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  1. #1

    Question Collection of 16 Big Hits - Were These Ever Issued on CD?

    I am not sure if this has been asked on past threads (I am new to the site) but were the various volumes of the Motown "A COLLECTION OF 16 BIG HITS" series (including the first volume known as "A PACKAGE OF....") from the 1960s (primarily) ever issued on CD? It would be nice to have a box set of these with the mono/stereo versions of the earlier volumes. I think some volumes have different takes of the same song on mono vs. stereo.

  2. #2
    The first 10 volumes were issued on CD back in the 80s, I think. Volume 11 didn't make the cut because the cover design was different, I guess. I'm really glad I picked them up at the time. Now I'm on the hunt for the vinyl version...only six more to go!

  3. #3
    Thanks bunches superlou. Good luck with the hunt - isn't that half the fun???? It would still be nice to have an updated release of these (especially the earlier volumes) with the mono & stereo versions. Hip-O Select reissued the Motortown Review series years ago plus there was an expanded reissue of just the Motortown Revue in Paris. Anything is possible......

  4. #4
    This set just sold on Ebay....it had been listed for a LONG time!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Motown-Sound-16-Original-Big-Hits-Complete-10-Disk-Set-RARE-OOP-/113745018687

  5. #5
    I absolutely LOVED Volume 6 in this series but it was mainly because Motown was at its peak then.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Roscoe View Post
    Thanks bunches superlou. Good luck with the hunt - isn't that half the fun???? It would still be nice to have an updated release of these (especially the earlier volumes) with the mono & stereo versions. Hip-O Select reissued the Motortown Review series years ago plus there was an expanded reissue of just the Motortown Revue in Paris. Anything is possible......
    The hunt is everything. I was lucky enough to find volume 1 in excellent condition for just .99 cents. Just about fell over backwards. Haven't paid more than four or five bucks for the others that I have.

  7. #7
    I found the vinyl collection so special because many of the stereo cuts were alternate mixes that differed from the stereo album cuts. Many of those mixes never appeared in CD format or were replaced by other alternates when the CDs were mastered. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Volumes 1 and 2 made their stereo debuts on CD, with Volume 3 possibly also making its stereo debut on CD.

  8. #8
    I collected all the US (and Uk) 16 Big Hits albums back in the 70s and all the US albums I had were stereo versions. Also got hold of the original Package of 16 Big Hits album for the sake of completeness as that has a different cover. Much later I collected all the CDs too except that Volume 11 was never made available on CD. Even though I'm in the UK these CDs seem to become available regularly and at very reasonable prices (even cheap). Also, in between, the albums were also released on cassette (of which I only have Volume 8). Only recently did I sell off the vinyl albums but I've kept the CDs.

    You can see them all here https://www.flickr.com/photos/cookep...57713299932961

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nabob View Post
    I found the vinyl collection so special because many of the stereo cuts were alternate mixes that differed from the stereo album cuts. Many of those mixes never appeared in CD format or were replaced by other alternates when the CDs were mastered. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Volumes 1 and 2 made their stereo debuts on CD, with Volume 3 possibly also making its stereo debut on CD.
    Spot on. The CD reissues were not the same as the original vinyl issues. The original vinyl versions are still therefore collectible

  10. #10
    Were the cassette versions, originals or Motown Cassette Classics versions (or even reel to reel tape or 8 tracks) the same as the vinyl albums?
    Last edited by mysterysinger; 02-29-2020 at 05:29 PM.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by nabob View Post
    I found the vinyl collection so special because many of the stereo cuts were alternate mixes that differed from the stereo album cuts. Many of those mixes never appeared in CD format or were replaced by other alternates when the CDs were mastered. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Volumes 1 and 2 made their stereo debuts on CD, with Volume 3 possibly also making its stereo debut on CD.
    I was really disappointed by this. I bought the CD release of Vol 5 and was expecting to finally get a clean version of the stereo mixes of The Marvelettes' "I'll Keep Holding On" and Kim Weston's "Take Me In Your Arms." The stereo mixes are so incredibly different than the mono version. Unfortunately, the CD version replaced both with the mono mixes.

