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Classic Soul – Roberta Flack

Classic Soul – Roberta Flack


The Very Best Of Roberta Flack

Rhino R2 73332 (Atlantic)

This CD has all the great hits that you would expect from Roberta, featuring her solo work as well as four of her duets with Donny Hathaway, and one each with Peabo Bryson and Maxi Priest. There are eight songs that hit the Billboard pop and rhythm and blues top 20, as well as four more songs that hit the rhythm and blues charts, including the number one " Oasis". I always wondered why this great song never crossed over to the pop charts.

When I think of Roberta Flack, I think of her as one of the most talented pop artists of the 70s and 80s, so it surprised me to find out that Roberta has had 18 Billboard pop hits and 32 Billboard R&B hits. Also included on this CD are three songs that never made the charts. My first thoughts were why were these songs included instead of more of her many hits?

After listening to these three songs, I’m happy to say that the listener is not "cheated" in any way. "And So It Goes" is a beautiful ballad written by Barry Miles, Roberta and her close friend Maya Angelou. The other two ballads, co-written by percussionist Ralph McDonald, feature a whose who of jazz, including McDonald’s buddies from his group Stuff, including Richard Tee on keyboards, Eric Gale on guitar and Steve Gadd on drums. It’s hard to argue that "’Til the Morning Comes" and "Trade Winds" are not also her best.

With so much more in her catalog, this easily could have been a two CD set, but you won’t be disappointed with this compilation of Roberta Flack at her very best.

-Dan Guilfoyle

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