miércoles, 14 de octubre de 2009

Maxine Brown: Oh No Not My Baby - The Best of (1990)

Although there had been great female R&B and pop singers before she came along, it is generally accepted that Maxine Brown was the first female soul singer of any significance. Given the excellence of the music that Maxine recorded, it is remarkable that she did not achieve superstardom. This 28-song anthology, originally released in 1990, is undoubtedly the best compilation of this iconic soul singer’s work, featuring many of her '60s singles and several tunes from the era that were unreleased until the '80s. The set draws from her recordings for the Wand label between 1963 and 1967, when Brown was at her artistic peak. Of course the hit title track is a highlight, but there are no clunkers in this collection of overlooked '60s pop-soul, featuring the New York "uptown" production that also graced the records of fellow Wand/Scepter artists like Dionne Warwick and Chuck Jackson. The strings and soaring backing vocals are a brilliant counterpart to some hard hitting drums and punchy choruses, and there are some delicate numbers, too - while Maxine shines beautifully throughout! Titles include ‘One in a Million’, ‘It's Torture’, ‘Let Me Give You My Lovin'’, 'Yesterday's Kisses’, ‘Gotta Find A Way’, ‘Baby Cakes’, ‘Why Did I Choose You’, ‘Misty Morning Eyes’, ‘Since I Found You’, ‘Losing My Touch’, ‘If I Had Known’, ‘It's Gonna Be Alright’, an impressive live version of her classic ‘All in My Mind’, from 1964, and more. Brown was one of the most versatile soul divas of the '60s, showing the influence of Brill Building pop, girl groups, Motown, and even Stax soul and supper-club ballads. As with a similar artist like Betty Everett, this versaility has worked against her in some ways. Neither full-fledged pop nor unabashedly soul, her work cannot be easily pigeonholed into a certain soul genre, and has cost her the respect that some purists reserve for "deep" soul singers. Nevertheless, she is one of my favourite soul singers. http://www.allmusic.com/, http://www.dustygroove.com/

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