The Motortown Revue Live, Vol. 2

Berry Gordy's second live Motortown Revue recording is more pleasing than the first. The Temptations and some vintage Martha & the Vandellas help matters tremendously. Opening the show, the Temptations perform two of their early regional hits, "Dream Come True" and "I Want a Love I Can See." David Ruffin hadn't joined yet, so Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks handled the lead vocals, and Williams' earthy, gritty baritone was a crowd-pleaser. Martha and her girls did three well-received numbers, Curtis Mayfield's "It's All Right" and their rousers "Quicksand" and "Heatwave"; the Vandellas, Annette Beard and Rosalind Ashford, worked well together, with Martha's Southern twang whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Young but talented Little Stevie Wonder's harmonica shines on "I'll Call It Pretty Music" and "Moon River." Mary Wells comes off sweet and innocent warbling "What's Easy for Two" and more like Dear Abby on the up-tempo "You Lost the Sweetest Boy." Both Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston appear to be trying to distance themselves, arrangement-wise, from the other acts. Weston's two ballads are pleasant but don't flow with the show; she refused to sing up-tempo numbers at this point in her career. The Marvelettes ran through a medley as if they had a bus to catch. The Miracles only had one number to display their wares -- a subdued, jazz-flavored "Mickey's Monkey." ~ Andrew Hamilton

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