The Best of the 70s & 80s
This 60-track Spinners set is intended only for Spinners fanatics who want a comprehensive look at the group's late-'70s and early-'80s work . The Detroiters' recording career began as the top dogs on Harvey and Gwen Fuqua's tiny Tri-Phi Records, but bottomed for eight years after Motown acquired Tri-Phi (and the Spinners). The fall was rough and rocky. Motown required that the band do odd jobs like chauffeuring and packing records to earn miniscule salaries. They only managed a couple of regional hits at Hitsville U.S.A.: "I'll Always You" and "Truly Yours" and one big one, "It's a Shame," which came near the end of their contract. But the time proved well spent. Those less-than-lucrative years garnered a loyal following and respect from insiders like Thom Bell, who picked the Spinners from a group of artists -- some better known -- to produce for Atlantic Records. The relationship resulted in a blistering '70s hit barrage that made them arguably -- with the O'Jays, another group who suffered in the '60s -- the top male vocal group of that decade. Collectables chronicles the essentials on this multi-disc collection that includes a super helping of their '80s tracks as well. You'll be spinning and singing to the jaunty tunes and moaning with Philippe Wynne on the weepers. The different leads -- Wynne, Bobby Smith, Henry Fambrough, John Edwards, and Dionne Warwick on "Then Came You" -- provide contrast. And the producers after Bell, including Michael Zager, keep this monumental compilation compelling.