Barrett Strong - The Complete Motown Collection (1959-1961)

Barrett Strong is an American singer and award-winning songwriter.

Born in Mississippi, Barrett Strong was one of the first artists to be signed to Berry Gordy's Tamla record label. His first single, 1959's "Let's Rock", did not chart, but it was his second, Gordy's own "Money (That's What I Want)" that gave the label their first ever hit. "Money" got to #2 on the R&B charts, and almost broke into the Top 20 on the pop charts too. It has since been covered by all sorts of other artists including both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Strong had four more singles with Tamla, but none of them were hits. During this time Gordy founded a second label, Motown, and merged it with Tamla to become the Motown Record Corporation, and the rest is history. Though Strong only ever gave the company one hit, the fact that it was their first has got to be worth something.
Eventually Strong found work as a songwriter, teaming up with Norman Whitfield. Together they wrote numerous massive hits for Motown, including "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" for Marvin Gaye, "Cloud Nine", "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" and "Just My Imagination" for The Temptations, and "War" for Edwin Starr.
This excellent compilation covers his early days as a recording artist, featuring "Money" and the five other singles, their b-sides, and various previously unreleased numbers from the same era, all consistently good. Some really brilliant early 60s R&B.


1 comment:

Frank M. Young said...

Link is dead, alas...