Various Artists, Hitsville USA, The Motown Collection 1972-1992

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 05.21.12 in Reviews

Hitsville USA, The Motown Collection 1972-1992

Various Artists

Motown’s ’60s hits may be the Boomer classics, but after Berry Gordy relocated the great Detroit pop-soul label to Los Angeles, it stayed as musically adventurous as ever, and rode the next few decades’ R&B waves with aplomb. Artists like Stevie Wonder and the Temptations stayed with Motown for decades and got the latitude to branch out and take risks; Marvin Gaye, the Commodores and Diana Ross recast disco in their own personal forms. And the label had a particular gift for identifying gifted artists at a very young age, from Michael Jackson to DeBarge and Teena Marie. The ’90s hits by Shanice and Boyz II Men that close this set are just a newer version of Motown doing what it had always done: figuring out how to frame the sound of the urban underground to give it a much wider audience.