Recording information: Hitsville USA Studio, Detroit.
A sequel to Satisfaction Guaranteed! Motown Guys 1961-1969, Ace's 2016 compilation One Track Mind! More Motown Guys rounds up 24 rarities recorded for the legendary Detroit label between 1961 and 1969 but not released until the 2010s. Most of the cuts here are previously unissued, with a third of the tracks first surfacing on the digital-download-only Motown Unreleased series. It's remarkable to realize that as late as 2016, the Motown vaults still contain so many unheard cuts and that so many of them are quite strong. One Track Mind! contains a distinctly uptempo danceable bent -- something underscored by Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brothers' "Think It Over (Before You Break My Heart)," the lone instrumental among a bunch of vocal harmony -- and, fittingly, most of the tracks date from Motown's mid-'60s peak, when they were cranking out 45 after 45. Many of these bright, joyous grooves provided the template for what was later called Northern Soul in Britain, and this compilation manages to play both sides of the fence: it's an excellent collection of rare Motown that also appeals to crate-diggers looking for rarities. And because this is Motown, One Track Mind! is better than a lot of garden-variety Northern Soul comps: the Funk Brothers and their ilk are dexterous, the harmonies rapturous, and the songs -- while lacking any real knockouts -- are all examples of the benefits of studied, purposeful craft. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine