- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: November 3, 1992
- Originally Released: 1994
- Label: Motown
Spin - p.109
"[The] holy grail presenting hits....[With] gospel-choir stompers, raw blues, and ghetto novelties..."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/11/92, p.66
"...the finest Motown collection on the market..." - Rating: A
Q - 2/93, p.895 Stars
- Indispensable - "...the face of popular music changed for good right here..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1114 stars out of 5
- "It's the most informative and fascinating music document about the label's earliest days you'll ever need."
NME (Magazine) - 3/6/93, p.35
9 - Excellent Plus - "...Strung end to end, it's over 250 minutes of the best jukebox you've ever heard, mastered properly so that it blasts out like it was made yesterday..."
This 4-CD box set contains a 68-page booklet featuring artist biographies, track-by-track annotations, a historical Motown timeline, musician credits, rare photos and memorabilia from the Motown archives. Also included are essays by Harry Weinger, Janie Bradford, Larry Gabriel, Paul Grein, Elvis Mitchell, David Ritz, Leo Sacks, Allan "Dr. Licks" Slutsky and Adam White.
Engineers include: Mike McClain, Lawrence Horn, Robert Bateman.
Compilation producers: Cary E. Mansfield and Patti Drosins.
This is part of the Motown Master Series.
Instead of following Stax/Volt's pattern and delivering an exhaustive box set containing all of their singles, Motown decided to limit their singles box, Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971, to four discs that concentrated on the hits. There are a handful of wonderful lesser-known songs here, such as the Contours' "First I Look at the Purse," but the main strength of the 103-track box is that it features all of the biggest songs from Motown's golden era in one place. Collectors could have used a more comprehensive set, and the box itself could have been packaged with a little more care (there are no artists listed on the back of the individual discs, only songs), but Hitsville USA stands as a definitive overview and introduction to one of the most groundbreaking labels in pop music history. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine