Universal Music will release worldwide a new boxed set of seven vinyl Tamla Motown EPs on Jan. 27, featuring vintage 1963-64 repertoire from four groups and three solo artists. These include the Supremes, the Temptations and Stevie Wonder. The package is entitled The Early Motown EPs Volume 2, and follows the 2015 release of the first volume, also featuring seven discs, and that of a similar, five-disc set, Motortown Revue: The French EPs last year.
The seven-inch, four-track vinyl format – the EP acronym stood for “extended-play” – was common outside the U.S. in the 1960s, alongside two-track vinyl singles and LPs. The seven discs contained in The Early Motown EPs Volume 2 were first released individually in the U.K. and other international territories during 1965 as part of the introduction of the Tamla Motown label as a stand-alone identity for the Detroit record company’s overseas output. In the U.S., Tamla and Motown were separate labels.
The Jan. 27 boxed set contains EPs by The Supremes, which includes their first three U.S. No. 1 hits, “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love” and “Come See About Me”; the Temptations, which includes “My Girl”; Stevie Wonder, which includes his first American No. 1 hit, 1963’s “Fingertips – Pt. 2”; and Mary Wells, including “My Guy,” Motown’s first major international hit. Also featured are EPs by the Marvelettes, the Contours and Kim Weston.
Beginning in 1963, Motown’s international distributor in many countries was British-owned EMI Records. At first, the Detroit firm’s releases appeared under in-house EMI labels such as Stateside and Columbia. EMI introduced the Tamla Motown identity to coincide with the first overseas tour by a package of Motown artists in March and April, 1965. The touring revue played concerts in London and throughout the U.K., and in Paris.
The new EPs – which will be limited-edition, numbered releases – offer reproductions of the laminated, color sleeves found on the 1965 releases which, in the U.K., were printed by Garrod & Lofthouse. The originals of the four-track discs are highly-prized, and command steep prices on the vinyl resale market.
Click here to order the box set now.