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Mama Said 21st Anniversary Special Edition Double CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Jun. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: EMI Catalogue
  • ASIN: B007SAP7S0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Digital Booklet: Mama Said
Digital Booklet: Mama Said
Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

Mama Said was a collection that took the listener on a musical journey filled with brutally honest recounts of love, failures, hope, spirituality and acceptance. It notably featured a resounding 7 singles, including classics such as "Always On The Run" and "It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over". This anniversary edition includes the original 1991 album plus a 21-track bonus disc with 15 previously unreleased recordings from Kravitz's own personal archive.

Classic Rock – 8/10

“Second album remains his artistic motherlode. Mama Said gels like few of his records since.”

Record Collector – ****

“Career peak, with generous extras.”


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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21st Anniversary? Has it really been that long? Well, I don't know about anything else, but that makes me feel old as I remember loving it when it was released and it remaining one of my firm favourites throughout the last two decades. In my opinion, 'Mama Said' is Lenny's finest album. I bought it when it was released in 1991 and it has been a record I have enjoyed coming back to time and time again. It has a timeless, vintage texture and contains some of the best songs he has written alongside some of his best, most affecting, performances.

1989's "Let Love Rule" was a very good, promising debut. However, 'Mama Said', Lenny Kravitz's second album, propelled him to the status of international rock stardom, partly helped by a sensational performance of 'Cold Turkey' at a John Lennon tribute concert in 1990 (which is where I first become aware of him), leading to media comparisons of Kravitz's style to the legendary Jimi Hendrix. Although Lenny's performance style possibly owes a little to Jimi, the influences on this album are a lot more eclectic and, fittingly, the songs breeze from rock to soul and funk while always maintaining a certain feel of the performer's personality throughout the album.

Most of the songs on this album are excellent. 'Fields Of Joy', the album's opener (mostly written by the late, great Michael Kamen) is an absolute gem. It starts with a bare acoustic guitar line and then Lenny's falsetto voice joins it to delicately introduce the song which gradually adds layers until it builds to a dramatic rock climax, featuring the first of two Slash guitar solos and some really gorgeous singing from Kravitz.
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To say that Lenny Kravitz polarizes opinions would be understating the fact that people either find him a pretentious, aging rocker more concerned with posing than with crafting good songs, or find him one of the shining lights in vintage-inspired rock, with his bloodhound-like ability to seek out a great, retro-sounding groove and a sense of individuality that keeps his at-times derivative music from becoming simply a sonic photocopy of his Motown, funk and 70's rock influences. I place myself firmly in the latter camp, and believe that although his 1995 album 'Are You Going to Go My Way?' was his true commercial breakthrough, and the release that finally started to turn the tide of critics towards him, 'Mama Said' is arguably his most emotionally sincere album. It is more cohesive and flows better than any of his albums before and since, and there is a certain authentic emotional vibe that filters through the whole album that I simply haven't felt while listening to his later albums.

An album penned while Lenny's marriage to Lisa Bonet was at its ending stages, there is no doubting the emotional sincerity that the fourteen songs on this album have. Because Lenny Kravitz's music, in the lack of technical virtuosity, depends heavily on both groove and emotion to convince the listener, I believe that all the (separate) feelings that he had been grappling with in both 'Mama Said' as well as 'Circus' (his next album) have crafted both of these albums to become the most emotionally sincere albums that he had written - the awkward lyrics and slight pretentiousness that detractors from his music use to criticize are, in my opinion, overridden by the authenticity of emotional output in this album.
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I bought the original release of this album when it first came out in the early '90's and thoroughly enjoyed it for all those years until this expanded version replaced it in my collection. The original album is fantastic with the lead single Always on the Run one of my personal favourite songs of all time and with the addition of bonus tracks on CD1 the album is stronger(although the 12" mixes should have remained unreleased). The 2nd CD begins with demos and home recordings which are an interesting insight into work in progress and include 3 very different versions of a track not included anywhere else. Bonus live tracks round off a very worthwhile reappraisal of arguably Lenny's best album.And the packaging and sleeve notes are excellent too.
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Good review by A. Sweeny and have to agree regarding it being an album one has revisited time and again over the years on my musical journey - I now listen primarily to soul and jazz but still have time for this period of Lenny's work. Looking at the package I'm going to stick to my one disc original and cd singles for some novel b-sides - and I would also agree this contains some of the high points of Lenny's career before he became too 'modern' and less timeless. It Ain't Over Til It's Over is indeed a real gem, and is followed on the album by two real corkers the aforementioned reviewer failed to highlight, these being the atmospheric and soulful More Than Anything In This World and the wicked jazzy nugget What Goes Around Comes Around. Top stuff. I actually feel that Lenny's 3rd album Are You Gonna Go My Way is his most consistent recording and one that would make a superb deluxe edition due to the wealth of b-sides he put out at the time, some of them deserving of greater exposure, let's hope it happens!
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