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121. Don't Be Cruel
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122. The Love Experience
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123. Unforgettable: With Love
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124. Bravebird
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125. The Very Best of (Curtis Mayfield)
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126. The Best of Brandy
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127. Natalie
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128. The Hits/The B-Sides
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129. Funkify Your Life: The Meters
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130. Butterfly
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131. 8701
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132. 50th Anniversary Anthology (Dig)
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133. Aretha Franklin - 30 Greatest
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134. Bill Withers - Greatest Hits
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135. Headhunters
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137. Greatest Hits
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138. Synkronized
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139. The Very Best of Change
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140. Sign 'O' the Times

121. Don't Be Cruel
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002PHV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8406
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Although his first solo record tanked, this release looked like the beginning of a superstar career. Brown, a former lead vocalist with New Edition (he was replaced by Johnny Gill, but both men participate in most NE reunions) has an appealing, if somewhat grainy, voice. It's a good match for the hip-hop beats that underpin some of the best songs here, especially "My Prerogative," which at the time sounded like an anthem. His ability to deftly merge R&B's upscale and hip-hop street esthetic (both Teddy Riley and Babyface produce tracks on this CD) changed the role of the rake hero. Sadly, this was Brown's lone significant musical moment as a solo artist. Except for marrying Whitney Houston, his life since has become a skein of self-destructive activities. --Martin Johnson ... Read more

Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars It Was His Prerogative.
If you weren't at least a teenager in the late 1980s, then you'll most likely have a hard time believing that Bobby Brown made headlines for his hits and not for his embarrassing run-ins with the law. In retrospect, the success of this former New Edition member wasn't supposed to happen and it surprised all parties involved--even Brown himself. After the flop album "King of Stage," Brown had one more chance to prove himself as a solo artist, and nobody was sure if "Don't Be Cruel" would be a hit. Fortunately for him, it was. It skyrocketed to Number One on the album charts, spawned a string of Top Ten hits, and his onstage dance moves made him a new teen heartthrob. What's more, "Don't Be Cruel" is credited as an album that helped put two things on the map: a) new jack swing and b) LA Reid & Babyface, the production team who did a handful of the material on this album. However, his most familiar single was the Gene Griffin/Teddy Riley-produced "My Prerogative," which is just as slammin' a new jack groove as anything Guy ever recorded. The hits "Every Little Step" (whose original album version is way better than the single remix, in my mind), "Roni," and the ballad "Rock Wicthca" are all bonafide jams that have that late-1980s r&b feel, while the album cut "I'll Be Good to You" also stands out pretty well. "Don't Be Cruel" isn't a perfect album, though. Brown's vocal style is limited and the second half of the album loses a bit of steam. But it's an overall fun r&b record that proves Brown did indeed have a life well before he made headlines as Mr. Whitney Houston.

5-0 out of 5 stars new jack classics
Bobby Brown is credited for being the most commercially succcessful artist from the era now known as new jack swing. And with good reason too. Don't Be Cruel was his 2nd solo project that was in deep contrast to his 1st. It was more aggressive, harder-edged, and just a new artistic format overall. He always had a niche for rapping, even with new edition, and he truly shines on "dont be cruel", "my perogative", and "all day, all night". Not only did he prove that he could rap, but he also showed that he can croon too, as shown on classics like "roni", "rock witcha", and "i really love you girl". Overall, Brown showed his versatility and charisma, riding to the top of the r&b charts in the process. Brown may not have originated new jack swing, but he certainly is the one who popularized it, along with his cohorts new edition, guy, and al b. sure. If you are even a casual new jack fan, "Don't Be Cruel" is a must-have.

5-0 out of 5 stars real r&b music
usher is the only artist today that still uses this style. bobby brown is so talented i can't believe he stopped making music. this is as classic of a cd as michael jackson's off the wall. get you life together and get back to what you do best music. i can't wait to hear some new music from you.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most influential R&B album of the last 15 years
When people think of the Bobby Brown these days, they think of the pathetic loser that's bringing down Whitney Houston's life and career; but at one time he was the biggest singer in the world. People were questioning his decision to leave New Edition; but it was the best move he could he could possibly make(and for New Edition; their post-Bobby album "Heartbreak" is a classic). This album is solely responsible for the raunchy bad boy R&B that is flooding the airwaves today; from Usher, B2K, Marques Houston, R.Kelly,Tyrese, Ginuwine and even Justin Timberlake owe B.Brown their careers. This has some of modern urban music's standards;"My Perogative"(which unfortunately be his life's theme song), "Roni"(MY SONG!), "Every Little Step", "On Our Own" and the anthemic title track. This will probably be Bobby's last shining moment in the spotlight; as the old saying goes: There's nothing worse in life to see than wasted potential.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every Little Step I Take...You Will Be There...
I don't remember what it was earlier this year ( prolly the radio ) talking about old Bobby Brown was about to drop again and how it would be better than 'Don't Be Cruel'. I bust out laughing...I thought 'Impossible...preposterous, ludicrous!" After all, this album was THE JOINT when it dropped. I don't care what anyone said if you didn't have this album you were an outsider, a joke, the laughing stock. IF you didn't know "Don't Be Cruel" by heart, forget about having friends.

"Ohoh, girl

As long as I've been givin' my love to you
You should be givin' me your love, too
But you just keep on actin' just like a fool
You know it ain't cool
Don't Be Cruel...cause I would never be that cruel to you...
Don't Be Cruel...girl you need to change your attitude!"

You know you had your little childhood relationship battles...I know you did. That was the was undeniable. 'Roni' was equally the jam.

"My heart belongs to tenderoni ( she's my only love!)
She's My Only Love ( My Heart)
The truth about Roni, she's a sweet ol' girl
About the sweetest little girl in the whole wild world
She'll make the toughest homeboy fall deep in love
Said once you had a Roni you will never give her up
She's a special kind of girl that makes her daddy feel proud
You know the kinda girl that stands out in crowds
Found a tender roni and the Roni is so right
I think I'm gonna love her for the rest of my life"

WHAT!? Known by heart by many. And those were just the semi-jams. Don't forget about 'My Prerogative', 'Rock Witcha' and 'Every Little Step'. Straight up JAMMIN. Funky, movin, grooving, and straight up smoove. The Hip Hop and R&B was PERFECTLY blended here and never since has it been surpassed...maybe equalized but not surpassed. Definitely (in my mind) the opal of the New Jack swing era. Bobby Brown - Don't Be Cruel...a MUST HAVE. ... Read more

122. The Love Experience
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Asin: B0009941JI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3566
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123. Unforgettable: With Love
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B000002H8X
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1346
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Four years after her return to recording after a much-publicized battle with drug addiction, Natalie Cole found herself unexpectedly experiencing a virtual reinvention as a bestselling artist and performer, thanks to a project she had longed to do for many years. Unforgettable with Love was the soulful singer's way of paying tribute to her late, legendary father, Nat "King" Cole, and marked her label debut for Elektra Records. Cole, Elektra, and the album's producers--including then-husband Andre Fischer and Tommy LiPuma--were rewarded with a multiple-Grammy-winning set that sold an astonishing 5 million copies in the U.S. alone. Cole's selections varied from obvious choices like "Mona Lisa," "NatureBoy," "Route 66," and "Straighten Up and Fly Right"--all major hits for her father in the '50s--to more obscure parts of King Cole's repertoire, such as "Avalon" and "Non Dimenticar." The crowning glory was a "duet" with her father, electronically created using his original vocal, which helped expand Cole's audience dramatically and took her career to a new plateau. --David Nathan ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE TITLE SAYS IT ALL!
When Natalie Cole first launched her career, everyone was expecting her to sing her father Nat's songs, or to sing the type of music, he did later in his career: middle-of-the-road pop. Well, Natalie specifically steered clear of doing that because she wanted to prove that she could make it on her own, and desperately wanted to step out of her father's massive shadow. So she sang straight up R&B, as a disciple of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. She established herself as a top vocalist during the mid '70s and into the '80s but not without some personal troubles.

This CD, UNFORGETTABLE WITH LOVE, gives fans of both Natalie and her dad a treat. No doubt the world greatly misses Nat King Cole; we can't help but think of what would've happened had he lived. But to carry on his legacy is his daughter doing his songs now, even though at one time she didn't want to. But it was time! We might as well keep it in the family, right? Who else is more deserving of covering his material? And Natalie does a wonderful job, too. The technology used to make Natalie sing "Unforgettable" with her dad is nothing new now, but when the CD first came out, everyone was saying, "How did they do that?" And to this day, I get choked up just listening to that duet. Natalie covers 22 of her dad's hits on this CD, such as "That Sunday, That Summer" (another tear-jerker for me), "L-O-V-E", "Mona Lisa", "Thou Swell", "Nature Boy", "The Very Thought Of You" and "Our Love Is Here To Stay". Plus she does a medley of three of her dad's most romantic tunes: "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons", Tenderly" and "Autumn Leaves". Absolutely beautiful. Natalie, your dad would be proud. Well done, "Sweetie"!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Unforgettable" proves a memorable tribute
Natalie Cole's pop albums always featured at least one jazzy, swinging track, so it came as no surprise when she decided, in 1991, to release an all-out tribute to her father, jazz-legend Nat "King" Cole, complete with full orchestra. It serves not only as a strong and fitting tribute to one of music's greatest figures, but as a perfect opportunity for Natalie Cole to expand her horizons...and her fan base.

Let's be honest...they just don't write 'em like they used to, and therefore Natalie never had quite the chance to show off the grace and elegance of her voice as she does on the likes of "The Very Thought of You," "Mona Lisa," and "Our Love is Here to Stay." Producers Andre Fischer, Tommy Lipuma, and David Foster keep Natalie in superior arragements throughout, especially evident on "Too Young" and an exquisite rendition of "Lush Life." There's plenty of swing, too, however: "Paper Moon," "Route 66," and "L-O-V-E" are songs that couldn't be authentically pulled off by just any pop singer, but Natalie more than rises to the challenge. Furthermore the frantically-paced "Avalon" and the midtempo "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," the latter boasting a slick scat, are among the album's best tracks.

But the finest moment comes at the finale: through the wonders of modern technology, Natalie is afforded the opportunity to sing with her father, digitally remastered here to gorgeous effect on the album's title track. Unfortunately, the practice inspired countless, less-appropriate knock-offs (even Natalie reprised the idea two albums later with far less impact) but here, Natalie's obvious love and affection for her father and his music come through tenfold, and we're treated to one of the most beautiful and moving moments in jazz. In summation, a talented daughter pays tribute to her legendary father, singing timeless classics admist top-notch arrangements traditional enough for purists to admire, but accessible enough for pop fans to discover and cherish. "Unforgettable" indeed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable With Love Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole's 1991 Album Unforgettable With Love is one of the major Highlights of her Career,because after 16 years of Contemporary Music she is finally ready to embrace her father the late Nat King Cole's music as well as the music she grew up with,as well as bieng her first album of the 1990's.The songs are The Very Thought Of You,Paper Moon,Route 66,Mona Lisa,L-O-V-E,This Can't Be Love,Smile,Lush Life,That Sunday That Summer,Orange Colored Sky,For Sentimental Reasons,Sarah Vaughn's Tenderly,Autumn Leaves,Straighten Up And Fly Right,Avalon,Duke Ellington's Don't Get Around Much Anymore,Too Young,Nature Boy,Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup,Almost Like Bieng In Love,Thou Swell,Non Dimenticar,Our Love Is Here To Stay,and the Postumous Duet with Nat King Cole and title cut Unforgettable.Finally after years of Hard Work and Perservearrance she was at the height of her Career and a Queen in her Own Right,and not Aretha Franklin's Title.This is truly one of My Favorite Albums Of-All-Time.I Love and Respect You Natalie Cole,you are truly Unpredictable and Unforgettable With Love like 2 of your album titles states it(early 1977&1991).

1-0 out of 5 stars Brings new meaning to "using yo Daddy's name"
Natalie don't sing liker her Daddy, she brings emberesse=ment to the Cole family name, she sings liek a primitive monkey, way too high and off pitch, HORRIBE, and she brings SHAME to the Coel name , by altering her voice in a duet with her dead Daddy, SICK, she 's a SICK SICK person to take that and make a name for herself from her Dad's grave. SHMAE!!!! At least if one thing good came out of it, Nat Cole gets played on more easy listening stations and FM statiosn because of that hidiously artered song.

5-0 out of 5 stars Natalie's Finest Hour -- Very "Unforgettable" Experience
Recently I purchased the replacement CD copy from Amazon after loaning the original to a friend, who promptly lost it. Oh well. It had been quite some time since I listened to this disc, but upon receiving it in the mail only 4 days after placing my order online (thanks, Amazon -- speedy delivery, as usual), I quickly became re-acquainted with the wonderful songs on this CD. It's like running into a childhood friend where you always discover something new everytime you're together. That's my feeling everytime I listen to this CD.

The song selection is impeccable -- every song so closely identified with Nat "King" Cole during his reign as one of the best singers to ever grace the music world in the 20th century. But what makes these songs special and "Unforgettable" is Natalie Cole's warm, sensual, yet faithful renditions made famous by her dad.

