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Various Artists: Motortown Revue in Paris [Super Deluxe Edition]

Album Notes

Berry Gordy, Jr. took a select few artists across the pond in 1965 and documented the event with this live recording in Paris. The LP is a big improvement, sonically speaking, over the two previous live Motortown Revue releases. Session pianist Earl Van Dyke gets billing because the Motown label had received some spins in Europe; Van Dyke's records remain more popular in European countries than in the States. He starts the festivities with a pumping instrumental version of "Too Many Fish in the Sea." The Supremes, the Miracles, Martha & the Vandellas, and Stevie Wonder put on exceptional shows, each seemingly trying to best the other. Stevie in particular had a supercharged, electric quality about him this evening, and it showed on his stinging rendition of Tommy Tucker's "High Heel Sneakers," plus a mellow "Funny How Times Slip Away," where he's joined vocally by producer/writer Clarence Paul. Martha Reeves is one of the few singers who could turn "If I Had a Hammer" into a soulful number, which she did to the delight of the Parisians. The Supremes sound elegant and sure of themselves, excelling on "Somewhere." The Miracles' "Ooo Baby Baby" had the crowd spellbound, and a jumping version of "Mickey's Monkey" had them rockin'. ~ Andrew Hamilton


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