Reissue label Ace continue to do a fabulous job with the Motown archive and this new 25 track compilation is one of the label’s very best. ‘Love And Affection’ is Kent’s second volume looking at the distaff side of the Gordy empire and, incredibly, none of the generous 25 tracks have ever appeared on CD before… indeed many have never been previously available in any format!
The album opens with one of those never heard before songs, Brenda Holloway’s ‘Reassure Me That You Love Me’. Recorded in 1966, the Cosby-Moy-Valvano song is a gem and so typical of the mid 60s Motown up-tempo sound. The collection ends with another recording typical of Motown in this period – Kim Weston’s version of Billie Holiday’s ‘Lover Man’. Motown buffs will know that Gordy, keen to win mainstream acceptance, regularly had his artists record jazz, pop and MOR tunes and this previously unissued tracks shows that Ms Weston had some great jazz licks. For their part, the Funk Brothers swing with the best… they were, of course, seasoned jazz players anyway.
In between those poles there are numerous highlights… like a great Barbara Randolph version of ‘My Love Is Your Love’ – a song usually associated with the Isley Brothers; a simple, sweet 1963 ‘Envious’ from Linda Griner; a slinky ‘The Good Times Are Gone’ from Barbara McNair and a dramatic ‘Lonely Teardrops’ from Brenda Holloway… the very song that Gordy wrote in 1958 for Jackie Wilson!
As you’d expect from an Ace compilation, the sleeve notes, pictures and annotation are all excellent and will keep Motown anoraks happy for hours… a superb Motown package; a compilation as it should be!