  12. #12
    Years ago I had a handwritten list from the late John Silva. He said these songs were on a reel without a title. I never saw the reel but it looked to me like it could have been an aborted 16 Big Hits Volume 12: Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doobe-Do-Da-Day - You're All I Need To Get By - If You Can Want - I Could Never Love Another After Loving You - Forever Came Today - Walk Away Renee - I Promise To Wait My Love - Chained - Here Comes The Judge - If I Were A Carpenter - Some Things You Never Get Used To - Please Return Your Love To Me - I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playing - It Should Have Been Me - Here I Am Baby - Hip City Part 2

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by George Solomon View Post
    Years ago I had a handwritten list from the late John Silva. He said these songs were on a reel without a title. I never saw the reel but it looked to me like it could have been an aborted 16 Big Hits Volume 12: Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doobe-Do-Da-Day - You're All I Need To Get By - If You Can Want - I Could Never Love Another After Loving You - Forever Came Today - Walk Away Renee - I Promise To Wait My Love - Chained - Here Comes The Judge - If I Were A Carpenter - Some Things You Never Get Used To - Please Return Your Love To Me - I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playing - It Should Have Been Me - Here I Am Baby - Hip City Part 2
    That certainly would have been an interesting release primarily for the fact that it included "I Can't Dance..." which never appeared on a MR&TV album or hits collection until the CD era.

    I wish the series had continued. I have all the CDs and made a CD-R of Volume 11. I had all the vinyl albums but let a friend "borrow" them and they seem to have gone "missing"!

  14. #14
    Martha's "I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playin' " was issued on a UK compilation "16 Big Hits Volume 7" in the late 1960s. Fab album it was too. STML11092.
    Last edited by mysterysinger; 03-03-2020 at 09:57 AM.

  15. #15
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Martha's "I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playin' " was issued on a UK compilation "16 Big Hits Volume 7" in the late 1960s. Fab album it was too. STML11092.
    Thanks for that info, very interesting.

    I was aware that the UK collections varied from the US releases but never explored how different they were. This UK Vol. 7 has quite a few songs not on any US collections and a couple that are on the US Vol. 11 collection.

    I notice on discogs that the UK Vol. 8 included an older MR&TV song, "Nowhere To Run", rather than something more recent, unless of course it had been a reissue that gained airplay and popularity years after its' US release date.

    The US releases seemed to compile the songs chronologically as to how they were released for each artist, with about a year lag. Were the UK releases random in song selection or did they reflect how they were released or when they achieved popularity in the UK?

  17. #17
    Generally speaking the UK series was chronological and Martha's "Nowhere To Run" appearance on 16BHV8 was as a result of a re-issue as you guessed. For a short time, and two volumes only, the UK issued the same as in the USA but the volume numbers were transposed (Volumes 4 and 5) which duplicated several tracks already issued on previous UK volumes. However, from then on the British Motown Chartbusters series handled the big hits and 16BH showcased many lesser known tracks or artists instead.

  18. #18
    When I was first listening to the radio, I remember getting pen pals (remember those, okay I know I'm old all right?) even from England and swapping music guides. It was always fun to see what songs were hits in the UK vs. here.

    I do have a few of the Original Big Hits from the UK series, including Vol. 7 pictured above. I found that track listing fascinating as at the time I found it, I had never even heard of "I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playing."

    In fact, the first album I ever bought was "15 Original Big Hits Vol. 5." It was one in the series that had a lot of non-album singles on it like (I'm going from memory) "When I'm Gone" by Brenda Holloway and "Take Me In Your Arms" by Kim Weston.

    I always wondered why Vol. 2 (and only Vol. 2) was issued on the Tamla label. It was later reissued in Stereo, and that version of the album was the first time I understood that there was such a thing as different mixes of songs, as a few of the tracks had been not just remixed, but even rerecorded for the album, such as "I'll Have to Let Him Go" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and the Stereo versions were awesome.
    Last edited by kenneth; 03-05-2020 at 07:03 PM.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    When I was first listening to the radio, I remember getting pen pals (remember those, okay I know I'm old all right?) even from England and swapping music guides. It was always fun to see what songs were hits in the UK vs. here.

    I do have a few of the Original Big Hits from the UK series, including Vol. 7 pictured above. I found that track listing fascinating as at the time I found it, I had never even heard of "I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playing."

