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  1. #1

    Lesser known but great albums

    Traveling and listening to iPod and REALLY enjoying discovering new and great Motown lps. We all know of the big and famous ones. But what are some other favs that might not be as known or are move overlooked?

    Any Way You Like It - Thelma Houston. Been listening and really a fun one!

    Standing Ovation - Gladys Knight and the Pips. Solid album and amazing vocals. Help Me Make It Through The Night is a fav!!

    Sugar n Spice - Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. A bit patchwork and sometimes Martha's vibrato gets a bit overdone. But some strong moments

  2. #2
    Chris Clark: Soul Sounds

    The Marvelettes: The Marvelettes (Pink Album)

  3. #3
    The Four Tops - Soul Spin was a great album

  4. #4
    I have a fondness for Smokey & The Miracles Away We A Go Go and Special Occasion.

  5. #5
    I nominate Full Speed Ahead and especially Try My Love, both by Tátá Vega, of course.
    Last edited by sansradio; 05-31-2016 at 10:58 PM.

  6. #6
    For the First Time - Stephanie Mills

  7. #7
    All the albums by The Originals are excellent.
    Not a dud track on Tammi Terrell's "Irresistible".
    Jimmy Ruffin " Sings Top Ten" (aka "The Jimmy Ruffin Way")

  8. #8
    Three Ounces Of Love
    Forever, Michael
    Great Expectations-Kiki Dee
    Groove Patrol-High Inergy
    So Right-High Inergy
    Let Me Tickle Your Fancy-Jermaine
    Don't Look Any Further-Dennis Edwards
    to name but a few

  9. #9
    How bout-the original spinners,great album.

  10. #10
    Valerie Simpson - "Exposed"
    Martha Reeves and The Vandellas - "Black Majic"

  11. #11
    Valerie's eponymous second solo album is stellar as well.

  12. #12
    Teena Marie-It Must Be Magic

  13. #13
    Sophisticated Soul - The Marvelettes
    The Artistry of Brenda Holloway
    Everybody Needs Love -
    Gladys Knight & the Pips
    The Original Spinners

  14. #14
    Those two High Inergy LPs you named -- Groove Patrol & So Right -- are among my Motown favorites! I'd like to add Black Magic by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas and Hit 'n' Run Lover by Charlene. Only one out of these four have made it to CD. Maybe someone is out there reading this...

  15. #15
    RossHolloway Guest
    CC Rides Again
    Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers
    Sing Smokey
    Every Little Bit Hurts

  16. #16
    One of the BEST ALBUMS EVER.... "High Energy" by The Supremes! Mary Wilson's performances on that album are wicked good! Had Motown had the insight to promote her as a ballad singer, much in the style featured on the "High Energy" album, she could have broken out of The Supremes and had solo hits. The medley of "Til The Boat Sails Away" and "Don't Let My Teardrops Bother You" is one of my all-time favorite recordings, PERIOD.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by mistercarter2u View Post
    One of the BEST ALBUMS EVER.... "High Energy" by The Supremes! Mary Wilson's performances on that album are wicked good! Had Motown had the insight to promote her as a ballad singer, much in the style featured on the "High Energy" album, she could have broken out of The Supremes and had solo hits. The medley of "Til The Boat Sails Away" and "Don't Let My Teardrops Bother You" is one of my all-time favorite recordings, PERIOD.
    Completely agree! This grouping of Supremes was full of talent. I wish these ladies would regroup for a few performances. This was certainly a showcase for Mary's talents; Not dissing Scherrie or Susaye talents. I think that High Energy was one of their best singles!

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by mistercarter2u View Post
    One of the BEST ALBUMS EVER.... "High Energy" by The Supremes! Mary Wilson's performances on that album are wicked good! Had Motown had the insight to promote her as a ballad singer, much in the style featured on the "High Energy" album, she could have broken out of The Supremes and had solo hits. The medley of "Til The Boat Sails Away" and "Don't Let My Teardrops Bother You" is one of my all-time favorite recordings, PERIOD.

    I loved Mary's work on that album. It was the perfect extended play for those special moments. LOL!