Legend has it that Natalie was first approached to record these songs almost 20 years earlier when she was still not even quite out of college. Apparently music producers and record companies wanted to "Cash In" on the notoriety of the relationship between the Cole family and these songs. But Natalie resisted because she wanted to carve out her own musical identity and distance herself from her dad's legacy. Story goes Natalie was approached time and time again by different producers over the years, but she continued to resist until her mom, Maria, finally encouraged her to just do it. But I think Natalie's own personal experiences with drugs and substance abuse also played a part. Emotionally she wasn't ready until the time was right.

1991 was finally the right time and her producers -- Andre Fischer (former ex), David Foster and Tommy LiPuma -- do a great job bringing in the beautiful lush orchestra to backup Natalie, who certainly doesn't disappoint. She was right in waiting out until the time was right to record these songs. Her painful years battling drugs only add to the nuance and subtlety of her interpretations. She has NEVER sounded better. She doesn't strain for any high notes, yet she hits every single note with ease and doesn't overpower the music, but lets the music speak for itself. Her renditions are right up there alongside the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Sarah Vaughan.

Personal favorites from this immaculate CD are: "That Sunday, That Summer" "Orange Color Sky" "Lush Life" "Very Thought of You" the very moving "Smile" and of course the "duet" with her dad on "Unforgettable". Natalie notes with pride in the CD jacket that "Smile" was written especially for her dad by the one and only Charlie Chaplin.

Thanks for making an "Unforgettable" CD, Natalie. Even 13 years after you recorded these songs, they're still timeless. And they always will be.

This CD may stand out as the cherry on top of a delicious cake. It is your Finest Hour as an Artist. ... Read more

124. Bravebird
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00015YW8U
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4708
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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A 9-year veteran of the indie R&B circuit, Amel Larrieux stretches her vocal wings on the stellar, yet painfully overlooked "Bravebird." Serving as her solo sophomore set, the New York-based singer/songwriter has crafted a disc that mixes midtempo melodies with beautiful and lush lyrics. Lead single "For Real," written by Larrieux and her husband Laru Larrieux, opens with a serene piano solo that is accented by the voice of a young baby cooing. Backed by an infectious, handclap-accented groove, Larrieux sings about "real love"--the kind of love that makes you a better person. Larrieux can also rock out and does just that on the funk-fueled "All I Got." The result is a bass-heavy affair that is accented by an electric guitar wah-wah and some impressive improvisation. However, it's on the heartbreaking "Beyond" that Larrieux truly shines. Backed by an acoustic guitar and quiet string section, Larrieux's lyrics of everlasting love make you want to believe in something more.

Like fellow soulsters Anthony Hamilton and Goapele, Larrieux, who began her career as one-half of the R&B duo Groove Theory, sings with an ease that is rare in many of today's R&B artists. Her voice is natural and engaging, and that's what makes Bravebird truly soar. --Rashaun Hall ... Read more

Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars FLY, BRAVEBIRD, FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amel Larrieux's Bravebird, the follow-up to the amazing "Infinite Possibilities" is another instant classic in her repertoire! The Sony/Epic records label should be ashamed of itself to drop such a talented and gifted songtress/songwriter as Larrieux. What, Sony? Amel wasn't "ghetto" or mainstream enough for you? At any rate, I digress. Amel Larrieux has always had me as a fan since the days of Groove Theory. She lures you into her esoteric world and dares you not to feel what she feels with her incredible vocals and thought-provoking lyrics. Every song here is a hit and showcases Amel's incredible and diverse talents as a singer. Truly uncategorical with such a unique voice, it's very difficult to say who Amel sounds like or gets her influences from in the business; although it would be safe to say that she probably has an extensive classical jazz collection. With Bravebird, this gorgeous siren has crossed new boundaries, dabbling into house music, neo-soul, funk, folk and even some pop. Braveheart definitely has mass appeal, but will probably go unnoticed by the Alicia Keys, Beyonce, J-Lo and Ashanti fans--a shame, too, because Amel Larrieux is AWESOME! In my book, she's the QUEEN OF NEO-SOUL!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars You know it's a classic when...
Amel Larrieux's follow-up album to her solo debut is as good as music gets. Here's how you can tell this album is a classic:

1)No two songs on the album sound alike, yet the whole album flows effortlessly from one song to another
2)In reading different reviews of "Bravebird" every single song has been mentioned as someone's favorite track. From "For Real" to "Beyond" to the second version of "All I Got", EACH song has been named as "the best song on the album", or "my personal favorite" by different reviewers. Hence, there are no "highlights" on the album because that would imply that there are songs that are not as good as other song. Every song is amazing. Which leads to number 3...
3)There are no "fillers" in this album. You can listen to this album non-stop from beginning to end. If any of the 12 songs were taken off the album, the album would definitely be missing something. In a musical time period where filler songs are commonplace, this album is quite refreshing.
4)In reading different reviews of the album, everyone has different reasons why this record deserves 5 stars, implying that "Bravebird" does something different, but still wonderful, for every listener.

I was going to do this review by rating each song, then I realized that each song would get 5/5, so I decided to go about it in a different way. Whatever the case, "Bravebird" is definitely a classic. The only downside is, we don't know when we will get another album from Amel, but that is even more reason to get "Bravebird" and take from it all it has to offer.

4-0 out of 5 stars Open spirit, positive words for the community
I was very pleased to hear Amel came out with a new CD, and I just got back from hearing a live gig in support of this effort. Listening to the CD, I feel that the songwriting is not as strong as that of "Infinite Possibilities", but this is still worth a listen. I dig tracks like "New", "All I Got" and "Bravebird". Equally important, Amel is an artist who is willing to carve out her own space. "All I Got" has a nice message as she affirms the beauty that's in all of us. She has a very giving spirit. Also, in contrast to many of the other soul singers out there, she does venture into issues beyond herself. beneath its catchy rhythms, "Bravebird" is a song that addresses the pain of female circumcision. It's Amel's courage in taking on issues, staying true to herself, and operating outside of the confines of a major label that leads me to urge you to support this fine artist. Very few of our artists make a Joni Mitchell's influence so transparent. She sings with passion and at times a real purity and grace.

Her live show was tight too. She brought this child on stage who was dancing to her songs and sang some of "For Real" including the falsetto high pitched stuff. Real positive and definitely touched the crowd. Also, she had a nice version of Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" in her show.

Carter Barron amphitheater in DC was moved by her spirit. I enjoy this album and she's definitely worthy of your support.

4 stars


5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Maybe it's because I haven't heard any of her other work, but I love this cd. OR, maybe it's because I haven't heard any of her other work that I love this cd? In any case, her voice is beautiful, pure and soothing. I love her lyrics and her melodies. This is a welcomed addition to my cd collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars WORTH EVERY PENNY SPENT

125. The Very Best of (Curtis Mayfield)
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B0000033X2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12095
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars New Love
I hadn't even heard of Curtis Mayfield before this year. At a college party where me and my friend were literally the only people there, they were playing "Freddie's Dead." My 1st thought was what was this? Where's the "real" music? No wonder no one's here. My friend was like u have to feel the lyrics. He's talking about a junkie, about the consequences of being marginalized in society. This appealed to the activist in me and the funky arrangement peaked my musical curiosity. After reading a book that discussed his music, I knew I had to give him a try. I'm so glad I did. This is pure genius! I love "Pusherman" which is also briefly featured in one of my favorite movies Money Talks. Every song is genius. It's one of those rare CDs where I have to here the entire thing from start to finish. All his songs are versatile yet have his own signature style. I especially love that they all have a message. I will be rockin it in my car for a while, turning all my young friends on to some true music. Thanks everybody for the reviews! I'm so glad I checked this out! Peace and love.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wazzup Curtis!!!!!!
This here is the mad tunes! This cat was super fly! Funky soulful bootyshakin music to my ears, my brothers. Dig it, yo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection
Rhino has, as usual assembled a great CD highlighting the solo works of the late Curtis Mayfield. The trilogy of the Superfly tracks (Superfly, Pusherman and Freddie's Dead) show Mayfield as an observant sociologist. The Makings of You and So in Love show a true romantic. And anyone unmoved by the terrific, surging arrangement and upbeat message of Move on Up should check for a pulse. Curtis Mayfield was a giant in terms of songwriting, musicianship and message that we unfortunaley have too few of these days.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless and perfect.
Curtis Mayfield was a musical genius and this CD is a testament to his amazing ability to create powerful, engaging, funky, soulful, moving music. Mayfield was clearly the master of funk and his falsetto vocals are the definition of soul. I have too many favorite tracks to pick just one -- "Freddie's Dead" and "Kung Fu" are alone worth the price of this CD. Most of the songs address some kind of moral or social issue and the lyrics are genuinely thought-provoking, not cliched. Some of the songs make you want to dance, and for others you just need to close your eyes and soak it in.

This is one of my favorite CDs of all time, regularly played and always enjoyed as much as the first moment I heard it.

If you are even remotely curious about Curtis Mayfield or funk/soul music in general, you have to have this CD. It just doesn't get any better than this. Really!

5-0 out of 5 stars Very best...
It's Curtis Mayfield...what's not to love? Stop this now. ... Read more

126. The Best of Brandy
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B0007PLKU2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4005
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Multimedia phenomenon Brandy rose to superstardom in the '90s while only in her mid-teens, and was one of the decade's most successful new talents. Her string of smashes soared to the heights of the R&B and pop charts, as did her top-selling albums. The young recording artist and actress also reaped major acclaim in the television world with her hit sitcom Moesha, and the starring role in Disney's beloved TV adaptation of Cinderella. ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars ALL OF THE BEST OF BRANDY!

3-0 out of 5 stars { HALF & HALF }
a 90's fan from (syracuse,new york)

5-0 out of 5 stars Full Circle
When you think about purchasing a "Greatest Hits" or "Best Of" CD, usually you may get some of the hits but not all, then you have to still search around and make up your own "hits" cd with all your favorite tracks.Well that is not the case with this package.This is one of the few compilations that give you the full picture and the complete story.Brandy has released several solid efforts over the past ten years and the best of the best is represented here in all her hits.They even included
"Brokenhearted" (w/ Wanya From Boyz II Men) "Sittin Up In My Room" "Rock With You" and the remix to "I Wanna Be Down" (w/ Queen Latifah, MC LYTE, & Yo Yo)This is one cd where you won't have to press the skip button even once.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's about time for a Greatest Hits CD
Brandy has been great from the start, from "I Wanna Be Down" to "Talk About Our Love". I've been saying all along that her record company should do a greatest hits CD of her career. It should have been called "A Decade of Brandy (1994-2004)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing greatest hits album...5+++stars
When I first found out that Brandy was releasing a greatest hits album last year I was sort of nervous seeing that she only had 4 albums...but I love her and I knew I had to get it...I couldn't have been happier.
1. "Baby" (10/10)
2. "Best Friend" (10/10)
3. "I Wanna Be Down" (10/10)
4. "Brokenhearted (f/ Wanya Morris)" (10/10)
5. "Angel In Disguise" (9/10)
6. "The Boy Is Mine (duet w/ Monica)" (10/10)
7. "Almost Doesn't Count" (10/10)
8. "Top Of The World (f/ Mase)" (10/10)
9. "U Don't Know Me (Like U Used To) (f/ Shaunta & Da Brat)" (10/10)
10. "Have You Ever?" (10/10)
11. "Full Moon" (9/10)
12. "What About Us?" (10/10)
13. "Who Is She 2 U" (8/10)
14. "Talk About Our Love (f/ Kanye West)" (9/10)
15. "Sittin' Up In My Room" (10/10)
16. "Rock With You (Quincy Jones w/ Brandy & Heavy D) (8/10)
17. "Another Day In Paradise (w/ Ray J)" (9/10)
18. I Wanna Be Down (Remix f/ Queen Latifah, Yoyo & MC Lyte)" (10/10)
It's a great album thats shows her success well. In my opinion, They could've left out ROCK WITH YOU (which wasn't even that popular) and replaced it with MISSING YOU or AFRODISIAC. ... Read more

127. Natalie
list price: $13.98
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Asin: B00096S3UO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 709
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars She's No 1-Hit-Wonder!
Natalie.That's what you're sure to think of when it comes to music!The girl behind the smash hit "Goin Crazy," which hit #1 on Billboard's Top 200 Singles Sales Chart for 6 weeks and is still in the Top 5 today, has just released her debut album self-titled "Natalie."The album is different and something that you wouldn't expect at this time.The album is pure R&B mixed with Latin beats.The lyrics deal with love, but not cheesy and fake like a lot of those 1-hit-wonders which debuted in 2004.Natalie is bound to succeed; being a singer/songwriter/producer/ choreographer/dancer, and showing those skills on her debut and beginning of her music career, who knows what other tricks and talents she may showcase to us in the future.

There are definately stand out tracks on here.You all know "Goin Crazy," which is R&B laced with Latin and Soul, combined to make a less instrument showcased, more acoustic sound."Engery," which is bound to success (it hit #1 last week on The Most Added Song To Top 40 Radio Chart), and is as good, if not better than "Goin Crazy."

