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Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 12A: 1972

The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 12A: 1972

Two songs into The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 12A: 1972, the Four Tops sing "L.A. (My Town)," an ode to the city that became Motown's new hometown in 1972. By the middle of the year, all Detroit operations closed and Motown now belonged to Los Angeles, and this five-disc box set chronicles the first six months of 1972, the time


Two songs into The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 12A: 1972, the Four Tops sing "L.A. (My Town)," an ode to the city that became Motown's new hometown in 1972. By the middle of the year, all Detroit operations closed and Motown now belonged to Los Angeles, and this five-disc box set chronicles the first six months of 1972, the time when Motown was in transition. Certainly, the 113 tracks here -- the uneven number of songs derives from the number of alternate mixes and promo versions -- showcase a label in the throes of change, its '60s superstars struggling to keep up with the times as the new groups never quite made waves. At this point in time, Motown's heavy hitters were Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and the Jackson 5, and these three are responsible for the instantly recognizable songs here: Marvin's "You're the Man," Stevie's "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)," and Michael Jackson's "Rockin' Robin." The lack of big hits surely would've been concerning to Motown in 1972, but this paucity of pop hits makes The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 12A a fascinating listen, as there are covers of familiar songs (the Undisputed Truth's original version of "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," Edwin Starr's cover of "Ball of Confusion"), an early single from the Commodores, Bobby Darin covering Randy Newman, attempts at both bubblegum and Latin-tinged funk rock in the vein of War, plus a bunch of stuff that would've seemed comfortable on Invictus, the label founded by former Motown hitmakers Holland-Dozier-Holland. All these contradictory styles, when combined with an increasingly slick production polish, makes this particular Motown box feel very much of its time; it evokes an era of polyester knits, long sideburns, fuzz guitars, show biz strings, and productions larger than the songs themselves. Much of the fun of this box is enjoying certain portions for their feel, while digging deep in others to find the handful of gems scattered throughout. There may be no question that the glory days of Motown were over, but hearing the label struggle to find footing in a new decade in a new town makes The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 12A: 1972 nearly as compelling a listen as the boxes that showcased the label's best years.

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Disc 1

  1. A Simple Game
  2. L.A. (My Town)
  3. Our Favorite Melody
  4. You Gave Me Love
  5. A Breath Taking Guy
  6. You're the One for Me Bobby
  7. I'm Someone Who Cares
  8. Once I Have You (I Will Never Let Go)
  9. I'm Someone Who Cares
  10. Out in the Night
  11. Gypsy Eyes
  12. Out in the Night
  13. What it is
  14. California Soul
  15. Feel Like Givin' Up
  16. Take Somebody Like You
  17. Take a Look Around
  18. Smooth Sailing (From Now on)
  19. Take a Look Around
  20. I Want to Be Humble
  21. My Place
  22. I Want to Be Humble
  23. Rockin' Robin
  24. Love is Here and Now You're Gone

Disc 2

  1. Can You Give Me Love With a Guarantee
  2. If You Gonna Leave (Just Leave)
  3. Can You Give Me Love With a Guarantee
  4. Love Isn't Here (Like it Used to Be)
  5. Poor Fool
  6. Love Isn't Here (Like it Used to Be)
  7. Poor Fool
  8. Walk in the Night
  9. I Don't Want to Do Wrong
  10. Take Me Clear From Here
  11. Ball of Confusion (That's What the World is Today)
  12. I'm Gonna Get You, Pt. II
  13. I'm Gonna Get You, Pt. I
  14. Help Me Make it Through the Night
  15. Mr. Fix-It Man
  16. You've Got to Make the Choice
  17. Taos New Mexico
  18. Shadow
  19. The Zoo (The Human Zoo)
  20. I'm Looking for Love

Disc 3

  1. What'd I Say
  2. Nice to Be With You
  3. What'd I Say
  4. Let Me Run Into Your Lonely Heart
  5. Eddie's Love
  6. Eddie's Love
  7. Me and Bobby McGee
  8. No One's Gonna Be a Fool Forever
  9. What it is, What it is
  10. You Are the Special One
  11. Little Bitty Pretty One
  12. If I Have to Move a Mountain
  13. Automatically Sunshine
  14. Precious Little Things
  15. It's the Same Old Love
  16. Last Row, First Balcony
  17. It's the Same Old Love
  18. Nihaa Shil Hozho
  19. End?
  20. Nihaa Shil Hozho [Version
  21. I Can't Quit Your Love
  22. Happy (is a Bumpy Road)
  23. I Can Make it Alone
  24. Come Clean

Disc 4

  1. Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)
  2. I Love Every Little Thing About You
  3. It's Too Much for Man to Take Too Long
  4. Time Don't Wait
  5. It's Too Much for Man to Take Too Long
  6. Long Way From Home
  7. Why Do You Cry
  8. Long Way From Home
  9. You're the Man, Pt. 1
  10. You're the Man, Pt. 2
  11. I Wanna Be Where You Are
  12. We've Got a Good Thing Going
  13. We've Come too Far to End it Now
  14. Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
  15. Friendship Train
  16. Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
  17. Get Me Some Help
  18. If Time Could Stand Still
  19. Get Me Some Help
  20. Tear it Down
  21. I Want You Back
  22. Label Me Love
  23. Life's a Ball (While it Lasts)

Disc 5

  1. Mother Nature
  2. Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me on
  3. Mother Nature
  4. Sail Away
  5. Hard Headed Woman
  6. I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel for You
  7. Mind, Body and Soul
  8. A Little More Trust
  9. A Day in the Life of a Working Man
  10. A Little More Trust
  11. Money (That's What I Want)
  12. For Your Precious Love
  13. Groove Thang
  14. Me and My Family
  15. Lookin' Through the Windows
  16. Love Song
  17. Somebody Up There
  18. But I Love You More
  19. To Know You is to Love You
  20. Happiness
  21. Somebody Oughta' Turn Your Head Around
  22. Earth People

Disc 6

  1. Somebody Up There
  2. But I Love You More

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Clifton Davis   Composer
Jerry Butler   Composer
Ray Charles   Composer
Commodores   Arranger
Marvin Gaye   Composer,Producer
Michael Jackson   Source Material
Marv Johnson   Composer
Gladys Knight   Composer,Source Material
Randy Newman   Composer
Rare Earth   Producer
Smokey Robinson   Composer,Producer,Source Material
David Ruffin   Composer
Yusuf (Cat Stevens)   Composer
Gary Wright   Composer,Producer
Brooks Arthur   Composer
Otis Williams   Source Material
Crystal Mansion   Producer
John Glover   Composer
Gloria Jones   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Gene Page   Arranger
Barrett Strong   Composer
R. Dean Taylor   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Sharon Davis   Source Material
Wade Marcus   Arranger
Dick Taylor   Composer
James Dean   Composer
Jerry Ross   Executive Producer
Andantes   Source Material
Nick Ashford   Composer,Producer
Gil Askey   Arranger,Producer
Tom Baird   Arranger,Orchestra Director
Hidle Brown Barnum   Arranger
Tom Bee   Composer
David Bianco   Source Material
David Blumberg   Arranger
Johnny Bristol   Producer
Richard Brooks   Composer
Charles Calello   Arranger
Leonard Caston   Composer
Johnny Caswell   Composer
David Cole   Source Material
Bill Crawford   Composer
Hal Davis   Composer,Producer
Lamont Dozier   Composer
Ronald Dunbar   Composer
Ben Edmonds   Source Material
Dino Fekaris   Composer
Harvey Fuqua   Composer
Bob Gaudio   Composer,Producer
Ronnie Gentile   Composer
Berry Gordy   Composer,Executive Producer,Source Material
George Gordy   Composer,Producer
Gorgoni   Arranger
Arthur Greenslade   Arranger
Haydn Harris   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Jimmie Haskell   Arranger
Eddie Holland   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer
Peter Hoorelbeke   Composer
Willie Hutch   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements
Dick Jacobs   Source Material
Gary Johns   Contributor
Terry Johnson   Producer
David Jones   Composer
Eddie Kendricks   Composer,Producer
Mel Larson   Composer,Producer
Steve Lodder   Source Material
Jerry Long   Arranger,Orchestra Director
Jerry Marcellino   Composer,Producer
Michael Masser   Composer
Eryke McClinton   Composer
Marilyn McLeod   Composer
Clay McMurray   Composer,Producer
Ray Monette   Composer
John Myles   Arranger
Lawrence Payton   Producer
Joe Porter   Producer
Gary Quackenbush   Composer
Glenn Quackenbush   Composer
Martha Reeves   Source Material
Deke Richards   Arranger,Producer
Paul Riser   Arranger,Orchestra Director
Pete Rivera   Source Material
Sal Rota   Composer
Willie Shorter   Arranger
Valerie Simpson   Composer,Producer
Russ Terrana   Producer,Liner Notes
Dave White Tricker   Composer,Producer
David Van De Pitte   Arranger,Orchestra Director
Kathy Wakefield   Composer
Harry Weinger   Liner Notes,Text
Norman Whitfield   Composer,Producer
Stevie Wonder   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Syreeta Wright   Composer
Nick Zesses   Composer
William Guest   Composer
David Ritz   Source Material
Nelson George   Source Material
David Nathan   Source Material
Slutsky   Source Material
Mike Valvano   Composer,Producer
Bill Dahl   Track Annotations,Source Material
Leon Ware   Composer
Daniel Vangarde   Composer
Robert Gordy   Composer,Producer
Michael Heatley   Source Material
Spencer Leigh   Source Material
Bobby Miller   Composer,Producer
Bill Randle   Source Material
Allen Story   Composer
Tommy Bell   Arranger
Robert Byrd   Composer
Marvin Tarplin   Composer
Frank Wilson   Composer,Producer
Artie Kaplan   Producer
Don Waller   Source Material
Diorio   Source Material
Gordon Frewin   Source Material
Barry Shaw   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Marc Taylor   Source Material
Janie Bradford   Composer
Anita Poree   Composer
Arthur Ross   Composer
Ruzicka   Composer
Gene Allan   Composer,Producer
Stephen Bowden   Composer
John Bristol   Composer
Henry Crosby   Arranger
Vincent DiMirco   Composer
Brit Gaudio   Composer
Edith Wayne   Composer
Tony Brown   Source Material
Robert White   Arranger
Raynoma Gordy Singleton   Source Material
Corporation   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Tony Clarke   Producer
Joe Scott   Arranger
Jeff Smith   Art Direction
Leroy Fleming   Arranger
Mark Olson   Composer
Gregory Wright   Composer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Michele Horie   Art Direction
Quattrocchi   Art Direction
Michel Ruppli   Source Material
Andrew Skurow   Tape Research
Susan Whitall   Liner Notes,Source Material
James Carmichael   Arranger
Gary Knight   Composer,Producer
Steve Towne   Source Material
Bob West   Producer
Dennis Lussier   Composer
Mark Bego   Source Material
John A. Jackson   Source Material
Sherlie Matthews   Composer,Producer
Pam Moffett   Composer
Harold Johnson   Composer
Ken Charmer   Source Material
Keith Hughes   Producer,Track Annotations,Source Material
Patricia Romanowski   Source Material
Eric Charge   Sheet Music
Larry Brown   Composer,Producer
Ralph Terrana   Producer,Liner Notes,Source Material
Brenda Wayne   Composer
Nelly Byl   Composer
Katherine Anderson Schaffner   Composer
Mike Pinder   Composer
Wade Brown   Composer
Weldon A. McDougal   Source Material
Fred L. Foster   Composer
Pamela Sawyer   Composer,Producer
Jeff Bleiel   Source Material
Kenneth Stover   Composer
Jimmie Thomas   Composer
Ed Novitsky   Source Material
John Abbey   Source Material
Harriet Jacobs   Source Material
Sujata Murthy   Publicity
Bob McGrath   Source Material
Julius Chambers   Composer
Merald Knight   Composer
Richard Haddad   Composer
David Leacraft   Arranger
Ian Stirling   Composer
Ronald Matlock   Composer
David A. Carson   Source Material
Co-Creations Inc.   Producer
Carl Chapman   Composer
Bryan Brown   Source Material
Bill White   Arranger
Ira "Wiley" Pack   Composer
Elmer Clawson   Composer
Debbie Burr   Source Material
Rick Morley   Composer
Reginald J. Bartlette   Source Material
Phillip Taylor   Composer
Neil Warwick   Source Material
Neil Faigenbaum   Composer
Mim Eichler   Source Material
Mikel Toombs   Source Material
Maty Wilson   Source Material
Lars "LG" Nillson   Contributor
Larry Stephens   Source Material
Jon Kutner   Source Material
John Swendon   Source Material
John Richardson   Composer
Vickie Wright   Source Material
Steve Armitage   Source Material
Roy Dickson   Composer

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