An absolute treasure from Hip-O Select – the early, pre-Rick James recordings that Teena Marie made at Motown in 1976 and 1977 and more – most of them produced by the great Ronnie McNeir
, along with acoustic demos produced by Berry Gordy himself! There are early signs of Teena's best work to come on this set – her voice is certainly as beautiful and richly soulful as it would ever be. The McNeir
productions touch on timeless emotional soul, 70s dancefloor styles with bigger arrangements and some more classic-leaning groovers – not only demonstrating her range, but they stand up very well with the official releases to come. We can't understand why it sat in a vault all this time. Disc 1 features tracks produced by McNeir
(which include a trio of sweet duets with Ronnie
) and some bonus mixes from 1983 for a record that never happened – plus a few great tracks produced by Winston Monseque, Kenny Kerner and Riche Wise. The 8 tracks on disc 2 might have even more of a grail-like stature – acoustic demo sessions produced by Berry Gordy in 1976. Those feature just Teena Marie accompanying herself on acoustic guitar – as intimate a setting as we've ever heard from her, and mostly doing her own songs. It's amazing stuff – and the project was approved by Teena Marie herself before she passed away. Includes "First Class Love", "More Love", "You Got Away", "Oh Love" and more featuring Ronnie McNeir
, "Co-Pilot To Pilot", "Hey Boy" and more on disc 1. Acoustic demos on disc 2 include "First Class Love", "Don't Turn Your Back On Me", "God Has Created", "Wasn't I Good To You", "Happiness Is In Your Soul", "The Greatest Love Of All Time" and more.