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The Best of Motown Christmas - 20th Century Masters
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  • Compiled from Motown Christmas collections and individual artists' Christmas albums, 20th Century Masters - The Christmas Collection: The Best of Motown Christmas gathers a dozen of the label's holiday performances, including the Jackson 5's "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and Stevie Wonder's idealistic "Someday at Christmas." The collection avoids most of the holiday's cutesy and traditional songs, opting for festive secular and original songs. A large part of this album comes from 1973's classic Motown Christmas, such as Diana Ross & the Supremes' crystalline version of "My Favorite Things" and Marvin Gaye's antiwar holiday lament, "I Want to Come Home for Christmas." Kim Weston's "Wish You a Merry Christmas" and the Funk Brothers' "Winter Wonderland," which embodies the sparkling, soulful sound of Motown's best singles, come from Motown Christmas, Vol. 2 and are enjoyable but not as essential as the tracks from the first volume. The Four Tops' duet with Aretha Franklin, "Christmas Here With You," meanwhile, is a somewhat hard-to-find track, previously available only on their 1995 Christmas album of the same name; unfortunately, it doesn't represent the band in their prime, but it's a fairly enjoyable song nevertheless. Ultimately, Motown Christmas is a bigger and better holiday album, but The Best of Motown Christmas is still a decent representation of the label's holiday music. ~ Heather Phares
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