"Energy" is another Latin R&B song, but influenced with a pop/dance sound.The song features labelmate and long-time friend Baby Bash, and the lyrics are most relatable to about anyone who had deep love feelings for those friends close to them.

"Get It Right" has a very emotional edge; the beat also gives out that emphasize.The song has is R&B meets Latin soul and pop.Natalie writes/tells that she wants to be more than just friends with someone she has deep feelings for, and is expecting them to make a move, because she feels they go together. Although it sounds like another love song, what the lyrics tell is a lot different, along with the beat.This song also features a rapper friend of Natalie's, Max Minelli.

"You Don't Love Me No More" is one of the best songs on the record.Around 1 minute and 40 seconds after the song beginng, you can hear Natalie show her rapping skills for about a half of minute or more (TRIVIA: Natalie was a freestyle rapper before she sang).The beat is purely Latin Dance combined with R&B/Soul.Great for cruising around in the car, try it!

"Me Faltas Tu" is the Latin-translated (thanks to Frankie J's translation) version of "Goin Crazy."It gives a different feeling than the English, and the sound, or at least Natalie's voice is different than on the English version of "Goin Crazy."This is a bonus track, along with "Where You Are"--track 11.The song has the most of the same beat as the English, but Natalie's voice, at certain points, makes the song sound like something totally different!*Can also help with learning Spanish words!*

All in all, Natalie proves on her debut that she does have true talent, and won't end up a 1-hit-wonder.Good job to a job well done!

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!
Natalie is awesome! My favorite songs are Goin' Crazy and Energy. Natalie's songs are so fun and cool that I can't stop listening to the C.D.! You should defenitly check this C.D. out!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Versatile Style
This is an instant classic.No other R&B artist of today shows so much promising talent and versatility.Natalie's debut album is one of the most original albums of the year.She really showcases her talent on the opening tracks, and keeps it going on the up from there.She has whatever your looking for.She even keeps the clubs moving with her new single Energy which is a far cry from her first single Goin Crazy which is a beautiful love song. Again I must stress no other female out right now is showing this much promise and versatility.

5-0 out of 5 stars Natalie Rocks!!!!!!
Hey guys, Natalie's self titled cd is awesome. You should buy it because it has really great songs on it and it is definitly worth buying. My favorite song is Energy. Please buy it and you will not be sorry....Peace Out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Natalie
It's about time we start hearing artist sing about dedication and loyalty and the good moments of love, instead of this sex sex sex drug and booze crap we hear on the radio, this cd is the best one I bought this year yet, and it's a favorite. I am more of a linkin park and rock genre person but her voice and lyrics grabbed me and I hope she raises to the top because this girl has talent and I hope she takes it to the fullist.

I support this artist and her music, everyone should take a moment and check her out at least, if not buy her new release.

Did i mention she's a hottie, lol, hahaha anyways mmmm... buy the cd people, you'll love it regardless of what genre, I can't wait for her next cd.

P.S - (...) ... Read more

128. The Hits/The B-Sides
list price: $39.98
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Asin: B000002MNF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3202
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Assignment: To write 100 words on 56 songs by the greatest artist the '80s produced. Even with single edits substituting for full-length versions in a handful of cases, The Hits/The B-Sides is a mighty testament to the man we once called Prince. (For that matter, we still do.) In addition to most of his singles, from "I Wanna Be Your Lover" to "Thieves in the Temple," from "When Doves Cry" to "7," this triple-CD set throws in some worthwhile new music and a full disc of the fantastic flips that made buying 7- and 12-inches a must even when you already owned the A-side. "You can be the side effect," he mutters herein. "I'd rather be the dope." Witness some of the funkiest pharmaceuticals around. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars All The Goodies
Prince has always been a outgoing artist, whether he plays pop, rock, or R&B. I know that their has never been a compilation that sums up his full career, from 1978-1993. When this was released, it had become a glittering item in his catalog. Some may call it a greatest hits compilation, some might call it a box set, but it is a testament of one of the biggest stars in the 80's and 90's. One of my biggest disappointments were the tracks, they were edited. That's alright, because we all know his songs and albums. This collection will also tell us that he was leaving Warner Brothers soon, making his own record label called NPG Records. The B-sides disc is full of singles: that never made it on any Prince album and some unreleased material including the stunning, Power Fanastic. This is the ultimate Prince collection, in my opinion.

4-0 out of 5 stars Royal Box but with a few missing ┬┐Nobles┬┐
3 CDs of the best material Prince did for Warners at the time? Well, that is such a hard task to perform that it seems that someone just didn't bother to and let this one go in a few areas. Don't get me wrong. Some of these songs are indeed the jams of whatever year they came out, and even after that, but doesn't something seem missing.

Let's go in chronological for the "Hits" albums. "Soft And Wet" off his first album is sexy disco laced R&B. Before the genre got out of style, he gave it a rocky funk pace on hits like the unforgettable bass jam "I Wanna Be Your Lover" and the similar paced "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad". Things get even more interesting when his royal badness gets into social commentary on "Controversy". 1982 brought "1999" and its relevantly funky dance title track along with the smooth pop of "Little Red Corvette". Then came a barrage of hit from "Purple Rain". The album that truly could classify him as the artist from a beautiful rock title track with light touches to masterful dance brilliance in "When Doves Cry" to rebellion on the right side rock of "Let's Go Crazy". The man could do no wrong.... Then came more unique eighties hits like psychedelic "Raspberry Beret" and smothering heat on "Kiss". "Sign Of The Times" is well represented on this set with good reason. Prince really made a difference its smart title track (smart stories that are still relevant today) and just made you happy with a fun duet still hot at time Sheena Easton on the commercial clash dance of "U Got The Look". Then with a separation from the Revolution, Prince made a funky R&B b line to grace the dance floors with hot steam with The New Power Generation on hits like hip hop laced "Gett Off", sexy pop rock of "Cream" and the sophisticated worldly "7". For even more appreciation of this early nineties feel for music, listen to "unreleased" songs like "Peach" and "Pope". Talk about a dirty mind! A brilliant one too, so what is the problem? Well, there are two main one. One is missing hits. I mean, I guess you can't have it all, but why cut out everything from "Batman"? Was it that much of a shame to him? "Batdance" was in fact a number 1 in the US and was a killer dance groove that made the movie have a new life. Oh well. That's not that much of a problem, because you can always by the albums for those missing tracks, but why do some songs have to be cut down to size ("When Doves Cry") and others are in a way to long forum ("Sexy MF"). Another oh well. Even Prince isn't perfect, or maybe he just didn't care.

The "B Sides" are pretty cool for the most part. Nothing touches the steamy dance funk of "Erotic City" with very special guests like George Clinton and Sheila E. Its one of those songs that managed to become a radio hit without trying as did the bouncy pop rock tune of "17 Days". Instant gratification with the Revolution on that one. Then early "Prince sounding" funkers like "Horny Toad" and light lovers like "She's Always In My Hair". Other than those, and the Gospel truth of "God", there is a bit of filler. Still good stuff and worth a listen.

In all, there is just too much missing here. I would love nothing more than to just think of what a great set of hits are on here, but with edits, missing hits ("My Name is Prince" also comes to mind now) and a little bit of excess on the B-sides, Prince fans will fell the strain. Still a must have, but get a few actual albums first and enjoy those. Don't get the overload all at once.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Collection
Call him a genius, a wizard, a lengend, or just far ahead of his time. But the one thing you cannot call him is lazy. This magnum opus of music is far better than any greatest hits collection you can find of Prince, after one listen you can easily say that Prince Rogers Nelson is an icon.

Disc 1 & 2 are his released tracks from his Warner Brothers albums, and though the tracks aren't in chroniclogical order, it is well worth the funky voyage. With tracks like "Let's Go Crazy", "Dirty Mind", "1999", amongst others this album speaks for the legend in his own time. The Hits (disc 1 & 2) are sold individually.

Disc 3 is the real treat, they are the B-sides of the hits he released as singles. What makes this a prize is it's not like these tracks are not bad, they are excellent, as a matter of fact after one listen you'll wonder why Prince did not put thes on an album. The highlights are "Irresistable Bitch", "Feel U Up", and "She's Always In My Hair".

Warner Brothers released this when Prince opted out of his Warner Brothers contract, so to keep the fans happy they released the previously unreleased material.

To cut a long story short, this album is not a waste of time, listening and the most part money. 5 Stars all the way

3-0 out of 5 stars Worth only for the B-SIDES But missing some hits
I have written quite a bit on Prince's Warner Bros. dispute,its aftermath and all the problems with their handeling of his music catalog however, things only got worse with the release of The Hits/The B Sides.I originally purchased this on its release date in 1993 and was looking forward to getting the Bsides I was missing on CD. Back then it was a little tougher getting a decent collection of his B-sides unless you had the original singles on vinyl. I've been a Prince fan for at least 20 years and have collected his work on vinyl (albums, maxi singles and 7 in. singles) so, this package was a treat a the time however, I couldn't say the same about the A sides (the Hits) after one listen. Most of the tracks are the single edits and therefore rather unattractive since they fare lighter than their original full length counterparts. The sequence is also rather off since it begins with When Doves Cry and somehow works its way into earlier Prince. I wasn't thrilled to find out that WB skimped out on his better work from albums like PARADE,SIGN o THE TIMES,THE BATMAN SOUNDTRACK (Batdance was a #1 HIT)as well as some of his ballads. Instead, we get complete throwaway stuff like Peach and Pope which are great songs but when were they hits???? I would have rather liked the inclusion of Scandalous, Batdance, Mountains, and Money Don't Matter Tonight. The liner notes for the collection offered a great deal of information and great pictures but that does not excuse WB from missing out on some of his better stuff. Listening to some of the B-sides such as Power Fantastic,For the Tears in Your Eyes and How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore? is the only real reason I have kept this disc set for over 11 years now. If you are really into Prince I would recommend this set for the B-sides and push for the original full length albums instead. The full length songs are best when left unedited for the listener experience, musical genius and overall appreciation of the music itself.

5-0 out of 5 stars There have been many kings, but only one...PRINCE!!
There have been many Kings, but only 1 PRINCE....
Has there ever been a collection of music that not only defines an artist and his entire catalogue, but pop culture from 1978 to 1990. This is one of the best musical purchases I have made. After buying this collection I'll be ready for any song that Prince plays at his concert in August. DISC 1: I love this disc. There are only a few songs I have heard on here. I love the classics like, WHEN DOVES CRY, LETS GO CRAZY, 1999, I COULD NEVER TAKE THE PLACE OF YOUR MAN, ADORE (my favorite) , AND I FEEL FOR YOU. But I found songs like SOFT AND WET and UPTOWN completely funky. I loved the ballads like DIAMONDS AND PEARLS featuring Rosie Gaines. PINK CASHMERE is so smooth and he's gonna make her a coat of...guess what? ALPHABET ST. is funky and playful, I love the rap in the middle too. SIGN O THE TIMES is very socially-conscious and teaches a lesson with every lyric. THIEVES IN THE TEMPLE is very rockish probably the most different song on this cd. DIAMONDS AND PEARLS is one of the most beautifully written love songs next to Adore and Nothing Compares to you. Rosie Gaines sings her ass off on this one. The last song on disc 1 is 7, is a very catchy song that shows Prince loving through thick and thin. DISC 2: CONTROVERSY, is a very funky track were Prince is retaliating back at all the B.S. he encounters. DIRTY MIND, is a very 80s sounding track that talks of him just wanting to lay ya'. I WANNA BE YOUR LOVER, is one of my fave Prince tracks its so funky and just oozes his ability to combine funk, pop, and pure musicianship. HEAD, is one of Prince's nastiest tracks. Even to this day, it's a shocker. DO ME BABY, is one of my fave Prince songs and very sexy, probably one of the sexiest songs he's done. A true burner! From numbers 7-11 is the highlight of the entire collection. These are the best string of songs from Corvette, to I would die for you, to beret, to if I was your girlfriend, to my fave up-jam from Prince Kiss. LITTLE RED CORVETTE has some of Prince's most personal and heartfelt lyrics even though have a hint of sexuality. if you don't know the words...u don't know the song. Sexy M.F. to Gett Off, to Cream are some of Prince's raunchiest. And how can you forget the spiritual PURPLE RAIN I love it, it can bring you to tears. One of his true bests. DISC 3: Are songs that you would never hear unless you bought the vinyl singles and heard the B-sides, but there are good b-sides like 200 BALLOONS, EROTIC CITY, SHE'S ALWAYS IN MY HAIR, HOW COME..., and POWER FANTASTIC At first I was skeptical about buying this cd, (even though I only paid 27 for it, I bought it at one of those hole in the wall shops). It was well worth it. I am now a Prince fanatic. His music has so many levels. The music is one, everyone can jam to a beat or croon to a slow jam, but after that there are his lyrics, and there is so much truth honesty, and brilliance. PRINCE IS ONE IN A MILLION!! BUY THIS SET! YOU WON'T NEED ANYTHING ELSE!! ... Read more

129. Funkify Your Life: The Meters Anthology
list price: $31.98
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Asin: B0000033GN
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14603
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Popular Music's Greatest Instrumentalists...
As They Are Meant To Be Heard.

