness made me realize) Its you that I need'....

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