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Original Album Series Box set

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Sept. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B008MMFBMA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,894 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Compared to What
  2. Angelitos Negros
  3. Our Ages Or Our Hearts
  4. I Told Jesus
  5. Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
  6. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
  7. Tryin' Times
  8. Ballad of the Sad Young Men

Disc: 2

  1. Go Up Moses
  2. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  3. Sunday and Sister Jones
  4. See You Then
  5. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
  6. To Love Somebody
  7. Let Them Talk
  8. Sweet Bitter Love

Disc: 3

  1. Killing Me Softly With His Song
  2. Jesse
  3. No Tears (In the End)
  4. I'm the Girl
  5. River
  6. Conversation Love
  7. When You Smile
  8. Suzanne

Disc: 4

  1. Feelin' That Glow
  2. I Wanted It Too
  3. I Can See the Sun in Late December
  4. Some Gospel According to Matthew
  5. Feel Like Makin' Love
  6. Mr. Magic
  7. Early Ev'ry Midnite
  8. Old Heartbreak Top Ten
  9. She's Not Blind

Disc: 5

  1. Why Don't You Move in With Me
  2. The Closer I Get to You - Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
  3. Fine, Fine Day
  4. This Time I'll Be Sweeter
  5. 25th of Last December
  6. After You
  7. I'd Like to Be Baby to You
  8. Soul Deep
  9. Love Is the Healing
  10. Where I'll Find You

Product Description

Jazz and soul singer Roberta Flack has an undeniably beautiful voice. She stunned the United States when her cover of ‘The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face’ (from the 1969 album First Take) became the most successful song of 1972, remaining at number 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks. The album First Take topped the Billboard 200 for five weeks. Flack was awarded two consecutive Grammy Awards for Record of the Year in 1973 and 1974, and her album Killing Me Softly achieved double platinum status in the US; which was no doubt helped along by the success of the title track that was a No.1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Finishing off this collection of Flack’s most successful albums is Blue Lights in the Basement which was among the best-selling albums of 1977. It includes the classic duet with Donna Hathaway, ‘The Closer I Get To You,’ which quickly became certified a Gold single in the US.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Roberta Flack's recording career started late - just before she turned 30. She had been classically trained, initially as a pianist and then on voice, but turned to modern music whilst teaching. Her singing is exceptional for its clarity and her ability to convey emotion.

The first CD in this set is her first album, First Take, released in 1969, and is the most accomplished debut I have ever come across. Combining pop, soul and jazz styles, this is crossover music of the highest order. It was not an instant, success, but "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" became a huge hit in 1972.

The second CD is her third album, Quiet Fire, a title that accurately describes Flack's early style. Most of the songs are delivered at particularly slow tempo, but with a passion that makes this far from dull.

The third CD, Killing Me Softly, starts with the major hit of the same name. It is another excellent album, but one in which her style starts to transform into one that is more maintstream.

The fourth and fifth CDs, Feel Like Making Love and Blue Lights in the Basement are good quality albums, but, at times, lack some of the distinctive features that make the earlier albums so interesting. Nevertheless, they still contain good songs and Flack's singing is peerless.

One factor to consider is that at least two of these albums (Quiet Fire and Feel Like Making Love) are deleted as single CDs - so, short of paying an exhorbitant price in the second hand market this is the only way to get hold of them. Thus, although I would otherwies recommend First Take and Killing Me Softly as single CD purchases, this set is an economical way of buying Quiet Fire and getting the other two CDs as a free part of the bargain.
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What an excellent opportunity to replace your old vinyl copies of these records or, as I did, to purchase them for my son who grew up with Roberta. Her voice has never sounded better than on these early offerings and let's face it, at her best, she's peerless. All the famous singles feature here as well as lots of really classy album tracks. The sensitivity with which she manages to interpret these songs has not, in my opinion, been matched by any of the other great vocalists who emerged in the late 60's/early 70's. A must for any serious fan of great female vocalists!

Dave
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This is really fantastic value! I've always been a fan and already had the individual Cd's; I bought this set for the car! Most of the best of Roberta's work is here and several of the tracks still have the ability to make my spine tingle. I've never heard a voice I've liked better and the sensitivity of some of her own arrangements is a real stand out feature. She brings a new dimension to tracks like Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" , Carole King's "Will you still love me tomorrow" , S&G's "Bridge over troubled water" and Stevie Wonder's "I can see the sun in late December". There are also the obvious, really famous tracks that were big hits; I still love Killing Me Softly With His Song, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Feel Like Makin' Love. If you are a fan of singers with superb voices who really know how to interpret their material, then this is for you.
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The fact that this is four stars and not five is perhaps unfair but due to personal tastes in music. The early albums feature the Roberta Flack I recognise. In the last two of the series it is still very much her but some of the material is far more forgettable and though Roberta does it very well not much stands out in the same way as earlier work. However, I also recognise that someone else might have discovered her later than I did perhaps through this later work and it may be this that holds the greater appeal for them. So four stars not on the basis of recording quality or performance but on grounds of musical taste.
In an age where you are not sure you are hearing the real voice of the artist and not one that has been comped from a dozen takes then autotuned, EQ'd and compressed to deliver maximum sound pressure rather than reveal quality hearing a real singer who understands voice control and projection is refreshing. Yes, you expect to find these qualities in classical and operatic recordings and Roberta's command owes much to her training but the world of popular music in its many sub-divided genres is not rich in natural talent placing much reliance on the manufacturing processes to get a decent sound. Roberta Flack cuts right through that mix with little more than a captivating voice and sparse arrangement that will never be out of style.
Five stars for value and recommended to aspiring next generation singers to show them how it's done.
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a great set of blues and soul albums similar in style but with softer tones than nina simone.
tasteful cover versions including the peerless the first time ever i saw your face.
although you will also need a comprehensive best of for the sublime duets.
Original Album Series
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Not a bad track on any of these albums from the sublime 'the first time' to the lesser known, but equally classic. ' Ballad of the sad young men' this is quality music.
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