Martha & The Vandellas – 1966 – Watchout!

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martha reeves & the vandellas 1966 watchout! front cover

Fabulous album which really shows Martha’s growth as a singer and a music stylist .The Vandellas Rosalind Ashford and Betty Kelly were given some catchy lines the background.

Watchout! was the fourth studio album and fifth album overall by Martha and the Vandellas, released on the Gordy (Motown) label in 1966. The album featured the hit singles, “I’m Ready for Love” and “Jimmy Mack” and the ballad single, “What Am I Gonna Do Without Your Love?“. This was one of the last albums by the girls to feature songs from Holland, Dozier, Holland, who the following year would leave Motown, as was with William “Mickey” Stevenson, the man who helped put the group on the musical map. The title of the album “Watchout!” was derived from a song featured on the flip-side of their hit single “My Baby Loves Me” (released earlier in 1966) entitled “Never Leave Your Baby’s Side” (never released on an album). That song featured a chorus from the Vandellas which warned to “Watchout!” for “other girls” who could steal your man.

Tracks
A1 I’m Ready For Love 2:52
A2 One Way Out 2:25
A3 Jimmy Mack 2:44
A4 Let This Day Be 2:31
A5 Keep It Up 2:53
A6 Happiness Is Guaranteed 2:24
B1 I’ll Follow Up 2:30
B2 No More Tearstained Make Up 2:19
B3 Go Ahead And Laugh 2:47
B4 What Am I Going To Do Without Your Love 2:50
B5 Tell Me I’ll Never Be Alone 2:31
B6 He Doesn’t Love Her Anymore 2:58

martha reeves & the vandellas 1966 watchout! back cover

AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

It’s usually presented as a given that, separated from the work of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team, Martha & the Vandellas were somewhat at sea. But H-D-H only had three songs on Watchout! — albeit two of which were the hits that drove the album’s sales — and the group came off better than one could have hoped on the rest of the record. As a follow-up to Dance Party, Watchout! is usually thought of as less successful, with the H-D-H songs “Jimmy Mack” and “I’m Ready for Love” dominating. It’s a little more complicated than that, however, because Watchout! is actually a very different kind of album, with ballads outnumbering the dance numbers. It’s a chance to immerse oneself in the sensitive, reflective side of Martha & the Vandellas, and a very beautiful record, if not as exciting as its predecessor.

martha reeves & the vandellas 1966 watchout! label 1

Oh, to be sure, “Let This Day Be” isn’t doing much more than filling up track space, but the rest is misplaced treasure from the Motown vaults, well worth hearing, and more than once. Holland-Dozier-Holland’s “One Way Out” is similar to their earlier “Nowhere to Run” (and was later a single B-side), and the wrenchingly emotive “Keep It Up” (a forgotten Smokey Robinson number) shows off a more delicate side to the group’s sound that was often overlooked. “Happiness Is Guaranteed” is the kind of anthemic ballad, with a big central melody, that one suspects was rejected for the Supremes; Martha Reeves and company do a wonderful job with it, even though it needed the more delicate lead vocal attentions of Diana Ross to have gotten heard more widely. “I’ll Follow You“, co-authored by ex-Moonglows leader Harvey Fuqua, is so sweet in its sensibilities beneath a driving beat that it’s like listening to two songs in one (both of them very good). “Tell Me I’ll Never Be Alone” is another oft-overlooked gem, and then there’s the lost single off this album, “No More Tearstained Make Up“, a slow, haunting, beautiful piece of female heartache set to music.


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Conversation for album: Martha & The Vandellas – 1966 – Watchout!

20 Comments
  • George D
    Posted at 00:40h, 24 February 2016 Reply

    Gggggreat! Motown at it’s best.

  • Melina
    Posted at 10:29h, 24 February 2016 Reply

    A TRUELY TALENTED WOMAN.. ONE OF HER BEST.

  • Rascal
    Posted at 13:25h, 24 February 2016 Reply

    A timeless piece of genuine music. I can’t explain the feelings of how great this album is. Great memories for a great time.

  • Toni Lee Jr.
    Posted at 23:32h, 24 February 2016 Reply

    Classic Motown sound…magic!!

  • lette
    Posted at 23:37h, 24 February 2016 Reply

    Lovely album – many thanks indeed!

  • Dan
    Posted at 01:37h, 25 February 2016 Reply

    this gal is dynamite!!

  • Donna
    Posted at 01:39h, 25 February 2016 Reply

    love gettin baked to this..

  • GATIVO
    Posted at 22:01h, 25 February 2016 Reply

    Superb vocals from a great artist. Thank u.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 22:16h, 25 February 2016 Reply

    Cant wait to hear this thank u nikos

  • H2O
    Posted at 23:44h, 25 February 2016 Reply

    I just finished playing it all the way through and I had to come back and say, “WOW!!”
    Perfect from start to finish.

  • Lee
    Posted at 12:17h, 27 February 2016 Reply

    So so good!!

  • Peritano
    Posted at 17:32h, 27 February 2016 Reply

    Can not get enough of this kind of music!

  • Pierre
    Posted at 18:13h, 27 February 2016 Reply

    Some of the finest pop songs ever recorded. Just so full of the joy of being alive.

  • Thelma
    Posted at 18:23h, 27 February 2016 Reply

    my god that was so good. i was never a fan of Martha Reeves but now im on a youtube roll and i cant stop watching

  • Roberto
    Posted at 18:59h, 28 February 2016 Reply

    Good time of music… I don’t know why but I feel I was born in wrong time.

  • Russ
    Posted at 01:16h, 01 March 2016 Reply

    Takes me back to a very misspent youth.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 17:31h, 01 March 2016 Reply

    Thank you! HDH is a winner!

  • Bostonianlove
    Posted at 13:11h, 02 March 2016 Reply

    Thank you for that!
    Great Blog! Up there in my favorites.

  • Garcia
    Posted at 14:32h, 04 March 2016 Reply

    só música boa !

  • indie
    Posted at 20:59h, 25 March 2016 Reply

    all good music from the sixties love it too death

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