The limited edition, multi-artist vinyl series Motown In Mono will be released by Motown/UMe on 8 November. As the legendary record company’s 60th anniversary celebrations continue, the series will offer the chance for collectors and admirers to own some landmark Motown albums as a five-LP set, with a very special extra available with pre-orders.
In chronological order, the series opens with the Miracles’ 1963 LP You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me, which is equally well known from its cover art as The Fabulous Miracles. From 1965, there’s The Temptations Sing Smokey, which included the timeless ‘My Girl’ and other Tempts gems such as ‘The Way You Do The Things You Do’ and ‘It’s Growing.’
The Four Tops’ 1967 album Reach Out, featuring another all-time Motown staple in ‘Reach Out I’ll Be There’ as well as ‘Walk Away Renée,’ ‘7 Rooms Of Gloom,’ ‘Bernadette’ and many others, is in the set. So are two 1968 releases, The Marvelettes’ Sophisticated Soul, gaining its first-ever commercial release in mono, and Diana Ross & The Supremes’ Reflections, previously only available in mono in the UK. The mono LPs by the Miracles, Four Tops and Temptations have long been out of print.
The albums can be pre-ordered as a five-LP set with a custom turntable slipmat, exclusively from The Sound of Vinyl’s global online stores. Each LP has been newly remastered from the original analog master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. They’re pressed on audiophile-quality 180 gram vinyl and packaged in deluxe Stoughton tip-on jackets.
Remastering engineer Kevin Gray says: “There was a big reason why mono was a great thing for Motown — the emphasis then was radio. They did special mixes in mono, intended for radio, and those are the ones we grew up listening to.
“I’m approaching these Motown albums by trying to keep everything balanced within the same framework,” Gray goes on. “Within an album, I try to find a level that is representative of what the album was supposed to be, and then I match everything as closely as I can to that with EQ.
“I certainly don’t find any need to add further compression. The tapes have held up well. I’m always pleased when that happens. It’s been very rewarding to work on them, and they sounded very, very good.”
The Motown In Mono five-LP series is released on 8 November. Pre-order it here with an exclusive turntable slipmat.