As the story goes Martha Reeves
went to work at Motown
as a secretary sometime around 1962
for the paltry sum of $35.00 per week. As Martha recalls "As part of my job I had to audition other artists, schedule musicians, maintain studio logs and be 'girl-friday' to all the writers and producers. If I clapped or sang background on sessions that was an additional $5.00 each."
Like so many other artists who came to work at Motown
in the early days Martha Reeves
just wanted to get her foot in the door. You see in her spare time she was the lead singer of a local Detroit group known as the Del-Fi's
. Her ultimate goal was to get an audition and a recording contract for her group. Soon the Del-Fi's were hired to sing background on several of Marvin Gaye's early records. Berry Gordy quickly realized that these girls were something special. The group changed its name to Martha and the Vandellas
and within just a few months the group was riding high on the Billboard Hot 100
with their debut single "Come And Get These Memories"
. It was the beginning of a fabulous run for this extremely talented and highly energetic group. "Martha Reeves and the Vandellas: The Definitive Collection"
offers 18 of the girls biggest hits and best recordings. To me the pulsating sounds of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
were the personification of Motown's moniker "The Sound of Young America"
. Enjoy once again all of their big hits including classics like "Heat Wave"
, "Dancing In The Street" and of course "Nowhere To Run"
from the early spring of '65. These are tunes that even lots of younger people would be familiar with. But there are so many other fabulous songs in this collection. Those who grewup in the 60's would certainly recall tunes like "Jimmy Mack"
and "I'm Ready For Love"
all of which were Top Ten
hits. One of my favorite songs in this collection was a tune originally issued as the "B" side of a single. Motown
really blew it on this one because "Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things)"
is a terrific ballad that would have been a huge hit with the proper promotion. Finally, might I recommend a tune that I had never heard before. "Third Finger, Left Hand"
appeared on one of their albums. For me it was one of those rare tunes that I loved the very first time I heard it. Now I can't get the darn song out of my head. "Martha Reeves and the Vandellas: The Definitive Collection"
comes with a neat 12 page booklet that offers a brief history of the group as well as some nice photos. After hearing this collection a few times I have come to the surprising conclusion that this group was even more talented than The Supremes
. See if you agree. And while I have your attention you might wonder like I did just what the heck a Vandella is. I had not clue. According to dictionary.com
the term "vandella" is defined as "one of several types of ghost-walking or dream-invading demons/vampires." So now you know! Very highly recommended!!