  19. #19
    My favorite 'lesser known' Motown LPs are the two albums that Syreeta did in 72 & 74; "Syreeta" & "Stevie Wonder presents Syreeta". With Stevie Wonder at the helm of both albums (and this was at the time he entered his "classic period"), the songs all are great. As David Nathan said in the notes for the "2-fer" reissue from Hip-Select in 2004, it's these two albums that define her.

  20. #20
    Have all of Syreeta's LPs made it to CD by now? Those first two Syreeta LPs were classics. I gave them a lot of in-store play when I worked for Sound Odyssey back in the day. She was well received and well-respected. Future LPs were a bit uneven, but there are some unforgettable performances on each one. "First Time on a Ferris Wheel" (a duet with Smokey), not on an actual Syreeta LP, is a masterpiece, in my opinion.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by mike_sku View Post
    Have all of Syreeta's LPs made it to CD by now? Those first two Syreeta LPs were classics. I gave them a lot of in-store play when I worked for Sound Odyssey back in the day. She was well received and well-respected. Future LPs were a bit uneven, but there are some unforgettable performances on each one. "First Time on a Ferris Wheel" (a duet with Smokey), not on an actual Syreeta LP, is a masterpiece, in my opinion.
    All of Syreeta's LP made it to CD (either in the US or imports). What LP has her duet with Smokey Robinson, "First Time On A Ferris Wheel"?

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    All of Syreeta's LP made it to CD (either in the US or imports). What LP has her duet with Smokey Robinson, "First Time On A Ferris Wheel"?
    Eddie, it appears on The Last Dragon's soundtrack.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    All of Syreeta's LP made it to CD (either in the US or imports). What LP has her duet with Smokey Robinson, "First Time On A Ferris Wheel"?
    It's also on THE ESSENTIAL SYREETA.

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  24. #24
    Smokey Robinson's "Love Breeze" album released in 1978. Some great songs on it.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Teena Marie-It Must Be Magic
    It's not a lesser Motown album; I've got the "Motown Classic Albums" edition of it on CD.

    If anything, I'd assume it was Teena Marie's climactic opus; her previous albums assisted with someone else. This one's 100% Teena - well, with Rick, Temptations, Jill Jones, others - but it was awesome.


    But, my opinion, on the bigger name Motown artists, on their peak years - there was no "lesser knowns". Perhaps some that only hitted gold but not times platinum, but no "lesser knowns".

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Ngroove View Post
    It's not a lesser Motown album; I've got the "Motown Classic Albums" edition of it on CD.

    If anything, I'd assume it was Teena Marie's climactic opus; her previous albums assisted with someone else. This one's 100% Teena - well, with Rick, Temptations, Jill Jones, others - but it was awesome.


    But, my opinion, on the bigger name Motown artists, on their peak years - there was no "lesser knowns". Perhaps some that only hitted gold but not times platinum, but no "lesser knowns".
    Point well taken.

  27. #27
    I am not sure if all these would be consider lesser known but here are my picks:

    The Miracles - Renaissance
    Billy Griffin debut with The Miracles. The whole album is awesome and "Don't Let It End (Til You Let It Begin)", "I Didn't Realize The Show Was Over", "What Good Is A Heart Good For" and "I Love You Secretly" are some of my all time favorite songs.

    Chuck Jackson - Goin Back to Chuck Jackson
    Chuck's second album with Motown and my favorite of the three he recorded during his time with the label. He does an outstanding job through the many cover songs and original material.

    The Marvelettes - Sophisticated Soul
    I will agree with others on this one. This one contains one of my all time favorite songs written by Ashford and Simpson and sung perfectly by Wanda Rogers: "Destination: Anywhere".

    The Temptations - Meet The Temptations
    Love hearing the truly unrated Paul Williams on many of the leads.

    Gladys Knight & the Pips - All I Need Is Time
    Love "I'll Be Here (When You Get Home)" and "Oh What A Love I Found" plus Gladys' awesome covers of the Staple Singers "Heavy Makes You Happy" and Sly Stone "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)".

  28. #28
    The Four Tops - Magic 1985

  29. #29
    Two more favorite Motown Albums;
    Smokey Robinson - "Warm Thoughts"; Released in 1980 (in between his big hits 'Crusin' & 'Being With You') the album has some of the best songs of Smokey's solo career ('Melody Man', 'Heavy On Pride', 'Into Each Rain Some Life Must Fall' & 'Wine Women And Song').