A reasonable approximation of the sound of Alvin Toussaint's studio and Neville Brothers/Wild Tchoupitoulas backing band the Meters is much-better-known than the band itself, on account of a '90s stand-up comedy bit recounting relatively recent experiences; but there's nothing too funny about the musical skills of this New Orleans group, due to drummer Ziggy Modeliste's genuinely revolutionary approach to musical time. The late '60s and early '70s featured much speculation about "the one", that element of drumming lending unity to a group (although James Brown's saying "funk is on the one" was something of a piece with most of his efforts).

But with Modeliste you get the one you get, and if this is more "instructive" than contemporaneous experiments in jazz there may be strings attached: this is music which was not designed for the use it was put to (as a blueprint for "incidental" music recorded by other groups) and as a result the actual "tenor" of the cuts handsomely collected here by Rhino is worth considering in light of trends in contemporary music. Whatever has come from this, it is not music people have been "going back" to: and whether this is due to mere fashion, technical difficulty, or a more fundamental disconnect between the cultural sphere and its traditional "constraints" is a question which permits of formulation. Important music for "unimportant" occasions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Find a desert island so you can take this with you!!
If you're even REMOTELY curious about The Meters, or need some Funk in your collection, then you need this!
Disc One takes in the mainly (absolute killer!) instrumental stuff The Meters did for the Josie label in the late 60s - most of it is available on reissue albums, but there are a few gems here you won't find on ANY album (including the groover 'I Need More Time').
Disc Two moves onto the time spent recording for Reprise in the 70s, and the only down-side is the sound of Zigaboo's drums (where's that snappy snare drum), but that's just a sign of the times. There are some greatly crafted songs here, and you can trace the band's progression (War, Mandrill, Cymande, Sly, all those Reggae tracks where the Jamaicans were copping The Meters in the first place?!?!) from the Josie years.
I've got ALL the albums, the live stuff, the alternate-track CDs from Rounder & Sundazed, some bootlegs, and out of it all, this one comes with me on a long (or even short!) trip.

5-0 out of 5 stars Open up for the meter men!!!
The Meter's were there from the start. They are funk (they still kick it out today, known as The Funky Meters, with 1/2 of the orignial band still doin it). If you want into the secrets of New Orleans Soul, look no further. Their style encapsulates, fathoms and transcends blues, soul, R&B and funk. This is band so tightly honed they make every jawbreaking funk break sound like an effortless display of catwalking sexiness... Leo Nocentelli's jangly and percussive guitar, Art Neville's fever-hot organ chops, George Porter's thick-ass porterhouse steak basslines- ever-fluid but omni-deep, and lest we forget the backbone- Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste's boom-boom-CRACK! The drums, tighter than hell, you will not believe what one man can conjure with a fairly simple drumkit. The breakdown on 'Chicken Strut' will make you mop your forehead.

There is so much butter and cream on this comp it just makes me weak in the knees. Do yourself a favor and learn what hip hop producers have known for about a generation or so- The Meter's are rhythm incarnate!

The first CD makes this worth it alone- you get damn near all The Meter's hits from the Josie years! Cd 1 has 26 tracks of their early material, all their top ten R&B hits from 1967- 69, and quite a few more. Look-ka-py py, Ease Back, Cissy Strut and Sophisticated Cissy among them. I mean c'mon- 26 tracks on THE FIRST CD ALONE!!!!

CD 2 does less for me, but gives a good display of The meter's output for Warner/Reprise. This was a time period that saw the band go through some changes and also play as the opening band for The Rolling Stones' 1975-76 tours. On these tracks Cyril neville (Art's brother) replaces Zigaboo on drums and it shows, I think... The material here consists of longer cuts and more diverse styles, ultimately I prefer the Josie material, but you should check it all out and make up your own mind...

Over 45 tracks of the kind of funk usually reserved for immortals and denizens of the lower planes of funky good times. For about 30 bucks that's like 66 cents per cut. Brother please. If you buy 1 'Best Of,' retrospective set this year- make it this one. Then go get the JB's 'Funky Good Time.' Now you've got a party.

4-0 out of 5 stars pimp strut funky music!
I'm very new to The Meters and read some reviews on the Anthology. I wasn't sure I wanted to purchase it for $30 but no regrets! disc one was hyped up and it lives up to the hype. disc two is not bad at all but I was hoping for more instrumentals like on disc one thus the 4 stars and not 5. Cissy strut is my favorite! Very worth the money imo. Glad to add it to my funk collection!

4-0 out of 5 stars Grab the DJ by the collar!
The first time I heard the Meters was on "Funk Night" at a bar in San Francisco. I grabbed the DJ by the collar and demanded that he tell me what band played a groove so down I had to get up to it. Or something like that. Anyway, it was the Meters. The song was "Cissy Strut" and I've been a fan ever since. This anthology covers all of their main grooves, but does miss some gems like "Pickin' and a Grinnin'," "He Bite Me" and a song as sweet as bread puddin' with rum sauce, "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)." Also the version of "Good Old Funky Music" on this CD has been edited for time or something (two minutes vs. the traditional nearly five-minute jam). What were they thinking? It's a miss. BUT! Those are trivial critiques of an otherwise beautiful compilation. If you want the songs I mentioned, there's a CD called The Meters, Good Old Funky Music Previously Unissued (B0000002Z0) that I highly recommend. I don't know who that DJ was, but he turned me on to a musical journey that continues still. ... Read more

130. Butterfly
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.28
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Asin: B000002BQK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 18327
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Carey's first post-divorce effort makes passing allusions to her ex-hubby (and label honcho) Tommy Mottola, but it doesn't dwell on them the way many similar projects do. Instead, Carey is right back to her old tricks; cooing trademark melismatic spirals through sexy, beat-heavy hits. Fans will dig the bedroom slink of "Baby Doll," the dripping "Honey" and the infectious title track (reprised, along with a bit of Elton John's "Skyline Pigeon," in "Fly Away"). The highlight is a duet with Dru Hill on Prince's "The Beautiful Ones," which just might be her most pointed commentary on Mottola. --Michael Ruby ... Read more

Reviews (346)

5-0 out of 5 stars MARIAH'S BEST ALBUM TO DATE
This is by far Mariah's bst album out it combine incredible vocals with great production and some of the best lyrics i've ever heard here are my thoughts on each of the tracks:
1.honey-awesome upbeat r'n'b/hip-hop flavoured song 3 weeks at #1

2.buttefly-emotional and inspirational ballad one of her best tracks all-incredible power ballad with awesome lyrica"i am thinking of you in my sleepless solitude..." her 13th #1 hit

4. the roof- this is one of my all-time favourite songs ever

5.fourth of july- i hated this when i first heard but after a while it really grew on me and i like it a lot now

6.breakdown-this song is absolutely amazing its tied with always be... as my all time fave mariah track

7.babydoll-silky smooth r'n'b track nice vocals especially at the end

8.close my eyes- one of her most introspective songs to date i love this song

9.whenever you call-this song is amazing from star to finish some of her best vocals away-original version of butterfly great club hit

11.beautiful ones- another one of my faves it gave me chills the first time i heard it great duet with sisqo

12.outside-this is another song that grows on you it has great lyrics and her most emotive belting ever this proves that mariah is the worlds best singer
if you dont own this piece of art now you are really missing out

4-0 out of 5 stars Mariah's Best Effort Since Daydream.
Ok,long story short:Mariah&Tommy divorce,Mariah gets sick of having to wear more than 2 pieces of clothing,Mariah wants to be more diverse musically.She completes the 3rd task with this album.Sure,I know what you're thinking,"how can Mariah make a genius album?".But,believe it or not,MARIAH CAREY makes an album anyone can like.It's a critic's wet dream!
The album starts off with the memorable song&video(WOO WOO!)"Honey",which you can't help but love,especially since it was co-produced by Diddy himself when he was actually good back then,the song also takes samples off 2 songs:"The Body Rock" by hip-hop group The Treacherous 3,"Hey DJ".
Moving on...the album has it's usual Mariah ballads,BUT you can't help feeling that the ballads have a more urban feeling to them,2 prime examples:the sesnsual "Babydoll"(co-produced by then rising star Missy Elliot) and the Latin R&B flavored "My All",which is actually the best ballad on the song.But,you adult contemporary Mariah fans don't have to worry,she's got some of that under her belt,too:the tearjerking song "Butterfly" and the lyrically inspiring but weak in producing closing song "Outside".
And there's one more thing that separates this album from all of Mariah's previous albums:she collaborates a lot more.From hip hop group Bone Thugz N Harmony to the biggest R&B group in the country(at least they were back then) Dru Hill,Mariah collaborates with more than 5 people making this great album.

But,I took a star off this review,and there's a few reasons why.Some of the songs are weak in producing,including "Outside" and the wannabe-dance song "Fly Away)Butterfly Reprise)".Also,one word comes up during some of the songs:sleeper.Prime examples:"Close My Eyes(literally)" and "Fourth Of July,a song that starts off beautifully but,after a minute and a half,loses your attention.
Other than that,you should definitely give this album a chance.It's worth a listen.Especially since Mariah put her heart and soul into it,and you can really tell when you listen it.

Best Songs:"Breakdown", "My All," "Honey," "Babydoll," and "Butterfly".

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy the Japanese Edition 14 Tracks in all!!!
I've got the Asian of Japanese edition in this case and its so much better. To conclude the album, there are two remixes of HONEY. Both you won't find on a Single release. They are 13)HONEY (SO SO DEF REMIX) and 14)HONEY (DEF CLUB MIX) both good tracks ot level the album which has a lot of ballads on. But still one of my favortie albums from her until now. Give it a try your choice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Mariah CD ever...
I've heard all the Mariah CDs, with the exception of "Charmbracelet", and I believe that "Butterfly" is her best one, ever. On this CD Mariah was in the middle -- not quite that slow-moving adult contempo stuff, but not yet the trashy hip-hop collabos she attempts in later albums. Mariah retains a sweet mix between ballads and mid-tempo songs on this CD. "Honey" is one of my all time favorite songs, and "My All" has that sweet, Latin soul feel to it. "The Roof" was one of the first good hip-hop feel songs she did, and "Breakdown" is wonderful. On this CD, I can't say there's one song that I mind listening to. (Some, like "Close My Eyes", I'd rather not, but if it's playing I don't HAVE to turn it *shrugs*), and "The Beautiful Ones" is an insightful song from real life and yet not whiny. Like I said -- best Mariah album!

5-0 out of 5 stars On Of Mariah's Best
You will not be disapointed with Mariah's Butterfly. Every song is worth lisening to.

Honey 5/5

Butterfly 5/5

My All 5/5

The Roof 4/5

Fourth Of July 5/5

Breakdown 5/5

Babydoll 5/5

Close My Eyes 5/5

When Ever You Call 5/5

Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)

The Beautiful Ones 4/5

Outside 4/5

Trust me you will love every single song on this CD, Mariah Carey is one of the best female artist in the history of the world so don't miss out! Buy Butterfly today! ... Read more

131. 8701
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00005LKGT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1063
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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On his third studio effort (and fourth overall), 22-year-oldR&B/pop star Usher Raymond makes the not-so-simple transition frompost-teen heartthrob to love man. He does it with solid songs and agenerous helping of charisma and vocal acumen, making this much-delayedcollection a hot summer treat. Usher is aided in his musical efforts byrenowned hit-makers like the Neptunes, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (whodeliver soaring ballads like "Can U Help Me"), Jermaine Dupri, and new jack Edmund Clement who penned the irresistible single "URemind Me." With catchy tracks and emotive vocals, Usher revs up hissex quotient and unleashes a winning blend of street-honed jams andpassionate love songs. --Amy Linden ... Read more

Reviews (157)

3-0 out of 5 stars Mixed Review
I have been a fan of Usher since I heard the hit "You Make Me Wanna" back in '99. He has a nice voice and the music is fun to dance to. His hits from "8701" are good, but this album is unfortunatly packed with "filler." Usher Raymond seems to be obsessed with internet talk, explaining the amount of U's and R's. While the hits "U Got It Bad", "U Remind Me" and "U Don't Have A Call" (see a pattern here?) are good, the others are just mediocore. I like his song "U Turn" which kind of reminds me of Monica's "Cross the Room" from her album "The Boy is Mine." I don't like the collaborations with Jermaine Dupri. I mean, while he is an OK producer (too many songs ont his album sound the same however) he cannot rap (same with P Diddy). "Can U Help me" is a great slower song, along with "If I Want To." I really cannot believe "I Don't Know" feauturing P Diddy was issued as a single. It sounded like it was thrown together in 5 minutes and thankfully wasn't remixed for P Diddy's newest album. I think this album is good for the hits and one or two good songs not released, so I would give it 3 1/2 stars if they had that option. Otherwise I'd reccomend just getting the CD-singles. My grade for "8701" is a B-

4-0 out of 5 stars Usher is Back (with some experimentation)
This CD takes a little getting used to. The single "U Remind Me" and the fast tracks "If I want To", "I Can't Let U Go" and "Good Ol' Ghetto" are really tight - they grab you on the first listen because they are so catchy and unique. However, there were some songs I was not too impressed with on my first listen, but with time they grew on me, such as "U R The One." I don't really like "U Got It Bad" or "You Don't Have to Call" - I find them too slow. There is a good mix of slow songs and fast ones - personally I prefer the fast ones. Give this CD a chance - it's worth the money. The slow jam "Can you Help Me" is really sweet. By the way, Usher has also grown vocally - he sounds more soulful. And you probably don't care, but I also recommend Craig David's Born to Do It and (unrelated) the Backstreet Boys'Millenium and Black and Blue as albums that you can listen to from start to finish like Usher.

