CD The Ultimate Motown Collection (CD 850811),
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The Ultimate Motown Collection
1. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
2. Gonna Give Her All the Love I Got (Single Version)
3. I've Passed This Way Before (Single Version)
4. Tomorrow's Tears (Single Version)
5. It's Wonderful (To Be Loved by You)
6. I'll Say Forever My Love (Single Version)
7. Farewell Is a Lonely Sound (Single Version)
8. Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit Baby
9. Our Favorite Melody
10. You Gave Me Love
11. If You Will Let Me, I Know I Can (Single Version)
12. Take a Letter Maria
13. Just Before Love Ends
14. On the Way Out (On the Way in)
15. Maria (You Were the Only One) (Single Version)
16. Gathering Memories
17. Don't Take Away My Rose Colored Glasses
18. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head
19. That's Me Lovin' You
20. Kickin' Stones
21. Thanks But No Thanks
22. It's a Desperate Situation
23. Born to Be Bad
24. (I Never Loved) Nobody But You
25. Do You Feel the Way You Make Me Feel
26. I've Got You Girl
27. Don't Feel Sorry For Me (Single Version)
28. Heart (Single Version)
29. Se Decidi Cosi (What Becomes of the Broken Hearted) (Single Version)
30. Baby I've Got It (Stereo Mix)
31. (Stop Leading Me On) I Know How to Love Her
32. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby
33. Gotta Let You Go
34. He Who Picks a Rose
35. Beauty Is Only Skin Deep
36. Lucky Lucky Me
37. Half of Your Love (Previously Unreleased)
38. In the Neighborhood (Previously Unreleased)
39. Love Is a Hurtin' Thing (Previously Unreleased)
40. Shake Hands With a Dreamer (Previously Unreleased)
41. I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You) (Previously Unreleased)
42. More Than a Heart Can Stand (Previously Unreleased)
43. I Love the Way She Loves Me (Previously Unreleased)
44. I Pray You Still Love Me (Previously Unreleased)
45. East Side West Side (Previously Unreleased)
46. That's You Girl (Previously Unreleased)
47. Change Your Mind (Previously Unreleased)
48. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (Alternate Mix With Spoken Intro)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 9812006
This 48-track release features Motown soul singer Jimmy Ruffin and includes "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted," "Gonna Give Her All The Love I Got," "I've Passed This Way Before," and "Just Before Love Ends."
It might be titled "The Ultimate Motown Collection," and certainly it's the most comprehensive Jimmy Ruffin CD compilation to hit the market, with two discs and 48 tracks, a dozen of them previously unreleased. It still doesn't have everything he did for the label, and the absence of no less than four of the 11 tracks that appeared on the best previous Ruffin CD comp (20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Jimmy Ruffin) testifies to the variance of taste among those responsible for assembling these anthologies. Still, it'll satisfy both those looking for an overall Ruffin best-of and Motown collectors who want more depth and a higher concentration of rarities, though the 20th Century Masters comp is still the recommended first choice, especially if you're on a budget. Of course, Ruffin's only Top 20 pop hits, "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and the less celebrated "I've Passed This Way Before," are both here, as are his three 1970 U.K. Top Ten chart entries "Farewell Is a Lonely Sound," "It's Wonderful to Be Loved You," and "I'll Say Forever My Love."
Disc one has 26 tracks taken from his 1967-1974 albums, using the "45 Mix" versions of 11 cuts (including all of the aforementioned hits) and ten songs from his U.K.-only LPs Jimmy Ruffin...Forever (1970) and I've Passed This Way Before (1974, though the material on it that hadn't been previously issued was taken from the vaults). Decent as these are, taken together they do confirm Ruffin's standing as one of Motown's second-stringers, probably doomed to relative obscurity if not for the huge success of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted." They do show Ruffin's skill with some of Motown's more pop-oriented material -- he was certainly not as gritty as, say, fellow Motowner Edwin Starr -- and in its way, the disc is a reflection of the label's overall drift toward more sophisticated, slicker production in the late '60s and early '70s, though there aren't too many really outstanding songs (and listeners certainly don't need to hear his covers of "Take a Letter Maria" and "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head").
The real excitement for Motown fanatics lies in disc two, comprised of ten previously released "rarities" and a dozen previously unheard "unreleased masters." Among these are Ruffin's extremely Jackie Wilson-influenced debut Motown 1961 single, "Don't Feel Sorry for Me"/"Heart"; an Italian version of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted"; a bunch of obscurities that have only shown up on Motown and soul compilations, some of them rather out of the way; and those dozen unreleased sides (one of them an alternative mix of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" with a spoken intro), spanning 1962-1971. These rare and unissued items aren't of such a high quality that you'll pound your head in frustration over their failure to gain official release at the time they were recorded. But they're solid enough mid-level vintage Motown music in a variety of uptempo and midtempo (and, less often, ballad) styles, often written by leading Motown composers like Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong, Janie Bradford, Mickey Stevenson, and Eddie Holland, though at times they bear a strong similarity to better-known Motown hits, as "Lucky Lucky Me" does to Marvin Gaye's "Pride and Joy." Though disc two is primarily of interest to Motown collectors, it shouldn't be dismissed as subpar, standing up pretty well with the body of work Ruffin did issue while he was with the label. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Motown (Record Label) 9812006
MSI Music Distribution
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