It's always a delight to see Hip-o Select dig up treasures from those fabled Motown vaults. It's as much of a treat, too, to see Select tackle those hidden in plain sight bits - the music that has been around officially for years, but has yet to make its debut on CD.
One of the most exemplary artists who until recently was hard to find on CD was the great Smokey Robinson. The angel-voiced Motown man had a phenomenal solo career for the label after separating from The Miracles, but those albums were either incredibly hard to find on compact disc or, astonishingly, never released on the format. This year, Select has begun to fill that gap by releasing special two-for-one sets of Robinson's solo output; the latest volume, The Solo Albums 3, is ready for order.
This set collates two interesting mid-'70s efforts from Smokey. Deep in My Soul sees the singer tackling songs that he didn't write, his first album without a writing credit. Instead, Motown staffers like Elliot Willensky ("Got to Be There") and the team of Jeffrey Bowen and Donald Charles Baldwin (featured prominently in the production, writing and arrangement of The Tempations' A Song for You (1975)) took the reins. Robinson held off on penning any songs for the disc, since he was penning another project: the score to the film Big Time, a caper film produced by Motown's short-lived film outfit in 1978. The Solo Albums 3 collates these two LPs plus two bonus track, the 12" single version of the title track to Pops, We Love You, a Motown compilation produced in tribute to Berry Gordy, Sr., the late father to the Motown founder, and another track from the same album. (That disc was itself reissued by Hip-o Select several years ago.)
The set starts shipping later this month, so order your copy now and preview the track list after the jump.
Smokey Robinson, The Solo Albums 3: Deep in My Soul/Big Time (Motown/Hip-o Select, 2010)
- Vitamin U
- There Will Come a Day (I'm Gonna Happen to You)
- It's Been a Long Time (Since I Been in Love)
- Let's Do the Dance of Life Together
- If You Want My Love
- You Cannot Laugh Alone
- In My Corner
- The Humming Song (Lost for Words)
- Theme from "Big Time"
- J.J.'s Theme
- Hip Trip
- He is the Light of the World
- So Nice to Be with You
- Shana's Theme (with Dialogue)
- If We're Gonna Act Like Lovers
- The Agony and the Ecstasy
- Theme from "Big Time" (Reprise)
- Mother's Son
- Pops, We Love You (Long Version) - Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & Stevie Wonder
Tracks 1-8 from Deep in My Soul (Motown T6-35051, 1976)
Tracks 9-17 from Big Time: Original Music Score from the Motion Picture (Tamla T6-355S1, 1977)
Tracks 18 from Pops, We Love You...The Album (Motown M7-921R1, 1979)
Track 19 from Motown single M-00015D1, 1978 - original version from Pops, We Love You...The Album