5-0 out of 5 stars USHER'S BEST ALBUM
This is Usher's best album. It's better than "My Way", and "Confessions." Nuff said.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smooth and Seductive R&B...
It is very rare for me to come across a true R&B CD I can listen to all the way through and not change a song on the first listen or on any listen afterwards. Usher's first hit CD, My Way, just displayed Usher's singing ability and also some of his writing skills while his latest effort, Confessions, is definately more adult oriented. However, Usher's 8701 ranks up there with Boyz II Men's II for the quality and smooth R&B it has from the beginning of the CD until the end.

The interludes and intro are well placed but not overdone like they are on other albums. I never was a huge fan of "U Remind Me" when it first came out but it does set the stage for "I Don't Know" and I actually appreciate it much more now. If anything, those two tracks are the weakest tracks on the whole album. "Twork It Out" is absolutely seductive and amazing along with the ballad "U Got It Bad" following in a wonderful R&B fashion that's so amazing and smooth. "If I Want To" and "I Can't Let U Go" are great songs with different beats but they stand out even more so because of their lyrics. "U Don't Have to Call" slows down the beats and the mood before the interlude "Without U". Combining "Without U" and "Can U Help Me" makes up the best set in the whole CD. "Can U Help Me" is one of the most tender and outstanding R&B ballads in a long time (think Boyz II Men in the mid-90s) lyrically, musically, and in every way. "How Do I Say" and "Hottest Thing" run on the same type of theme about praising and admiring a woman while "Good Ol' Ghetto" and "U-Turn" go back to a more party vibe and feel. "U R the One" ends of the CD in a club feel and paves the way to realizing that Usher will have club tracks on his next album too. However, this song has a good vibe and ends off the album strong. 8701 isn't one of those run of the mill R&B albums with a couple of songs that stand out. Rather, it's an album that flows like a story from beginning to end and the various forms R&B takes on the album makes 8701 one of the best R&B records penned in the new millenium so far.

1-0 out of 5 stars who would have thought..
that this cute little guy by the name of Usher who came out with the awesome "My Way" would grow up to be an arrogant womanizer with about as much originality as Britney Spears. Grow up Usher. Be a man. You either have the talent/personality/ and originality or you don't. Leave r & b and go be one of Brit's back up dancers. ... Read more

132. 50th Anniversary Anthology (Dig)
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Sales Rank: 4946
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's The Same Old Songs...Only Better!
In honor of the group's 50th anniversary, Hip - O records has put out this magnificent two - disc retrospective dedicated to the wonderful music of the Four Tops. From the classic Motown hits to the excellent if not well - known 1970s' recordings to a few 1980s' goodies, everything that you could possibly want is here.

Disc 1 features every hit they scored on Motown. Whether you enjoy "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'", "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch", "It's The Same Old Song", "Reach Out", "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" or "Bernadette", you'll find all your favorite songs on this disc. Also, there are some rarely heard tracks included here, such "Ask The Lonely", "7 - Rooms Of Gloom", "You Keep Running Away" and their magnificent covers of the hits "Walk Away Rene", "If I Were A Carpenter' (their version easily buries Bobby Darin's), "It's All In The Game", "River Deep, Mountain High" (with post - Diana Ross Supremes) and "MacArthur Park" which closes disc one.

Disc 2 is very different from anything on the first disc. While the first disc solely from the Motown era, the bulk of disc 2 is made up by their 1972 - 79 stint at Dunhill. During this time, they scored two top 10 smashes, the funky message song "Keeper Of The Castle" (number 10, not number 4 as the liner notes list) and the mooth, soothing "Ain't No Woman (Like The I've Got)" (number 4), the latter of which is among their most popular songs. The rest of their 1970s' recordings featured here weren't hits (with the exception of the top 20 "Are You Man Enough" from "Shaft In Africa"), but remain just as good, especially "One Chain Don't Make No Prison", "Midnight Flower", "Catfish" and "H.E.L.P.".

As for the 1980s' hits, there's the huge 1981 hit "When She Was My Girl", as well as the sensual "Tonight I'm Gonna Love You All Over" and the gorgeous "I Believe In You And Me", which became a hit for Whitney Houston in 1996. There are two songs they did that were recorded for movies: the "Grease 2" theme "Back To School Again" (as one reviewer already pointed out, this song was the only good thing in the film) and "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space", a Levi Stubbs solo number from "Little Shop Of Horror" (Stubbs did the voice of Audrey in the movie". Also there's the lush "I Just Can't Walk Away" from their short - lived Motown return, and "Indestructible", a duet with an uncredited Smokey Robinson that became their final hit in 1988.

This is such a great set. It's not entirely complete, as the singles "Ain't That Love" (from their short - live stint at Columbia Records), "You Gotta Have Love In Your Heart" (another post - Ross Supremes duet) and "Sad Hearts" (a 1983 release) are missing. But they are not among their most popular recordings, and their absence is not notable. This is a set that I hope you will consider buying soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reach For The Top(s)
The Four Tops have been performing for 50 years as of 2004, a feat few if any other groups have accomplished. Their longtime partnership has been cemented by their enduring friendship and their lead singer's resistence to record solo. Even after one of them passed on, they carried on with a new member.

Disc 1 begins in 1964. This was the year they signed with Motown and hit it big with "Baby, I Need Your Loving", the first of a string of hits written and produced by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland. The song went to number 11 and paved the way for a long line of hit singles. Their next single, "Without The One You Love (Life's Not Worthwhile)" floundered on the charts, missing the Top 40. The follow - up, "Ask The Lonely", fared slightly better, but the Tops were in desperate need of anothr big hit. H - D - H gave them "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)", an infectious composition that went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. The next single was the soundalike "It's The Same Old Song", which went to number 5. "Something About You" and "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" both made the Top 20, while "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" faltered at number 45. It was 1966 that Holland - Dozier - Holland produced the groundbreaking "Reach Out, I'll Be There". With this single, they moved out of the realm of piano - driven dance numbers into serious music. The soundalikes "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" and "Bernadette" both made the Top 10. Then "7 - Rooms Of Gloom" and "You Keep Running Away" failed to duplicate the success of those 3 singles. The Tops scored 2 Top 20 hits "Walk Away Renee" and "If I Were A Carpenter", both of which were covers of previous hits. In 1968, Holland - Dozier - Holland left Motown, leaving The Four Tops without a guiding force. Frank Wilson soon took over the studio reins, and produced two hit singles for them: a cover of Tommy Edwards' number one hit "It's All In The Game" and "Still Water (Love)". They also scored a hit with a cover of "River Deep, Mountain High", a duet with The Supremes. Three singles produced by Frank Wilson and group member Lawrence Payton followed, including an electrifying cover of "MacArthur Park".

Disc 2 begins with "A Simple Game". This was a strange collaboration with The Moody Blues that went to number 3 in Britain. The group recorded the album "Natured Planned It" in 1972. It was their last album for Motown. That year, they left the label and signed with Dunhill. Their first single was "Keeper Of The Castle". the song was a huge hit. It was their first Top 10 hit since "Bernadette" 5 years earlier, going all the way to number 10. "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)" followed. A heartfelt ballad, it climbed up the charts to number 4 and was their first single to sell 1, 000, 000 copies. They scored another hit with "Are You Man Enough". But the remaining Dunhill years were not successful and they left the label by 1979. In 1980, they scored a hit with "When She Was My Girl", which went to number 11. It was their last hit. They returned to Motown in 1983, but left after 2 years. In 1987, "Indestructible" became their last top 40 hit.

I suggest you buy this album. It's a great introduction to one of the greatest vocal groups ever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reach For The Top(s)....
Since 1964, The Four Tops' fresh and vibrant brand of classic R & B remains timeless in its own right. With their shimmering harmony vocals (led by the sparkling lead voice of Levi Stubbs), plus wonderous production work by Holland - Dozier - Holland, and just great songs. Today, they still tour, although they are no longer called The Four Tops (they changed it to simply The Tops after second Lawrence Payton died of liver in 1997).

After struggling for 10 years on major record labels like Chess and Atlantic, The Four Tops (originally known as The Four Aims) hit it big when they signed to Motown in 1964. They were paired with the production team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland. The trio produced the foursome's first single for the label, "Baby, I Need Your Loving". After years of struggle, the Tops hit it big when the single broke into the top 15 on Billboard's Hot 100. Two more Holland - Dozier - Holland songs, "Without The One You Love (Life's Not Worthwhile) and "Ask The Lonely", failed the match of the success of the first single. The band had yet to have a top 10 hit. The wait ended when Brian, Lamont and Eddie gave them "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" and "It's The Same Old Song". The wait was finally over: the former song went to number one for 2 weeks while the latter ascended to number five. Two more top 20 hits followed before their writer/producers gave them what are probably their 3 greatest songs. The first in this string was the uplifting "Reach Out, I'll Be There". The song returned them to the top of the charts for two weeks. The next single was as simlar to reach out as "It's The Same Old Song" was to "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)". Nonetheless, "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" soared into the top 10. The next single was yet another soundalike, though with a slightly different lyrical content, "Bernadette", their third consecutive top 10 single. Their next single, "7 Rooms Of Gloom", only went top 20, and they abandoned H - D - H for cover versions of "Walk Away, Renee" and "If I Were A Carpenter", both of which became top 20 hits. In late 1967, Holland, Dozier and Holland left Motown, leaving the Tops without a guiding force. After Johnny Bristol and Norman Whitfield produced two consecutive flops for the group, they teamed with Frank Wilson, who produced two hits for the group, a cover of Tommy Edwards' number one hit "It's All In The Game" and "Still Water (Love)". After that, they had a hit with a duet with The Supremes on a cover of "River Deep, Mountain High". Three singles produced by Wilson an group member Lawrence Payton followed, including a dynamic cover of "MacArthur Park".

Disc 2 begins with their final two Motown singles, "A Simple Game" and "(It's The Way) Nature Planned It". Neither helped boost their chart status at home, though the former, a strange collaboration with The Moody Blues, was a top three hit in Britain. In 1972, they finally left Motown. They signed with Dunhill. Their first single for the label was the Dennis Lambert - Brian Potter composition "Keeper Of The Castle". Recording the song turned out to be a wise move; it was their first top 10 hit since "Bernadette", climbing up to number ten. But it was the next single that proved to the world that the Top were back on top. The cool, swaying ballad "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)" featured a great vocal by Levi and sailed to number four. The next single, "Are You Man Enough", made the top 15, but subsequent singles like "Catfish", "One Chain Don't Make No Prison" and "H.E.L.P" failed to match the success of the first three singles. By the end of the 1970s', they were again without a record label. In 1980, they signed with Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records. Their first single for the label was "When She Was My Girl". The record was a monster hit, reaching number 11 on the pop charts, number 1 on the R & B charts, number 9 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, and number 3 in the U.K., an impressive feat for a band many assumed had peaked in 1967. But, alas, the renaissance was short - lived, as subsequent singles on the label flopped. In 1983, they returned to Motown and were reunited with Holland - Dozier - Holland for the single "I Just Can't Walk Away". The single failed and they left the label yet again. In 1987, they released an album on Arista titled "Indestructible". The title track featured an appearance by Smokey Robinson and went into the top 40, their last single.

This is a great collection to celebrate the anniversary of The Four Tops. The set is filled with timeless music. Not to mention a great booklet with insightful liner notes and details about the songs. Buy it today.

5-0 out of 5 stars All The Hits and a Few Wonderful Surprises
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Four Tops' formation in 1954, this Anthology compiles all of their significant chart hits over the years, with a couple of nice surprises thrown in. Motown of course is where they recorded the bulk of their hits and that tenure is represented on the first 30 (of 48) recordings. The leadoff track - 1964's "Baby I Need your Loving" - was the Tops' first collaboration with the songwriting-production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. It established a winning formula: lyrics that entail Levi yearning for or proclaiming his love for a girl he has lost or can't have; pulsating music cut in a (high) key out of Stubbs' regular vocal range, the subsequent strain causing his pleas to sound even more dramatic; background vocals with a full, almost Spectorian resonance, thanks to the addition of Motown's resident session singers, the Andantes.

After a mediocre "Baby I Need Your Loving" soundalike "Without The One You Love" stiffed, the Tops rebounded in 1965 with the majestic ballad "Ask The Lonely," their first number one smash "I Can't Help Myself" and "It's The Same Old Song" (and truly the latter was, a melodic retread of "I Can't Help Myself"). The Tops reached their commercial peak in late 1966 to early 1967 with some of the most exciting recordings they ever cut: "Reach Out ("I'll Be There)," "Standing In The Shadows Of Love," "Bernadette," and "Seven Rooms Of Gloom." In late 1967, however, Holland-Dozier-Holland abruptly left Motown in a dispute over financial compensation. This prompted the label to release year-old remakes of "Walk Away Renee" and "If I Were A Carpenter" as follow-up Tops' singles. They are proof that the Tops could make a hit out of practically anything.

