Original Album Series Box set
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredible value and nice to be able to get these blasts from the pasts. Brought back memories!Published 7 months ago by Jelly-Bean
I've always liked Roberta Flack but up until now I only had her Greatest Hits Album,this set gave me a chance to hear more of her regular stuff,I wasn't disappointed!Published 11 months ago by Ms. Frances M. Thompson
Let me start by saying that this is a review of the first 3 albums in this collection The last 2 are pleasant, smoothly produced, but ultimately slight soul/pop albums which, I... Read morePublished 14 months ago by mathstutor
An excellent set of cd's if you are a Roberta Flack fanPublished 17 months ago by Graham Michael Perrott