By May 1964, when "The 'Sound' of the R&B Hits" compilation came out in the UK on Stateside, Motown had yet to have a hit or even a record issued on its own label, later to be Tamla-Motown. This LP was the first of many UK anthologies of recordings from the Detroit-based group of labels. At this stage, Motown was an underground affair, known only to aficionados of rhythm and blues music. Among those were members of groups such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames and super-fan Dusty Springfield.
This was not music that was played on the radio, so it was through UK cover versions that many young people were directed to the Motown sound. Ace director Roger Armstrong bought "The 'Sound' of the R&B Hits" at the time and always heard it is as a companion piece to "With The Beatles" from the previous year. They both contained the Barrett Strong song 'Money'.
For this CD release a further 14 tracks have been added to the original selection, including the ever-popular 'You've Really Got A Hold On Me', 'Please Mr Postman' and 'Heatwave'. Also made available are the rarely compiled and obscure 45s by two of only a few white groups on the label, Mike & the Modifiers and the Valadiers, which on Oriole will set you back at least £1,000 between them.
Co-compiled and annotated by well-known radio producer, writer and annotator of Beatles box sets, Kevin Howlett, the CD provides a real insight into Motown in the UK at the time.