In 1968 and 1969, other Motown writer-producers like Ivy Jo Hunter, Johnny Bristol, and Norman Whitfield attempted to fill the void left by Holland-Dozier-Holland's exit. None of their work with the Tops, however, penetrated the pop or r & b top 20 (although the ponderous "What Is A Man" ranks with their best recordings). In 1970, Frank Wilson took over as the Tops' producer for the landmark Still Waters concept album. Wilson ditched the Andantes from the background and put more emphasis on the Tops harmonies. As evidenced by the hits "It's All In the Game" and "Still Water (Love)," the Tops had risen to new melodic heights. They were followed by more of Frank Wilson's well-crafted singles like "In These Changing Times" and "(It's The Way) Nature Planned It" as well as the stunning "A Simple Game," a one-off collaboration with the Moody Blues.

Unfortunately these 1971-1972 singles received little promotional support from Motown and struggled on the charts. Frustrated, the Tops left the label in late 1972 and signed with ABC subsidiary Dunhill Records. At Dunhill, they immediately hit with the urban message song "Keeper Of The Castle," the Shaft in Africa theme "Are You Man Enough," and the multi-format symphonic smash "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)." With the countrified "Sweet Understand Love" and their funkiest recording ever "One Chain Don't Make No Prison," the Tops maintained the high quality through 1974, but their 1975-1976 r & b hits (including the disco "Catfish," the reggae in molasses "Midnight Flower") were duds. This period concludes with the Tops' dance smash "H.E.L.P." which is finally making its cd debut (pleasant surprise number one).

In 1981 the Tops signed with Casablanca, where they released two of their strongest albums ever. They are represented here by the retro smash "When She Was My Girl," its amorous follow-up "Tonight I'm Gonna Love You All Over," the wedding staple "I Believe In You And Me" (Levi's performance buries Whitney Houston's hit version), and the Grease II theme "Back To School Again" (the only redeeming component of that film). Bringing this retrospective to a close are "I Just Can't Walk Away" a stirring ballad from their shortlived return to Motown in 1983, and "Indestructible," their final top 40 entry from their lone 1988 Arista album, plus Levi Stubbs' wondrous contribution to the Little Shop Of Horrors film, "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" (pleasant surprise number two). The Tops also recorded many great album tracks over the years (most of which can be found on their box set FOUREVER). But if you only want the hits - all of them - this double-disc collection is the set to get.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect...the best collection of 4 Tops music out there
Finally they got it right! This collection contains all of the Four Tops' American Top 40 hits (and nearly all of their Hot 100 hits--I double checked with Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles book) and even includes their 1988 hit "Indestrutible." This collection offers ALL of the hits, wonderful art work and liner notes, and is available at a discounted price. There's no going wrong with this one! ... Read more

133. Aretha Franklin - 30 Greatest Hits
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Asin: B000002IJG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2545
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Aretha Franklin's voice is an instrument of such exquisite expression that it has been matched but a few times in the 20th century. Borrowing from jazz, soul, R&B, rock, pop, and, of course, gospel--and accompanying herself on piano--she created an artistic vision that was wholly realized. Hits includes most of her chart singles from those incomparable Atlantic years, from "Respect" in 1967 well into the '70s, as well as noncharting classics like "Do Right Woman" and "Dr. Feelgood." This is the definitive introduction to Franklin's artistry, but be warned: get this and you're going to want more. --David Cantwell ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of those "desert island" albums.
You are stranded, either on an island, a hotel, or an airplane. You sure do want this by your side.

One of the greatest voices ever. Brought up in the Churchhouse, she then decided to bring her power to secular R & B. We sure ought to be glad she did.

Even now going on thrity years later, I recall the first time hearing "I Never Loved A Man" WOW! What powerful stuff. Ditto for "Natural Woman". This collection has them all.

How one could criticize her for recording the work of others in beyond me; because say what you will, The Queen has a style all her own. Whether doing her own signature pieces like "Spirit in the Dark" (which this album sagely has included twice: her studio version and the live version with Ray Charles from the "Live at the Filmore" album) or covering the songs of others "Bridge", "You're All I Need to Get By", she can turn out the house.

Buy this. As she says in "Respect", you'll give her her propers when you get home.

5-0 out of 5 stars Aretha, you're a goddess.
I doubt there are many people in the Western hemisphere that have not heard of Aretha Franklin. She has been hailed as the queen of Soul and I happen to think she has earned that crown. I know the lyrics to many of her songs and so will you after buying this album, because you won't be able to stop playing it. All of her work is eminently singable. You just can't help joining in. Fair warning, this can lead an unfortunate reputation when you're listening to your walkman on the bus and burst out with, "I feel like a natural woman."

5-0 out of 5 stars Still the best collection of the "Queen of Soul"!!!!
Originally released in Canada on vinyl way back in 1985, this collection from Atlantic records remains the absolute best overview of Aretha Franklin during her peak years from 1967 through 1974. While her subsequent work for Arista in the eighties produced some fine singles, most of those lacked the edge, energy and intensity of these earlier recordings. Of the 30 songs included on this terrific collection all but two made the Billboard Hot 100. And of these a total of 14 were Top Ten tunes. Quite surprising to me was the fact that Aretha managed only one #1 pop hit during her career and that one--you guessed it--was her 1967 smash "Respect". The story was a bit different though on the Soul/R&B charts where Aretha had a total of 20 #1 singles during her phenomenol career. She was also a significant player on Billboard's Top Pop Album charts during this period. In all, more than 30 of Arethas albums would make the charts.
Atlantic has included everything you would expect to find on a collection of one of their most prolific and successful artists ever. I can think of no major omissions. And all are the original 45 rpm recordings you heard on the radio. Enjoy once again tunes like "Chain of Fools", "Think" and the rollicking "Since You've Been Gone". You will also hear the more mellow side of Aretha with tunes like "Day Dreaming" and her big one from 1973 "Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)". Atlantic has provided an attractive booklet loaded with information and also presents the Billboard chart information on each and every tune. For collectors and fans of 1960's and 1970's popular music this 2 CD set is essential. Very highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Queen's Best
This is the first Aretha cd i had ever gotten. And I wore the thing out! ha ha One of my favorites was "Spanish Harlem" I would sit and play that rack over and over. I also liked the others that i'd never heard before. Though now i know the track list by heart ha ha. I loved this one until i heard that she had a box set. A BOX SET! whew i knew there had to be more songs to love on that so i set out to get it. I still had this one and gave it to a friend after i got the Queen Of Soul box set and i am grateful for getting started with this collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Queen of Soul's Best Hits
I don't have to go into full detail about this cd. You know this cd is blazing. After all, it features the Queen of Soul in all her glory and best years (the 60s and 70s).This double cd is simply amazing. Today's singers should follow her example. Only Lauryn Hill (if she ever get her act together), Jill Scott and Erykah Badu show some promise. But promise is not the real deal. Invest some money into this won't reget it. ... Read more

134. Bill Withers - Greatest Hits
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Asin: B0000025LU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7256
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Bill Withers has written two bona fide classics ("Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lean on Me"), recorded a slew of memorable hits, and had songs covered by everyone from Joe Cocker to Isaac Hayes to Kiss. Still, he's underappreciated. His voice is smooth, his singing is subtle, and his songs move along over sinuous, sexy grooves. It's all so effortless that it's easy to overlook how substantial Withers's work really is. Never flashy, his best songs burn with a heat that lingers long after the last note has been played. This slender 10-track collection brings together a few songs from his remarkable early-'70s Sussex albums, including such hits and near hits as "Grandma's Hands," "Who Is He? (And What Is He to You?)," and the seriously funky "Use Me," as well as some gems from the later '70s (including "Lovely Day"). Greatest Hits is a nice, succinct introduction to Withers's work, but fans would be better off with the more complete Lean on Me career overview. --Percy Keegan ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars A tight collection of R&B gems
Bill Withers isn't one of the more profilic songwriters around, but you'd never guess it from listening to his "Greatest Hits" compilation, a collection bursting at the seams with classic soul compositions. "Lean on Me" is one of the all-time great pop chestnuts. "Just the Two of Us" is a cut so smooth it still enjoys regular rotation on jazz and adult contemporary radio stations. "Ain't No Sunshine" ranks among the classic ballads of the 70's, and "Lovely Day," recently featured in Gap commercials, is one of the sunniest singles of any decade. Throw in lesser-known but no less-deserving gems (like the bittersweet ballad "Hello Like Before" and the funk workouts "Use Me" and "Who is He and What is He to You") and this low-priced, classics-filled package is a must for anyone's collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classy Combination of His Greatest Hits....
I sincerely wish that I were able to give this review more than 5 stars. I am a HUGE fan of Bill Withers. His song, "Lovely Day" gets my day going (I play it during breakfast EVERY morning). His folksy sound and heartfelt lyrics make this CD a classic. I find this CD to be the ultimate to relax and unwind to.

5-0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC, CLASSIC, CLASSIC!
If you don't know Bill Withers...shame on you! This is simplicity, heartfelt and smooth....Thank goodness the Gap has exposed an entirely new generation to this artist. But for those of us who remember these tunes as current hits, this is part of the Boomer soundtrack. Yes, there are more tunes on "Lean on Me," but if you're new to Bill Withers, you won't regret this purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars remarkable soul singer
This outstanding soul singer can compose and can sing in a fusion sound setting like crusaders,grover washington JR brilliantly.This kind of music can be called "SOUL FUSION MUSIC" in a sense.You can hear the mellowness and richness of R&B MUSIC to your heart's content.The combination of subtle vocal expression and tight backing arrangement is superb.This is definitely a masterpiece of SOUL FUSION ALBUM.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Little Collection
This great little CD doesn't have it all, but like the title says it's got the greatest, plus some nice extras like "Grandma's Hands." (I fell in love with that tune the first time it played). Close your eyes and get lost in "Lean on Me," "Just the Two of Us" and "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone." Nobody has imitated the sweet, smooth groove of Bill Withers. You won't regret adding this to your collection and I guarantee you'll play it over and over - even repeating songs! ... Read more

135. Headhunters
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Asin: B000002AGP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2952
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Keyboardist Herbie Hancock's remarkable career took a surprising turn with this funk album--one of the first jazz albums to be certified gold. Hancock's already-storied career had included an extended tenure with Miles Davis as a member of both the classic quintet of the '60s and the trumpeter's groundbreaking electric dates. As a leader, the pianist had followed a similar course, cutting both outstanding acoustic dates (Maiden Voyage, Empyrean Isles) and experimental electric sessions (Sextant, Crossings).

Head Hunters, however, was something different: a stripped-down date featuring reedman Bennie Maupin as the only horn player, and a funk-oriented rhythm section made up of Paul Jackson, Harvey Mason, and Bill Summers. Hancock traded in his sophisticated piano performances and complex compositions for simple melodies, slow-burn funk grooves, and light electric keyboard splashes. The results, particularly on the tracks "Chameleon" and "Watermelon Man," had a profound impact on other musicians, although critics charged Hancock with playing to the galleries. But the album has stood the test of time--something neither the wealth of Hancock's imitators nor his own subsequent albums in this vein have been able to do. --Fred Goodman ... Read more

Reviews (71)

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST HAVE, MUST HAVE MORE ALBUM
Either too much or not much can be said about Herbie Hancock's monumental masterpiece, HeadHunters. It is, without a doubt, one of the best and most influential recordings of the 20th century. Even 28 years from its inception, HeadHunters continues to influence music. All the "greats" of Hip Hop and Rap, from Puff Daddy to Dr. Dre have Herbie Hancock to thank. Herbie created funk grooves and instrumental inventions still advanced to latest attempts. Yet, sadly enough, Hilfiger-sporting, bleach-haired, suburbanite preps have no idea that the lastest masterpieces by Eminem couldn't have been without Hancock and the HeadHunters.

Hopefully, you, the prospective buyer, have either heard HeadHunters before or are listening to the samples at this moment. You should be beginning to understand the impact that this album made. If you are familiar with previous fusion, you know that this sound hadn't really started yet. And if you have a virgin ear, perhaps you are hearing the future during the past for the first time. My favorite song on the album remains to be "Watermelon Man". It is hip-hop, funk, and jazz at its finest. When I hear this song, I hear the beats and grooves of so many artists twenty years after, desperately trying to match its intensity. Furthermore, although there are so many highlights in HeadHunters, Saxophonist Bennie Maupin stands out. He is able to bring smooth, melodic, fast, and furious sounds into all the sounds and should be commended. HeadHunters appeals to such a broad audience because there is so much of "it" there, exactly what you want to hear at exactly the right time.

