The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 3: 1963

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The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 3: 1963

(Motown/Hip-O Select)

The first thing to do after peeling the shrink wrap off the purple-coded third volume of Hip-O Select's march through Motown: Play the vinyl 45 slipped into the cover. Martha & the Vandellas' "Heat Wave" is the joy of human existence in 2:39. After that, there's the franchise label's entire singles output for 1963, 117 songs in a 5-CD bound volume. Heat wave. Berry Gordy and company are still firing globs of vinyl against the wall, jazz, gospel, blues, country, lounge, comedy, and kitsch, with early singles by the Marvelettes and Supremes scaling the heights of divahood. Martha Reeves, meanwhile, kicks heiny on "Come and Get These Memories," while Amos Milburn sings out for his own high-profile reissue. Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye came to life in Vol. 2 and here are in full bloom, as is the killing Temptations' doo-wopper "I Want a Love I Can See." Little Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips (Part 1 & 2)," twice, help balance Vol. 3's hit-and-miss era; the Supremes still can't mortgage a hit. Then, suddenly, on the last two discs, there's no looking back. "Heat Wave," "Mickey's Monkey," Mary Wells' swooning "You Lost the Sweetest Boy," and Marvin Gaye's tawny "Can I Get a Witness" set the stage for "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes." Fifteen discs into this ongoing Internet-only endeavor, the Supremes finally hit with their stamp and clap and its pigtailed B-side, "Standing at the Crossroads of Love," encored by the Miracles' hopping "I Gotta Dance to Keep From Crying" and the Vandellas' 100% "Heat Wave" follow-up, "Quicksand." The vinyl, by the way, plays like ice cream.


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