    Jr. Walker & the All-Stars - "Soul Session"; Released in 1966 but recorded before Jr & Co. arrived at Motown, the album is clearly one of their best (with the highlights 'Decidedly', 'Good Rockin', 'Us' & 'Moonlight In Vermont').

  30. #30
    The miracles greatest hits lp[the one with billy griffith]

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    All of Syreeta's LP made it to CD (either in the US or imports). What LP has her duet with Smokey Robinson, "First Time On A Ferris Wheel"?
    Not all of Syreeta's LPs made it to CD. Her final Motown album "The Spell" has not been released in digital format (CD or download) as far as I know.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    All of Syreeta's LP made it to CD (either in the US or imports). What LP has her duet with Smokey Robinson, "First Time On A Ferris Wheel"?
    Just wanna say, I would consider any and all of Syreeta under "Great but lesser known" in that order, because sadly, she, unless to diehard Motown connoisseurs, is just not known.

    No, her name won't be remembered, by casuals, even as that female voice on "If You Really Love Me", and "With You I'm Born Again" is just not that timelessly replayable a song, since ever, for years and years.

    Don't get me wrong, I love her stuff, LOVE her "Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta", with "Spinnin' and Spinnin'", "Your Kiss Is Sweet", and "Come And Get This Stuff", got her Essential CD too, her later "Quick Slick" was just killer.

    But I do know, not even the header "Stevie Wonder Presents" ever got her to mass-pop-even R&B, consumer sales, not as on vinyl back on 74', not even as a CD, twice, on limited press markets, Hip-O Select, and Universal Japan.

    Maybe, unless some of you guys are in Europe, where she might have been more known - but as for over here in America - Just sayin'.
    Last edited by Ngroove; 07-01-2016 at 11:58 AM.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by mistercarter2u View Post
    One of the BEST ALBUMS EVER.... "High Energy" by The Supremes! Mary Wilson's performances on that album are wicked good! Had Motown had the insight to promote her as a ballad singer, much in the style featured on the "High Energy" album, she could have broken out of The Supremes and had solo hits. The medley of "Til The Boat Sails Away" and "Don't Let My Teardrops Bother You" is one of my all-time favorite recordings, PERIOD.
    I totally agree. I think it is also validated by the fact that this album holds up so well, all these years later. I loved both sides but being especially fond of Scherrie's singing style, played Side 1 to death. The title track is my favorite Supremes song of any lineup. And I loved the way "You Keep Me Movin' On" harked back to "You Keep Me Hanging' On" in many ways and had that same, relentless, driving beat.

  34. #34
    "Lesser known but great albums"

    Nobody cited The Monitors nor The Fantastic Four ? Shame...

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by phil View Post
    "Lesser known but great albums"

    Nobody cited The Monitors nor The Fantastic Four ? Shame...
    Monitors.....made one album.....if someone has one, and loved it. "Say You" and "Since I Lost You" are the tops from them to me.

    ...But Fantastic Four....Motown never successfully released a single album for them, their Motown time. But Kent Records fortunately earthed that album out rather recently, forty-five years later. I've got one myself, count me in in counting it as "Great", although probably would be "lesser known" either way, due to lack of promotion Motown's part. Still, tons of gems, great melodies, with my favorite, their 1969 single that coulda been a hit had it been pushed a little more, their take as well as the best version, my opinion, of "I Feel Like I'm Falling In Love Again".

  36. #36
    Love Tammi's Irresistible. Even though it is basically a compilation, it is really a great album. Just wish All I Do Is Think About You had been included

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    All of Syreeta's LP made it to CD (either in the US or imports). What LP has her duet with Smokey Robinson, "First Time On A Ferris Wheel"?
    I don't believe Syreeta's "The Spell" nor her duet album "Fast Break" with Billy Preston have been (officially) released on CD.

