Definitive 52-track compilation spanning 1958-1972
Smokey’s was always the most asexual yet varied of Motown voices, his angelic counter-tenor articulating compassion (“Ooo Baby Baby”), pain (“Tracks Of My Tears”), euphoria (“Going To A Go-Go”) and selflessness (“I Don’t Blame You At All”) via some of the most expressive words and music of the modern age. This two-CD set traces the Miracles’ ascent from their doo-wop beginnings to their Motown heyday, but also reminds us of the inventiveness of their later work. Songs like “Here I Go Again” are as adventurous as anything Norman Whitfield was doing with the Temptations. One star is docked for not representing 1967’s excellent Make It Happen, but really, everyone needs this record.