One dozen rare tracks from the Motown vaults make their first appearance on vinyl in a special album, Motown Rare & Unreleased, for this year’s Record Store Day in the U.S. November 29.
Available on that date, the 12-track compilation (on colored vinyl) features artists from across the classic Motown spectrum, including Diana Ross & the Supremes, the Temptations, Brenda Holloway, Bobby Taylor, the Jackson 5, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.
Among the highlights is “The Boy From Crosstown,” the first of three versions of the fan favourite recorded by the Marvelettes. This one originates from 1965, and was produced in Detroit by Norman Whitfield, the song’s co-writer with Eddie Holland. Gladys Horton is featured lead singer.
Another track, the Four Tops’ “Which Way Is The Sky,” was written by Raynard Miner and Janie Bradford, co-author of Motown’s first hit, “Money (That’s What I Want),” by Barrett Strong. Before joining Motown, Miner was known for his work at Chess Records, including the Fontella Bass smash, “Rescue Me.”
The best-known song on Motown Rare & Unreleased album is “For Once In My Life,” with this version by Diana Ross & the Supremes. The tune is best-known for the hit interpretation by Stevie Wonder; others at Motown who have recorded it include the Temptations, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Barbara McNair, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.
Eleven of the tracks on Motown Rare & Unreleased have only been available before on compact disc, never on vinyl. Four are previously-unissued stereo mixes. “If I Ever Lose This Heaven” by the Originals is previously unreleased.