An expansive digital-only collection titled Motown Unreleased: 1969, featuring 60 previously unissued tracks recorded by various Motown artists 50 years ago, has been released in celebration of the label’s 60th anniversary.
The album includes recordings by Motown legends such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Temptations, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Jr. Walker & the All Stars, Edwin Starr, Jimmy Ruffin and Valerie Simpson.
More than half of the collection’s tracks are previously unheard compositions, like Wonder’s “Mister Moon,” The Temptations’ “Pretty Little Brown Skin Girl” and Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “I Had a Dream (Opus I),” a song penned by Ashford & Simpson in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s assassination in 1968.
Other interesting tunes on Motown Unreleased: 1969 include The Jackson 5’s rendition of The Miracles’ “What’s So Good About Goodbye,” recorded prior to the release of their debut smash “I Want You Back”; and Ross & the Supremes’ version of Wonder’s “For Once in My Life,” which was recorded at Diana’s final session with her famous group.
In addition, the album features five instrumentals by Motown’s house band The Funk Brothers, credited to the outfit’s leader, keyboardist Earl Van Dyke.
Motown Unreleased: 1969‘s release coincides with the start of The Motown Museum’s Motown 60 Weekend, a series of events that includes the Hitsville Honors Celebration, featuring a tribute to Motown founder Berry Gordy.
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