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4.8 out of 5 stars
Magnifique: The Very Best Of Chic
Format: Audio CDChange
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2011
Most of the tracks here are single versions but this does not in anyway take away from the magic of this sizzling double CD collection. It features superior dance tracks and intimate ballads that have successfully retained their excitement more than 30 years after they were produced. Listen carefully and you'll hear the velvet tones of Luther Vandross and Norma Jean (Wright) - oh, be sure to pick up her excellent expanded CD too, it's got Chic all over it. A Warm Summer Night is one of my all-time Chic ballads and that's here, as well as the welcome inclusion of the edited instrumental of the Chic-produced Carly Simon hit, Why.

I've only owned this awesome collection for a few hours now but can honestly say that it has already won a special place in my pretty vast collection; magnifique Chic, indeed! Order your copy today and remind yourself what good music is supposed to sound like. You'll find a well written booklet inside too, just to round things off. Lastly, and most importantly, to Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers, the men behind the music, thank you!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2011
This really is a very well compiled Chic collection and when you read the liner notes, you can tell that a lot of care and consideration has gone into it.

Where to begin? CD 1. This disc features most of Chic's hits in their radio edit format, as highlighted in the preious review. Short, sharp, punchy and radio friendly. You can see how Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards dragged 'disco' along by the scruff of it's neck and made it credible and stylish, with great musicianship. It really is hit after hit with short gaps between the tracks for extra impact, cleverly slipping in tracks from their '92 'comeback' album, as well as tracks familiar to today's generation because they have been sampled and covered by so many people. Love the way it starts off with the Chic anthem 'Chic Cheer', then after the first six tracks, the tempo starts to drop for a couple of tracks, letting the fades breathe then picking up the pace for the rest of the disc. But no 'Good Times'?

Ah, it's on CD2 but not the opener..what a tease...it's the second track but worth the wait as it's the full-length version. CD2 is really interesting and has a completely different feel. Haven't heard the studio instrumental version of 'Why' since Carly Simon had a hit in 1982...then that pace starts to drop again with the brilliant 'A Warm Summer Night', then almost seguing into the Brazilian jazz styling of 'Sao Paolo', into the beautiful classical-guitar styled 'Tavern On The Green' before the tempo subtley rises again with 'You Can't Do It Alone'. This is a great disc and even the ending stops you short.. not the original mix of 'Chic Mystique', which the note writer calls a pastiche of the early days but the Roger Sanchez mix.

Great liner notes and some cool memorabilia photos...also love the subtle photo under the notes. I didn't notice it until I held it away from my eyes. Stylish and chic(!) and feels like a new album; not a mirrorball in sight!

Honestly, this really is a great album, so all credit goes to Nile and Bernard for writing and producing such a great catalogue of recordings that has stood the test of time. Magnifique, indeed!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2011
This is undoubtedly the best of many compilations of Chic. For the first time all (or nearly all, as far as I can tell) of the singles have been compiled in their radio edit form, as well as the best album tracks reflecting the diversity of the band; there's even a couple of rarities new to cd (the instrumental version of Why, a new radio mix of Chic Mystique).
Why is all this such a good thing? Firstly, the album and extended versions of the singles are readily available on other compilations, notably the Definitive Groove. Secondly, the inclusion of shorter radio edits - with all their punchiness intact - allows space for many more gems. And the list is long: Happy Man, Savoir Faire, A Warm Summer's Night, etc, all beautiful and essential.
Finally, a collection by the great Chic that can satisfy casual and committed fans! Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is for: Magnifique: Very Best of Chic
This double CD includes 37 tracks, therefore focussing mainly on the short versions rather than the full length 12" or album versions (although "Good Times" is present in full). This is a superb comprehensive collection that covers Chic's entire career picking the best singles (they are all here: Le Freak, Good Times, My Forbidden Lover, My Feet Keep Dancing, I Want Your Love, Everybody Dance... etc.) and key album tracks. Of particular note here is the inclusion of Chic's instrumental version of Carly Simon's "Why" (Chic produced it and their instrumental was orinally on the B-Side of the single) and "Tavern On The Green" from the "Soup For One" soundtrack album. For some reason the track "Savoire Faire" is poor quality on this CD and sounds far better on Dance, Dance, Dance and Nile Rodgers presents: The Chic Organization, Boxset Vol. I / "Savoir Faire". I particularly like the sleeve design which is adapted from their 1978 "C'est Chic" album (the sleeve notes reveal that the record company had to source a second-hand album to scan the image. I always imagined the original artwork would be used, so that was an eye-opener). There has been a lot of thought gone into the flow on this set and I particularly liked the fact that we don't get all the obvious hits at the start of Disc 1 like most compilations tend to do. If you have nothing of Chic, then this is a great place to start.

I would also recommend Dance, Dance, Dance (which I have also reviewed) because this contains the longer versions and Nile Rodgers presents: The Chic Organization, Boxset Vol. I / "Savoir Faire" to really indulge in the full Chic experience.

If you like Chic "Magnifique" you should also investigate: We Are Family: The Essential Sister Sledge (which I have also reviewed) which is the perfect companion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2012
This set really is a comprehensive overview of Chic's recording career. Yes, although nearly all the hits are in edit form, this doesn't detract from the sheer panache of the music. The longer versions are available on other compilations. However I believe the only compilation to feature the 12" remix/extended versions of "Everybody dance", "My forbidden lover" and "soup for one",in the same set is the very pricey "savoir fair: Nile Rodgers presents the best of the Chic Organization vol.1". Most others usually feature just one or none at all! (just the album versions). So if you are desperate for those look there. Here you will find more than the dance marathons. This includes the excellent instrumentals "Sao Paulo", "Savoir faire," "Warm summer night" and "open up". There are also some great album tracks such as "You can't do it alone" , "I loved you more", "what about me" and "something you can feel". These tracks showed that Chic had versatility and also that the group contained some great vocalists such as Norma jean Wright, Luci martin, Alfa Anderson, Fonzi Thornton and a pre-superstar Luther Vandross.

I must just point out that the chart-placings mentioned by amazon are incorrect. "Le Freak" was a "1 hit US and 2" UK in 1978. For that "2 read "1. It was a fact that all the specialist music shops at that time, primarily the "Soul/R&B Music" shops were not part of the "chart-shops" ie. those that reported their sales to the BPI for chart-placing. So "Groove Records" in London,for example, one of the biggest sellers of Soul, R&B, etc. in the UK at the time were not included. Nor, I believe, was HMV which had the biggest music shop (in size) at that time in the UK. So all those huge soul/dance hits that seemed to peak at 2" such as "le Freak", and "Upside Down" (the Chic produced hit for Diana Ross in 1980) were actually "1 hits. And that is just on UK sales alone, never mind the massive amounts that were sold on Import before the official UK release ever happened! That's why the UK charts were never a real indication of what was actually selling-it was based only on the sales from a certain group of shops that had been designated "chart-shops". I actually worked for the industry straight out of school in the late 1980s/early 1990s so believe me I know!

Aside from the quantities sold the proof is in the music. And this set proves just how good Chic really were.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2012
A two disc compilation from out of the top drawer, which gives a superb and thorough overview of this pioneering soul/funk/disco outfit. It is sensibly skewed towards the brilliant opening trio of albums. The excellent debut yields five of its seven tracks and the monolithic "C'est Chic" all but one of its eight tracks. Unfortunately, it is the lovely "(At Last) I Am Free" which misses the cut. The brilliant "Risque" supplies five of its seven tracks. If done as an anthology, those seventeen songs would make up a monster single disc compilation.

Thereafter, Chic's albums were unarguably patchier, but each contained its moments. The acceptable "Real People" gets a good coverage, whilst "Take It Off", "Tongue In Chic" and "Believer" are not too heavily plundered. "Chic-ism" also supplies five tracks, while the "Soup For One" soundtrack provides a few welcome oddities. All the monumental stuff is there, though sometimes in edit form. A very pleasing aspect of this set is the inclusion of less familiar, but great album tracks. Most notable, i think, are the breezy "Sao Paulo" instrumental, fabulous "Happy Man", refined "Savoir Faire" and sultry "A Warm Summer Night". However, the post "Risque" selections do not really impress as much.

If i were being very churlish, i would dock a star for the inclusion of "Sometimes You Win" and "(Funny) Bone" instead of the aforementioned "(At Last) I Am Free", as representation from "C'est Chic". Or for the use of edit versions (notably the great "Soup For One"). However, i do not want to do a "Victor Meldrew". This compilation really does justice to Nile Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards' groundbreaking musical vision, at a bargain-basement price.
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Unusually this is a 'budget' compilation that gets things 100% right. The high quality of this 2 disc, 37 track set is just amazing at the price. Michael Neidus from Demon Music Group has written an informative and personal sleevenote for the release, and it really helps to bring Chic's fabulous music to life. I especially love the fact that radio edits have been used for most of the singles, as the serious Chic collector can pick up the longer 12" / album versions on other releases. This decision keeps things concise and moving along at a great pace. As another reviewer mentioned the flow is exactly right on this compilation, and the dancefloor groove of CD one gradually gives way to a softer, summer vibe for the majority of CD two. However it then ramps up again for the closing tracks, and makes for a nice listening experience. As someone who only knew the main singles by Chic (and who also loves The Power Station and Nile / Bernard's various productions for other artists) this collection is a revelation, and a perfect way to get to the core of Chic's classic back catalogue. Nice work Michael!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 March 2012
There are some tracks here that I remember from my days playing disco DJ. Funny Bone is lovely with the background laughter. All the usual songs are here. I love Dance, Dance, Dance; Good Times, etc., I'd forgotten about My Forbidden Lover. It's decades since I've heard these records. With two discs to enjoy, those who buy this will be smiling all the way through.
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on 14 May 2013
Bought this after watching the recent Nile Rodgers documentary which renewed my interest in Chic. Great compilation with a good spread of my favourite songs over both CDs which is unusual, usually all the best songs end up on one half of a double CD and the other one never makes it out of the box! Good price, delivery relatively slow.
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on 3 July 2013
Its taken me this long to appreciate how good Chic really are, classic songs and great music, You'll not get any modern music this well crafted
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