    In fact, the first album I ever bought was "15 Original Big Hits Vol. 5." It was one in the series that had a lot of non-album singles on it like (I'm going from memory) "When I'm Gone" by Brenda Holloway and "Take Me In Your Arms" by Kim Weston.

    I always wondered why Vol. 2 (and only Vol. 2) was issued on the Tamla label. It was later reissued in Stereo, and that version of the album was the first time I understood that there was such a thing as different mixes of songs, as a few of the tracks had been not just remixed, but even rerecorded for the album, such as "I'll Have to Let Him Go" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and the Stereo versions were awesome.

    That's wierd - I've never compared that Martha track bur paperwork only suggests one vocal - one recording - but mono and stereo mixes from the same take - maybe it was just a brilliant mix - or the paperwork is out of sync...

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by paul_nixon View Post
    That's wierd - I've never compared that Martha track bur paperwork only suggests one vocal - one recording - but mono and stereo mixes from the same take - maybe it was just a brilliant mix - or the paperwork is out of sync...
    There's definitely at least two Martha vocals for I'LL HAVE TO LET HIM GO. One seems a bit more polished than the other. Since Martha says she originally sang it to appease a union rule to have a body on the mike, it probably made sense to redo it once they decided to actually release it.

  21. #21
    Yes there are at least 2 vocals to "I'll Have to Let Him Go". On the single, for example she sings "I've got to let him go" whereas the stereo vocal is "I'll have to let him go".

  22. #22
    And for some reason, DFTMC omits the release of "I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playin' " on the UK 16 Big Hits Volume 7.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Yes there are at least 2 vocals to "I'll Have to Let Him Go". On the single, for example she sings "I've got to let him go" whereas the stereo vocal is "I'll have to let him go".
    You're absolutely right another example of the paperwork being askew - the original mono Got To Let Him Go it seems was recorded and mixed and later Martha went back in to overdub on the original vocal the I'll Have To Let Him Go which was used as the stereo and so as 'probably' no multi for the Got To version exists that can never be mixed to stereo.

  24. #24
    You're right Paul. Martha and the girls apparently re-recorded and the original lead vocal used on the mono mix was erased. You can still hear the original Vandellas back ups in the left channel on the track. That's why sometimes their words don't match (notice on the fade).

  25. #25
    either way, it's long been one of my favourite Martha tracks even though it ofterngets overlooked.

  26. #26
    I have only vols. 1 & 5 on cd, so I the burnt up the rest as double cds in both mono and stereo.I have all the lps and didn`t realise that there were alternate takes occasionally used. So much for that as I thought that I was being sensible.I wish I knew which tracks.

  27. #27
    The UK 16 Big Hits albums that differed from US versions - Volumes 4 and 5 were the same as the US ones with Volume number transposed. The UK ones were all mono up to Volume 5 and then mono or stereo from Vulume 6 to Volume 8. The US Motown series I had on vinyl were all stereo releases.

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  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    There's definitely at least two Martha vocals for I'LL HAVE TO LET HIM GO. One seems a bit more polished than the other. Since Martha says she originally sang it to appease a union rule to have a body on the mike, it probably made sense to redo it once they decided to actually release it.
    Yes, I agree, Reese. The Stereo version definitely has a smoother, more polished lead vocal by Martha, and the backgrounds are also much more full. The backing vocals are arranged very similarly to several of the backing vocals on the "Dance Party" LP, and it makes me think the re-recording of "Let Him Go" was recorded around the same time as that LP.

    "Just Loving You" by Kim Weston was also longer on the Stereo version of the LP, but I think it was a remix, not a rerecording.

    Several of the recordings on the LP were of songs that hadn't been issued in Stereo before such as "Leaving Here" by Eddie Holland and "I Gotta Dance to Keep From Crying" by the Miracles. Even some of the well known tracks such as "Lovelight in His Eyes" by the Supremes, had great, punched-up arrangements for the Stereo LP.

    The album was a favorite of mine and got played a lot.

  29. #29
    On The Complete Motown Singles and on other releases several tracks are labelled as 16 Big Hits Stereo Versions. Many of these are also available on Youtube. So here's one such labelled track. Kim Weston's "Just Loving You" was on 16BH Volume 2 (the Tamla one)...


