"I'm The Sideline...Hoping You'll Give Me A Chance..."
For Motown fans the world over "Keep On Truckin': The Motown Solo Albums Volume 1" is something of a long overdue treat – Eddie Kendricks forgotten and hard to find US album catalogue finally on CD - and in a top quality manner…
Released November 2006 in the USA on Hip-O Select - here's the breakdown:
Disc 1 (72:04 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 7 are his debut US solo album, "All By Myself", issued April 1971 on Tamla TS 309
Tracks 8 to 18 are his 2nd US album, "People…Hold On", issued May 1972 on Tamla T 315L
Disc 2 (74:14 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 8 are his 3rd US album, "Eddie Kendricks", issued May 1973 on Tamla T 327L
Tracks 9 to 16 are his 4th US album, "For You", issued November 1974 on Tamla T6-33551
There are no single versions nor any previously unreleased tracks of any kind on this 2CD set – they feature on the last disc of the companion 3CD volume - "The Thin Man – The Motown Albums Vol.2" (reviewed separately).
Both CDs are Brown and Yellow with the Tamla World logo – aping the way the US LP labels would have looked, The 28-page booklet pictures both the LP sleeves front and rear in full colour, gives detailed notes on the song-writer and session players involved, lists US singles and their B-sides that came off each album (details from the actual Motown session logs) and there’s an essay on Hendricks’ career by noted Motown writer BRIAN CHIN. In between the exact reproduction of album sleeves are high-quality colour pictures of Kendricks from the early Seventies – in fact the booklet like the silver digipak that houses the whole thing – has an overall classy feel about it. But the best bit – as always with HIP-O SELECT – is the wonderful SOUND…
All tracks have been remastered by one of Universal’s trio of in-houses wizard tape engineers – SUHA GUR – a name that has turned up on many of the "Gold" 2CD sets dedicated to other Motown acts. Typical of HIP-O SELECT, the sound is superlative and like the packaging, reeks of class and pride in what’s been presented to you… Kendricks’ high voice and the songs funky/string drenched arrangements remind you of Eugene Record from The Chi-Lites. There is hiss on the “All By Myself” tracks, but that all but disappears by the time we get to 1972’s fantastic “People…Hold On”. You hear the drums and bass on “Girl You Need A Change Of Mind” like never before – funky and sweet.
To sum-up, this is a great Motown set – yet another sweetie from the USA's HIP-O SELECT label - and one that will have you reaching for Volume 2…