20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2001
The first of Donny Hathaway's 3 solo studio albums lays the foundation for all his other albums: a mix of soul, blues, jazz and gospel, rich instrumentation, creative arrangements and covers. It's hard to say which is better, this one or his next, "Donny Hathaway."
Because all of his solo output, live and in the studio, was recorded in such a small space of time (between 1970 and 1973), the lines that his future development would have taken him in are only hinted at. But because he drew on so many styles and moods, and simply possessed so much soul, Hathaway is never boring.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
For a first album, this is quite superb, and was a taste of what was to come. Many people will have encountered Donny in tandem with Roberta Flack, the stuff he recorded later in the 70's.
This set shows him at his most influential as he rides the wave of what I call "Orchestral Soul", taking a lead from Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul, issued the year before. There would be several other artists and producers who mined this vein, but Donny Hathaway was an original voice perhaps because of his classical training.
"The Ghetto" remains a classic of it's type, it's jazz tinged electric piano instantly recognisable, as is Everything is Everything. Vocal tracks show that DH could sing, and Young Gifted and Black, vibrates with pride.
This album deserves your attention
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2006
although most of donny hathaway's success came with his albums with roberta flack this is where he really was at his best. this, his debut album, was recorded and released in 1970 and its social and political commentary on tracks such as 'trying times' and 'the ghetto' predates, and inspired the classic 'whats going on' by marvin gaye and the early recordings by curtis mayfield et al. although he only recorded three solo studio albums this, for me, is the best by far. always a troubled man sadly donny hathaway took his own life in january 1979 by jumping from the 15th floor of a new york hotel. if you havent got this album in your record collection then simply, you dont have a record collection!