  30. #30
    Martha and The Vandellas "Nowhere To Run" .....

  31. #31
    Smokey Robinson & The Miracles "Tracks Of My Tears" .......

  32. #32
    Marvin Gaye "I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby" ......

  33. #33
    The Temptations "I'll Be In Trouble" .....

  34. #34
    The Temptations "The Girl's Alright With Me" ....

  35. #35
    Did the 16-hits version of "I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying" use the same mix as the stereo version from the 80s - that essentially mixed out the music getting lower/just a bit louder part? So compressed - you never heard the music take the big jump lower or louder as the lyrics say it should, and in the mono version/more recent stereo remixes do?

    It was so bad on the old 80s 2-cd anthology, so glad those versions got replaced!

  36. #36
    Here's what UMG has posted on YouTube

  37. #37
    I think there may be a difference between tracks from the 16 Big Hits stereo CDs and those from the 16 Big Hits stereo versions as per the vinyl LPs. One of the earlier posts above highlighted the fact that the CDs didn't always correspond to the vinyl mixes. Therefore it would be great i someone was able to compare the post of IGDTKFC above with that on the vinyl album. Not all the 16 Big Hits Stereo versions are on YouTube but many more seem to be available on Spotify and other music services e.g. "Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things" by MR&TV and "Baby Love" Sups.

    Anyhow here's one from Youtube of "My Girl"...

  38. #38
    Now this is getting really confusing it's bad enough having to compare mono vinyl v stereo vinyl now we have to compare stereo vinyl to CD...

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by paul_nixon View Post
    Now this is getting really confusing it's bad enough having to compare mono vinyl v stereo vinyl now we have to compare stereo vinyl to CD...
    Just don't always believe what the description or title says the mix of the song is on YouTube, Spotify, Amazon or whatever!

    (The mixes used on the TCMS sets are/should be the mono single mixes, give or take the odd mistake with some of the sets!)

    Cheers

    Paul

  40. #40
    Here's the two different versions of "I'll Have to Let Him Go."


  41. #41
    This sounds the same to me as the one on the Stereo Version of "16 Big Hits Vol. 2," though I think it has a longer fade with an additional lyric couplet at the very end.

    @mysterysinger, great recall that Martha's lead lyric changes from "I've got to let him go" to "I'll have to let him go" in the Stereo version! I had forgotten that.

    Last edited by kenneth; 03-15-2020 at 02:49 PM.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by nabob View Post
    I found the vinyl collection so special because many of the stereo cuts were alternate mixes that differed from the stereo album cuts. Many of those mixes never appeared in CD format or were replaced by other alternates when the CDs were mastered. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Volumes 1 and 2 made their stereo debuts on CD, with Volume 3 possibly also making its stereo debut on CD.
    This post explains why there might be some confusion between versions and why the vinyl albums are still collectable. However, all the vinyl albums I had in this series (including 1 to 3) were stereo versions so tracks labelled "16 Big Hits Stereo Version" are worth looking out for as they may just be the same as on the vinyl albums (??). nabob informs us that many of those original stereo mixes never appeared in CD format because they were replaced by other alternates when the CD series was mastered.

    But, when in the Complete Motown Singles CD series (TCMS) a track is listed as "16 Big Hits Stereo Version" then I think they're meant to be the same as on the original vinyl album series - not all tracks on TCMS were mono - many were stereo where appropriate.

    Then consider this, when the vinyl albums were released, there were often tape versions issued too - cassette, reel-to-reel and maybe even 8 track later. So, those original cassettes presumably contained the same stereo mixes as the vinyl albums (the cassettes back then had a blue and white theme and numbered similar to the albums).

    Later, when the CD versions came to be issued, cassettes were again issued as well (black themed) but I'm assuming these followed the same mixes as on the CD versions which weren't always faithful to the original vinyl.

    Phew. Truly confusing. Wonder if there'll ever be a complete list of the differences.

    Below covers of:
    original stereo album volume 8 (MS-666),
    original cassette of volume 8 (75-666),
    original stereo album volume 1 (MS-614),
    CD issue (MOTD-5448)
    and cassette issue (MOTC-5448).

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