Album Watch: Teena Marie's Early Motown Recordings Resurface On New Compilation

Friday, March 11, 2011

You know I love me some Lady Tee and that I am still quite upset over her recent passing---it's just not the same now that the Ivory Queen of Soul isn't around. Usually posthumous releases leave a sour taste in mouth, which is one of the reasons why I have avoided like the plague the notorious Michael Jackson collection MICHAEL. Even though Motown is no doubt cashing some checks (and kicking themselves in the rear for treating Teena Marie the way they did when she was on the label back in the early 80's) with this First Class: Rare Tee collection, knowing that Teena recorded these during her magic Motown days and that we're getting to hear these songs for the first time--I can't fault being a sucker for this. 

Featuring 12 tracks of early recordings (with Irons In The Fire's "First Class Love" wedged in for whatever bizarre reason), First Class: Rare Tee popped up on online sellers such as iTunes and Amazon a week ago. This release was meant as a special 'birthday preview', as Teena Marie would have celebrated her 55th birthday this March 5th. A full 26-track album of rares will be released in June, along with remastered releases of classic recordings Lady T and Irons In The Fire, just to sweeten the pot.

From looking at the tracklisting, I recognized two tracks, "Co-Pilot To Pilot" and "Why Can't I Get Next To You" that were tacked onto the Lady T release that I own, and if the rest of the tunes are as great as those two, then well, this is a must-have collection for Teena Marie junkies and of course new fans who want more of that sophisticated funk Tee put out. Take a taste of the two Lady T "rares", if you haven't heard 'em (they are both excellente, even though I'm partial to "Co-Pilot To Pilot"), and great ready to dig in those crates for misbegotten Teena gems later this year. 

Why Can't I Get Next To You

Co-Pilot To Pilot

Camino: SoulfulDetroit


  1. I just listened to the clips at Amazon... It seems the First Class Love that appears on there is an earlier(?) definitely different version than what is on Irons In the Fire.

  2. Thanks Anon for the info! I was wondering why they just tacked that song on there...


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