I have found only one qualm with HeadHunters, and it is not necesarily bad. I wanted more. I would listen to HeadHunters again and again and I needed more grooves, improvisations, and tricks. HeadHunters is incomplete, but that isn't bad. The follow up album, Thrust, in my opinion, closes what Herbie Hancock was trying to create. Put Headhunters and Thrust together and you have a vision, a focus, making a full circle of a musical style. But just HeadHunters itself still makes a powerful statement. Nevertheless, it's a safe bet that if you get HeadHunters, you're going to want more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deep Grooves and Funky Rhythms
If anything could epitomize the pure sense of funk music, this album would be it. Herbie Hancock's career certainly contained some extremely creative and legendary work, but this is the first album of his that recieved a considerable amout of attention and record sales, providing the public with a perhaps more mainstream-oriented style of fusion. The grooves are, like any fusion from the era, inspired by 60's Motown and R&B rhythm lines, rooted deeply in the bass and drums. Herbie takes this, combined with superior musicianship, outlandish effects and his own skill with writing music to create a funky, dramatic and completely original creation. "Chameleon", the hit track of the album, starts it off on the right foot, with bassist Paul Jackson laying out its famous infectious groove, and drummer Harvey Mason providing a better-than-sufficient hi-hat/snare line. Hancock's array of keyboards provides a spectrum of sounds on top. "Watermelon Man", a remake from Herbie's first album, rolls along at a comfortable pace, with some great solos from horn player Bennie Maupin. "Sly" is multi-sectioned and more advanced than the other tracks, with syrup-thick grooves and intricate drum and bass interplay. "Vein Melter" is aptly named, sure to make any woman swoon, twisting and beautiful. Overall a brilliant album, universally listenable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funktastic Must-have
This album started a revolution. "Chameleon" is a staple for any band these days. After getting tired of hearing terrible versions by Gov't Mule and The String Cheese Incidint (Who by the way really are an incident and couldn't play a good song if they got payed a million dollars), I thought that I was finally sick of "Chameleon" Well... I was so wrong! I went back and got out my copy of "Headhunters" and it refreshed my faith in the song. Herbie adds that kind of Disco part and brings the funk up a notch. His whole band really jams on that song. There may be imitators, but Herbie is the only one who can really play "Chameleon" the way it should be played.

"Watermelon Man" is another instant classic. I was really diggin' the crazy tribal screams and the guy blowing on the jugs. "Sly" is also really funky going in and out of the groove, and "Veinmelter" delivers as well. Although I wouldn't label this as "One of my favorites of all time" it is definatley crucial to any collection. Whether you like Jazz, rap, Funk, rock, or whatever... You'll dig this fo' sho'.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Album For New & Old Funk-Jazz Fusion Lovers
I was introduced to this album upon a recommendation by a friend and the decision to buy the album was well worth it. I must however warn that the tracks on this album are VERY long and sometimes sound a little repetative. But with that in mind, the actual musical content is very enjoyable. Herbie was one of the great pioneers of the Funk-Jazz fusion era and this album truly showcases his unique talent. If you enjoy this album, I also highly recommend checking out some of his older stuff just so you can see how versatile an artist he is (his music from the 60's sounds completely different! - much more mellow and a more traditional, standard jazz feel to it, ex: "Cantaloupe Island").

5-0 out of 5 stars In the present is the future meeting the past
The jazz on this absolutely funky fusion album was ahead of it's time when originally released on vinyl in 1973, and it was an instant turn on for this reviewer, a college freshman at that moment. Though I couldn't possibly have known it then, Herbie Hancock would become one of jazz music's funk icons; he was a true innovator at the forefront of electronic jazz...melding synthesizer keyboards with jazz's traditional acoustic elements.

The band includes Paul Jackson on electric bass, Bennie Maupin on woodwinds, Harvey Mason on drums and Bill Summers on all kinds of percussion.

Chameleon is the longest tune on the album at just under 16 minutes and is a driving jam improvisation around a rhythm that is pure funk.

Watermelon Man, the shortest tune on the album at 6.29, is an updated version of a tune originally released by Herbie in 1962. It is an exploration of rhythm and soloing that draws the listener into the heart of the ensemble and touches the very soul of the listener.

Vein Melter, at 9.10 in length, has always been my favorite tune on the album. There are so many rich, unique elements of sound in this slow and experimental song that it seems like the band is painting a sound picture that sits just out of reach.

Bennie Maupin's soprano and tenor sax, saxello, bass clarinet and alto flute will draw you in like a moth to a flame and envelop you in the overarching mystery and intrigue of sound exploration that awaits the listener of this album.

Reach for the sky and embrace the future. All the best to you. ... Read more

136. Poison
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Asin: B000002O6V
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 38572
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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In 1990, it was still fairly novel to mix R&B songcraft with overpowering hip-hop beats, so this spinoff by New Edition members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe seemed innovative and exciting. Sadly it hasn't aged well. None of the three are compelling singers, and they lack the ability to plead for love effectively (anyone can demand love, but a true soulman has to convince a reluctant participant). Nor are they imaginative rappers--neither their words nor their delivery stand out. But this disc came before the likes of Missy Elliott, Puff Daddy, Jermaine Dupri, or Dallas Austin made a big impact on the scene. As such it's a fine document of black teenage lust during the Gulf War months. --Martin Johnson ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars new jack at its best
i cant say enuff about bbd. from their spinoff debut in 1990 to their most recent release in 2000, they will truly be remembered as one of the most innovative acts in new jack swing. with that said, "poison" established that feat. not only was it a commercial success, but it triggered a domino-effect as everyone was beginning to tolerate new jack swing as the heart of urban music. in relation to the album, every single track feeds off the next. "dope" lets u know right off the bat that they are not new edition. the lyrics are harder-edge, the rapping is pleasant, and the beat is refreshing. it also sets the tone for the rest of the album with their harder-edge, sexually explicit lyrics on tracks like "do me!", "let me know sometihing", and "poison", among others. Towards the end, hints of new edition begin to surface with the surprisingly well-produced ballad "when will i see you smile again" and follows it up with a just as beautiful ballad "i do need you". the only sore thumb is the last track, poison (club version). I still think they could have crafted just one more ballad or two to make the album more complete. nevertheless, "poison" is the essential new jack album. If you enjoyed the new jack era and want to reminisce, "poison" is a must-have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ain't Nut'in' Changed
After so many faceless, Guy soundalike albums came out in the late '80s to early-to mid-'90s (II D Extreme, Basic Black, Intro, Today, Arb, Le Gent, Force One Network, Lo-Key, Mind, Lorenzo, ect.), its important to give credit to the "new jack swing" era's most creative and imaginative figures, Bell Biv DeVoe. Formely of New Edition, the trio is comprised of Ricky Bell, Michael Bivens, and Ronnie DeVoe. Bell Biv DeVoe got a range of producers for its debut album, containing the popular, established hitmakers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Public Enemy producers Hank and Keith Shocklee. The results would be the most tough-minded, hard-edged blend of R&B/funk and hip-hop the era had ever seen. Poison was unlike anything New Edition had ever recorded, departing from the usual and customary Jackson 5-influenced "bubblegum soul" New Edition was originally known for. The sounds were funkier, and the hooks, lyrics, and vocals were sexier.

The overall arrangement would payoff. Poison hit No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 5 on the Billboard 200, unleashing five hits, two top five hits on the Billboard Hot 100 ("Poison" No. 3 and "Do Me" No. 3), and three top ten on the R&B charts ("B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?" No. 1, "She's Dope!" No. 9, "When Will I See You Smile Again?" No. 3). "Poison" was slingshoted by a driving skipping hip-hop beat. The song mixed their sweet, well-honed harmony singing with tough, aggressive R&B funk with even a blend of Rap. "Do Me!" "B.B.D. (Thought It Was Me)?" and "She's Dope!" followed the same route. B.B.D. returns close to the New Edition sound, with the excellent new jack ballads (two of the finest the genre has to offer) "When Will I See You Smile Again?" and "I Do Need You."

Along with Guy, Bobby Brown, and Keith Sweat, Bell Biv DeVoe delivered some of new jack swing's greatest material. While most "New Jacks" waisted their time trying to be Guy clones, Bell Biv DeVoe took a daring risk to distinguish their own sound and style and the results were un-describable. Unfortunately, the sounds of new jack swing wouldn't survive the '90s, but for the brief run new jack swing had (late-'80s-early-'90s) it was the finest music we had seen in the last twenty years, timeless. Poison is arguably the greatest new jack swing release, only to be rivaled by Bobby Brown's Don't Be Cruel, Guy's self-titled debut, Keith Sweat's Make it Last Forever, and to a lesser-degree Boyz II Men's Cooleyhighharmony, Troop's Attitude, and Tony Toni Tone's The Revival.

5-0 out of 5 stars old days
Aww I remember poison. That was the JAM! They were all good while it lasted.

5-0 out of 5 stars New Jack's Most Creative Outfit!
Bell Biv Devoe stormed onto the urban contemporary scene at the height of new jack swing. Coming off an impressive run with New Edition with "Heart Break" and Bobby Brown's breakthrough success with "Don't Be Cruel", their was so much anticipation for their debut release. It's safe to say the spin-off group answered the expectations more than they initially hoped for.

Debuting as the No. 1 r&b Album, "Poison" spun off FOUR hit singles, with two topping the charts, and was basically all the rage throughout 1990 and an early part of 1991. From the urgency of "Do Me!" to the pleading of "When Will I See You Smile Again" to the rawness of "She's Dope!" to the lighter convey of "I Do Need You", B.B.D. successfully departed from the bubblegum sound of New Edition that claimed there name to fame and was the one of the first new jack outfits to acquire a harder-edge. Many other urban and pop acts were to follow in their footsteps, but harder-edged "new jack swing" began on this monumental release. They single-handedly transformed new jack, and would domino-effect the genre's dominance of the urban audience for a couple of more years.

To add more prudence to their signficance, there is not a dud track. From the booty-shaking, be-boping, get-on-the-floor-and-dance new jack cuts to the slow-burning, convincing ballads, B.B.D. put together a hell of an album! Even the club version of "Poison" is distinguished from the original! Unfortunately, this would be the pinnacle of B.B.D.'s career, save for the babyface smash "Something In Your Eyes" on their sophomore release, and is essential for casual or die-hard new jack fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars Posterity, Please!
All those new jacks out there somewhere... you know there's either a tape of this album under your beds, or else there should have been. With tracks like "Poison" and "BBD... I Thought It Was Me", Bel Biv Devoe hit the big time even if only for a short while.

Thing is, the time, the production, the place, it was all perfect. Over 13 years later, it's not as hard-hitting or as listenable as it was then, but respect must be paid. Some essential new jack tunes for a new jack era. ... Read more

137. Greatest Hits
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Asin: B0002KP56C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13148
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138. Synkronized
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Asin: B00000J7SR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5485
Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
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With songs that fall exactly in between Michael Jackson's Off the Wall period and A Taste of Honey, Jamiroquai's Synkronized is a funk-disco inferno that is distinguished from its 1970s counterparts only by its 1990s production. It contains all the same ingredients: wah-wah guitar, electric piano, soft-sided strings oozing out melody, pot-bellied bass, and a blasted-out horn section that evokes images of three guys stepping in sync while their sequined flairs swipe over white patent-leather loafers.While the funk is steamy enough to flatten the tallest 'fro, Jay Kay's impeccable ability to emulate Stevie Wonder's vocals brings on the cool side. But the album isn't all about a time warp. Just when you think Jamiroquai isn't going to step a toe beyond 1978, "Supersonic," the seventh track, throws down an acid-house riff that works in didgeridoo and a synthed-out cow bell. "Where Do We Go from Here" rocks with a leap-frogging blues piano and tangy bongos. The album's grand finale, "King for a Day," is a regal rock-operatic excursion embellished with fully orchestrated piano and strings. Overall, this Jamiroquai jamfest is an irreplaceable summer-in-the-city album. --Beth Massa ... Read more

Reviews (137)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great !
Even though it's not as good as Travelling without Moving or Return of the Space Cowboy, Synkronized has some really great tracks. The best being Butterfly, Canned Heat, and Falling. This CD has more slow songs than some of his other albums, and i can't say i have a problem with that. The only song i don't really like is Supersonic, even though I can stand that.

1. Canned Heat - Great Up-Tempo song. Off "Center Stage" soundtrack. 10/10.
2. Planet Home - Another Upbeat song, though not as good as Canned Heat. Still good. 8.5/10
3. Black Capricorn Day - Not one of my favorites. A little too rockish and the song is too slow. It's like a fast song caged in a slow beat (hard to explain). 7.5/10
4. Soul Education - Great Song. Typical Jamiroquai funk. 9/10.
5. Falling - I personally love this song. Slow, & jazzy. 9/10
6. Destitute Illusion - Upbeat. Good song to dance to. 8.5/10
7. Supersonic - Strange, electronic beat. Not Jamiroquai's best. 7/10.
8. Butterfly - Best Jamiroquai song I've heard. The lyrics aren't impressive, but the beat alone merits a 10. AMAZING. 10/10.
9. Where Do We Go From Here - Decent. 8/10.
10. King For A Day - Has almost a halloweenish, scary beat. Even still, it's not bad. 8/10.

