Motown never tires of finding ways to repackage their history, but a 40th anniversary celebration is one of the better excuses they could have for releasing another multi-disc retrospective, such as the double-disc Motown 40 Forever
. Unfortunately, devoting the first disc to classic '60s hits and isolating '80s and '90s singles works against the compilation -- it only illustrates that the first two decades of the label's history (particularly the very first decade) were much stronger creatively than the last two, especially since classic '70s singles are used on both discs. Taken individually, however, each disc is quite entertaining. The first contains such classics as "Shop Around," "Heat Wave," "My Guy," "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)," "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted," "ABC," "My Cherie Amour," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "What's Going On," "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)," "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," "Tears of a Clown," and "Dancing in the Street." It would have been nice if the disc was sequenced in chronological order, but it's still a blast. The second disc has its moments, too -- "Superfreak," "Let It Whip," "War," "Three Times a Lady," "Superstition," and "Let's Get It On" are terrific, while songs like "Rub You the Right Way" and "Somebody's Watching Me" are nice period pieces. The remix of the Jackson 5
's "I Want You Back" is unnecessary, but it does little to dilute a thoroughly entertaining, if redundant, collection.