    Syreeta did have hits in the UK
    Spinnin and Spinnin (49)
    Your Kiss Is Sweet (12)
    Harmour Love (32)
    With YouI'm Born Again (2) w Billy Preston
    It Will Come In Time (47) w Billy Preston

  38. #38
    I particularly like:

    Stevie Wonder presents... Syreeta
    Jackie Jackson
    City of Angels - The Miracles
    Great Expectations - Kiki Dee
    Valerie Simpson Exposed
    Undisputed Truth "Undisputed Truth"
    Ma - Rare Earth

  39. #39
    I liked all of the Thelma Houston Motown albums. However, Thelma & Jerry, with Jerry Butler, was something of a disappointment, with a few good numbers and a few that were less than stellar. Two To One, again with Jerry Butler, had only two duets and three solo turns by each, and it is the album that truly, sadly, was overlooked. Thelma really excelled on her solos I'm Not Strong Enough (To Love You Again) and Don't Pity Me, which equaled some of her best sides on her other Motown albums, and Jerry did fine with, in particular, Chicago Send Her Home. Their duets, If It Would Never End and, especially, You Gave Me Love, were the best of their joint efforts. With the proper promotion, I think You Gave Me Love could have reached the top of the charts. Its superb soaring vocals, with Thelma and Jerry both building throughout, are truly exciting and convincing, and the production, with an almost Phil Spector over-the-top bombast, is just right, carrying the ballad to a beyond-satisfying conclusion.

  40. #40
    Some of these have already been mentioned, but I'll 'lean in' anyway -

    Motown:
    'Black Magic' - MR&tV - 'We' know the lp well, but the outside world, not so much
    'Sugar N Spice' - MR&tV - For me, a close second to 'Black Magic'
    'Exposed' and 'Valerie Simpson' - both, of course, Valerie Simpson

    Other labels:
    'Maybe' - the Three Degrees
    'The Spice of Life' - Jerry Butler (oops! correction to my prior title mis-statement!)
    'The Sagittarius Movement' - Jerry Butler
    'Moonshadow' - Labelle
    Last edited by PeaceNHarmony; 10-09-2020 at 10:32 AM.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Some of these have already been mentioned, but I'll 'lean in' anyway -

    Motown:
    'Black Magic' - MR&tV - 'We' know the lp well, but the outside world, not so much
    'Sugar N Spice' - MR&tV - For me, a close second to 'Black Magic'
    'Exposed' and 'Valerie Simpson' - both, of course, Valerie Simpson

    Other labels:
    'Maybe' - the Three Degrees
    'Sugar and Spice' - Jerry Butler
    'The Sagittarius Movement' - Jerry Butler
    'Moonshadow' - Labelle
    Those Jerry Butler albums are still on our radar. A 2 albums on 1 cd would be quite wonderful.

  42. #42
    'Darling Baby' - The Elgins VIP 400

    Not sure I knew who The Elgins were, or if I ever heard anything by them, when I bought this album in 1966. I just knew VIP was a Motown label. This album became a favorite of mine. In the past year I have been playing this album and The Elgins 2007 UK Anthology, that includes other gems, quite a bit.

  43. #43
    Ok I'm gonna add ...

    Bettye Lavette - Tell Me A Lie
    Four Seasons - Chameleon
    Frankie Valli - Inside You
    any and all of Jose Feliciano's 4 Motown albums
    Thelma Houston's first Mowest album - UK issue
    The Motown Sound (Volume 1) - Various (STML11217)
    Ric Tic Relics - Various (STML11232)

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Those Jerry Butler albums are still on our radar. A 2 albums on 1 cd would be quite wonderful.
    I surely hope so, Mr. B. Jerry Butler deserves much more love than he gets, and these two are such wonderful lps.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Those Jerry Butler albums are still on our radar. A 2 albums on 1 cd would be quite wonderful.
    It took me a minute but I held out and finally got the 2fer of Jerry Butler’s cd. I already had the two single cds but had to have the 2fer

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by caliluv View Post
    It took me a minute but I held out and finally got the 2fer of Jerry Butler’s cd. I already had the two single cds but had to have the 2fer
    Which 2fer is that, caliluv? Did I miss something?

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Which 2fer is that, caliluv? Did I miss something?
    Love’s On The Menu and Suite For The Single Girl

  48. #48
    I have the 2fer, "Love’s On The Menu" and "Suite For The Single Girl" plus both of them on the individual Motown CDs (that's what Motown collecting does to you).

    I don't think that the non-Motown albums "The Spice of Life" or "The Sagittarius Movement" have yet made it to CD. There's time.

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