There are currently 41 Motown compilations in print, including this four-CD box set, another four-CD box set, a three-CD box set and two two-CD compilations. Why on earth someone saw the need for another set featuring these played-to-death numbers is perplexing … until you realize that this set is released in conjunction with a three-hour PBS pledge-drive special. These four discs are a confoundingly tempting pledge prize, as no less than 30 of the tracks are somewhat bizarre stereo mixes (Motown was long a defiantly mono label) and there's a good selection of alternate mixes. The set sticks to the label's '60s populism, avoiding the potentially upsetting political messages that came forth in the '70s. After all, when you're asking old white people for money, you don't want to make 'em feel bad.
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