If you don't have enough money to buy all the Jamiroquai albums, you can skip this one, but it's still a sound investment.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Lords of Funk Return Once Again
As the band's fourth studio effort, "Synkronized," truly validates Jamiroquai's status as the most popular and gifted soul group out there. Fresh from the success of their best selling "Travelling Without Moving" album, Jay Kay and his band return with a fresh sounding sound that no one can try to imitate.

The first single "Canned Heat," is a high-tech, funk creation that brings the bands to their roots. Fast, beat-laden rhythms and Jay Kay's moving vocals made this song a hit during the summer of 1999. Other tracks such as "Planet Home," show how Jamiroquai is able to use various international musical styles (in this case their use of salsa in the third-quarter of the song) really can rock a crowd without them really knowing what they are hearing.

Other songs as "Supersonic" and "Butterfly" are some of the album's great tracks, however unlike their previous album, this album is short on songs that made "Travelling Without Moving" such a huge international hit. Nevertheless, "Synkronized" is an awesome album. Give this and all of Jamiroquai's albums a try, and I can guarantee that you'll become bonafide fans. No one can resist the power and sound of Jamiroquai.

2-0 out of 5 stars What happened J?
This is the point where I simply said ciao to being a Jamiroquai fan, because this album is really poor. I was hesitating on giving it 1 star, but that would be unfair because it does achieve some sort of music flavour, but following on from Travelling, Jamiroquai had totally lost their creativity with this one. Strings have totally taken over where horns and synths used to rule, and make this album depressingly flat. Rather than being in any way cutting edge, the obvious characteristic from the 1st 3 albums, it turns into a really bad version of Earth, Wind & Fire. It simply doesn't compare to earlier work, even Travelling, but especially Emergency and Space Cowboy. Maybe it was Denise, or maybe it was that JK became closer to his cars than his supposed environmentalism, but whatever the guy lost it with this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funk Never Left Planet Earth
Funk, disco, dance, the list of genres can go on and on... Jamiroquai is no fad band caught in a time warp. They are the current real thing giving their own unique and sophisticated spin on these styles of the 70's and early 80's...Some of the productions like the opening track Canned Heat should make Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson proud since you can hear the strong influences. But make no mistake, it is STILL Jamiroquai's own material and sound ! There is something familiar but yet oh so futuristic. Highly infectious grooves with a little dash of some early and late 70's Motown feel on some tracks that do indeed harken back to the day when Stevie Wonder was feelin' Superstitious...Out of all the Jamiroquai cd's or productions I find myself always going back to this one from 1999. You will too !

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth adding to your collection!
I agree with others that this isn't as good as some of Jamiroquai's earlier albums but it's still worth adding to your collection. It has some real "classics" that you will play over and over again. In fact, the last song "King for a Day" os probably the one track that was a let down, that plus the fact that this CD appears to be shorter than others. ... Read more

139. The Very Best of Change
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Asin: B000007RPY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1707
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars More than a Chic RIPOFF
Many may have considered Change to be a clone of Chic. Granted, there are some similiarities: both featured dynamic bass lines in their music; they were fronted by mostly studio singers; they both had their time in the spotlight during the late 70's and early 80's. However, Change did score on the charts with some significant dance tunes.

"A Lover's Holiday," the group's debut single, is a very danceable tune that fits nicely with the current crop of pop hits. "Searching" and "The Glow of Love" benefit immensely from the vocals of the then-unknown Luther Vandross.

My favorite selections are the dynamic "Paradise," "Change of Heart," and "Turn On Your Radio."

The only regret is that Rhino chose not to include the tune "Stop for Love," a gem that is beautifully sung and orchestrated.

5-0 out of 5 stars Music from heaven!
As a researcher in black music in general and of Change in particular a brief history of the group could be nice to have before buying this record. Change is one of the most over looked groups in the early 80's that should earn much more credit for their fantastic achievements even though it's 18 years ago they released their latest album. It all started in Italy in 1979 where the Guadeloupe born (executive) producer Jacques Fred Petrus and his closest companion, the Italian mastermind musician Mauro Malavasi decided to launch a new group after working together a couple of years (formed Goody music records around 75). The groups name became Change and the men behind it were originally based in Bologna and Milan in Italy but later also in New York. Right from the start Petrus and Malavasi used Italian musicians (Mauro Malavasi, Davide Romani and Paulo Gianolio among others) and American vocalists (LutherVandross, Diva Gray and later James "Crabs" Robinson and Timmy Allen) of whom the lead vocalist from Change's debut, Luther Vandross later became the most well known character from the time (he later became a big name on his own with several albums). From the beginning Change was just a studio concept though, with several "Change" touring around America, but in 82 they became a group in the right meaning of the word. After a poor release in 85 they split up and Jacques Fred Petrus was murdered two years after, most likely in his native country of Guadeloupe due to illegal affairs with the Mob. Mauro Malavasi however, is today a successful songwriter and producer in Italy that been producing Andrea Bocceli and other great singers.

This lovely and brilliant CD, recorded in a superb and professional way with some generous liner notes, covers a tasteful mix of tracks from all their albums between 80 and 85, from the early disco influenced albums to the later much more R&B influenced ones. You can for example hear the whole 12" version of the hits "A lover's holiday" and "Searching" from 80, the smooth dance track "Hold tight" and Chic-like "Paradise" from 81 and the Jam/Lewis hits of "Change of heart" and "You are my melody" from 84. It also includes the great, but much more unknown tracks of "The very best of you" from 82 and "This is your time" from 83, all perfectly re-mastered. This CD gives a excellent introduction to Change for the never-heard-of-it persons and an excellent contribution for the already convinced ones. But even if you like dance music the slightest little bit, try it out, you wont be disappointed!

Music is a universal language of peace!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not as popular or well-remembered as Chic, but very hot.
Change was never as popular as Chic, but their sound and style were just as funky and (to a degree) more sophisticated. Change epitomized the sound of 1980s post-disco urban R&B and featured a variety of singers(including Luther Vandross). Cult dance classics like "A Lover's Holiday", "The Glow Of Love", "Miracles", "The Very Best In You" and "This Is Your Time" make this a superb compilation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funk Has Never been this Good!
Change is most certainly one of the best groups in Funk Music.All the songs included here are awesome and each one has a funk edge which is rather hard to find in today's music.The highlight on this CD is "change Of Heart" , a fantastic Dance\Funk gem produced and written by the masters of Soul and Funk Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.Change rules!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A great collection of 80's dance-soul!
This is a wonderful collection of songs from Change and it's about time they had a "Greatest Hits" released as they certainly did release great hits back in the day. It's easy to take your pick here really as ALL the tracks are that good! From the early days when Luther fronted the group to their later releases featuring James "Crabs" Robinson, Deborah Cooper and Rick Brennan. My favorite track is "Hold Tight" which has a haunting chorus and superbly executed, we're talking high quality music here folks! And I'm also referring to the fact that not only is the singing remarkable but also the music itself speaks volumes of the high musicianship that were always so evident on all their albums. Nuff said, other highlights for me are of course the late chart hit "Change Of Heart" which in a way paved the way for Jam & Lewis. It's also great to see the lesser known tracks such as "Don't Wait Another Night" which did chart back in the Summer of 1983 and the vibrant "You Are My Melody". I don't have anymore to say except, go and BUY IT NOW you won't regret it. On a positive note, it's reassuring to know that the Japanese know quality music when they see it as they released "Miracles", "Sharing Your Love" and "Change Of Heart" on CD back in 2000. However, there is a new US release on its way (November 19) which contains both "Miracles" and "Change Of Heart". It would be nice to see those other 2 that are still missing in CD format, "This Is Your Time" and "Turn On Your Radio" to be finally released on CD as well. ... Read more

140. Sign 'O' the Times
list price: $24.98
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Asin: B000002LBM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5285
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

It begins with the insistent drip-drop of a sequencer and ends with some old school R&B. In between, the artist who was still calling himself Prince unfurls an encyclopedia of moods, genres, and grooves. Widely heralded as a groundbreaker in 1987, when it was released, some of the music in oh-so-'80s synths sounds a bit dated. Yet this two-CD set is clearly the sound of a performer at the height of his power. On songs like the title track, "If I Was Your Girlfriend," and the thunderous "The Cross," Prince proves why the hype was justified. --Amy Linden ... Read more

Reviews (113)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Rock Era's Finest Albums
If Purple Rain is Prince at his tightest and most focused, Sign of the Times is Prince as his most eclectic. On this particular album, as the Beatles did on the White Album, Prince successfully navigates several different genres with stunning craft. Exhibiting the full range of his immense talent, Prince offers up the socially aware, Sly-influenced funk of the title track, the smoldering James Brown tribute "Housequake," the classic slow jam "Adore," the sparse, poignant ballad "Forever in My Life," the Beatlesque gem "Starfish and Coffee," the surging sixties-style rocker "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man"), the psychosexual, quirky funk of "If I Was Your Girlfriend" and "Strange Relationship," the gospel-tinged "The Cross," the sharply observed "Ballad of Dorothy Parker," and the sexually charged, genius pop- funk of "U Got the Look."

5-0 out of 5 stars A Work Of Art.
Considering the fact that this LP was originally concieved as a 3 record set called "Crystal Ball"(and at another juncture "A Doll's House")in collaboration with the newly expanded Revolution, but then pared down to a double LP because Warner Bros. refused to get behind such an enormous musical undertaking and not even considered by Prince himself to be his best work, "Sign 'O'The Times" is truly a triumph. After 16 years and nearly as many more albums, hardly anything in popular music tops this sprawling masterwork. To call the LP a product of it's time or to chide it's 80's sound is to do it a terrible injustice. Over the course of these tracks, Price proves that his vision, scope and musical grasp are unlimited. His mastery of 60's jangle pop ("I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man", "Play In The Sunshine") hard funk ("Housequake", "It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night") dark, burbling soul ("The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker" and the title track) straight guitar rock ("The Cross") avant-dance textures ("It") and lustful balladry ("If I Was Your Girlfriend", "Slow Love", "Adore")is staggering. While his chops continue to improve and he stretches out even further into jazz and rock, the joy and effortless eclecticism on display here catches him at the peak of his powers. Flawed, messy and brilliant all at the same time, "Sign...." never ceases to sound fresh and exciting. A Classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of the best!
The Prince fan here!
Sign 'O' the Times is undoubtedly one of the best albums you'll ever hear!! I got introduced to so much because of this man here. His music is great and he deserves praise for it!

Sign 'O' the Times...Brilliant!! This 2-disc set is wonderful, I'm beginning to go listen to it right now! He is so brilliant, you'll be blinded by his talent! He is such a great songwriter and singer and more, and I really appreciate him.

This album is a mix of rock, R&B, and pop. It is put together wonderfully with a love song or slow jam at the end of each CD (like he usually does). Among my favorites are "Starfish & Coffee" so mellow and entertaining in a kiddy sorta way. Your inner child comes out after listening to that one! "Slow Love" and it's Sly and the Family Stone meets The Beatles funk--I love it! Forever in my me wanna be one of the many women he had! "U Got the Look", man, dance on, dance on, dance on! "Strange Relationship", baby! So cute, so well done Prince (or Camille? LOL). And "Adore", like my girl Alicia Keys, I love it, great ending song.

I got lost in my music for a moment, but I really recommend it to you guys. You don't have to be a huge Prince fan (like myself) to enjoy it. Trust me!

5-0 out of 5 stars Sounds as fresh as it did back in duh day
This album is 2good2b true

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of the 80s
I just received this in the mail yesterday and felt compelled to write a review already.

With Prince's recent comeback I decided to go buy what everyone says is his best album, and I wasn't disappointed. He delivers here from beginning to end. The album never runs out of gas.

I wasn't turned off by the "80s synths" either. It has a great retro feel to it. And some of the songs (The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, Starfish and Coffee, The Cross) haven't aged AT ALL.

I realized that a lot of this sounds like the template to what would become 90s R & B and pop (Outkast anyone?)

Probably the most thought-provoking song (Even more that the title track) is "If I Was Your Girlfriend", which is about a lot of sex with no love. For most of the song, Prince's crude, crazy, helium-voiced alter ego, Camille (it's amazing what speeding up vocal tracks can do) drops flippid comments like "Would you let me help dress you" and "Can't I see you undress?" until suddenly at the end, everything speeds up and explodes, and all that's left is Camille saying "Then we can imagine what silence looks like." The melody and hook disappear, and all that's left is the chilling beat, symbolizing the empty sex that Camille just had.

On other songs he doesn't think too much about those things, like on IT, which is about doing IT, "all the time."

But, to offer my opinion, the best track here is "the ballad of Dorothy Parker." It sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday, but most of all, seems like it's about resisting the temptation of a beautiful woman when you got a beautiful woman at home. Prince showcases great vocals, as he croons and swoons for 4 minutes and "takes two baths."

P.S. about "Camille." Camille is given credit for sevaral of the lead vocals and is even thanked by Prince in the liner notes. As mentioned before, Camille is Prince singing a vocal track and then speeding it up. Sign o the times is basically leftovers from the aborted "Camille" project and the aborted triple-disc "Crystal Ball" album. (Crystal Ball is mentioned in the song "Hot Thing") ... Read more

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