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****Excellent***Good**Fair*Poor : COMPACT DISCS

February 02, 1988|ROBERT HILBURN | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"An Introduction to the Motown Elite." Motown. The disc comes in a cardboard container rather than the customary "jewel box," but the price is right: an amazing $4.99 at one local chain. That may well make this sampler for the label's "9000" budget series the biggest bargain ever for the frequently gouged CD fan: a 57-minute survey of Motown hits, from the Miracles' "Tears of a Clown" and the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" to Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone." The sound is inconsistent due to the condition of some of the early tapes, but this is a sensational bargain nevertheless. Everything else in the series--which ranges from greatest-hits albums to such regular works as Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On"--retails for $9 to $10. ****

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