Minnie Ripeton's voice is one of the most versatile and rich instruments ever heard. Her range, as showcased in 'Lovin You' was incredible, but it's the seductive tones of songs like 'Inside my Love' that really shine. 'Les Fleurs' is a trimphant and joyous psychedelic treat, the single most uplifting piece of music I know. There are a couple of filler tracks on here, but there's too much quality to let that detract. A fantastic woman (she was a crusader for women's and cancer charities before she died) has left a legacy of unique music for us to enjoy. It would be rude not to.
Whilst not all of the tracks on this compilation are of the quality the shear bewildering strength of black gold, loving you and les fleurs means just these alone make this an essential purchase. You must but must have these tracks in your music collection. Sonic gold!
This is an album you put on when it's cold and dark outside, and just let it warm you up! There are some fantastically funky tracks like 'Black gold of the sun' and the truly uplifting 'Les Fleurs'- which is quite possibly my favourite record of all time. Minnie Riperton has a voice that seems to float higher than anyone else's and then dip down so effortlessly, Whitney and Mariah should take note. Just a great collection, nicely done. No frills, good old fashioned soul with a lovely gospel edge.
A well-chosen anthology spanning Minnie Ripperton's most creative and musically satisfying decade from the late sixties onwards.
Minnie is best known for LOVIN' YOU - which is rightly included here as, despite a little over-familiarity, it still stands as a deeply affecting performance of a truly great song. But evidently there is much, much more to Minnie than that.
As LOVIN' YOU demonstrates, Minnie was in possession of a breathtaking multi-octave vocal range. However, this collection also testifies to the sheer quality of her songwriting and breadth of musical vision. Minnie's talent clearly included the ability to co-produce her own songs, choose the best producers and musicians to work with and the refusal to waste her vocal talent on throwaway material (a frequent flaw in so many performers in this field). It is true that this is an album of mostly sweet, mid-tempo soul rather than out and out dance floor material but it really does encompass most of the enduring sounds and textures of 1970s Black American music.
The price of the album is justified on its own for the pair of Charles Stepney productions (LES FLEUR and I AM THE BLACK GOLD OF THE SUN), which are two achingly beautiful acoustic-psychedelic soul masterpieces dating from the very late '60s. Both were revived much later on by DJ Gilles Peterson and later covered by 4 Hero and Masters At Work (as Nu Yorican Soul).
You could also say the same for the much-sampled soul-jazz of INSIDE MY LOVE from 1975, which, like so many of Minnie's songs is just incredibly yet understatedly sexy. It was co-written and produced by Minnie and will also be familiar to anybody who has seen Quentin Tarrantino's "Jackie Brown". MEMORY LANE, from 1979, is very much in the same rich vein as Curtis Mayfield's best `70s output and is probably my favourite tune on the whole album (and, as I recall, a big Norman Jay tune from the days of his Original Musiquarium show on KISS FM). Another highlight is YOUNG, WILLING AND ABLE, with its jazzy, Roy Ayers-like feel.
In all, there are 15 tracks - with no fillers as far as I am concerned. As you will learn from Dean Rudland's excellent sleeve notes, in 1979 Minnie died tragically young at the age of just 31. This album is a fantastic tribute to her amazing, enduring talent and is ultimately a great collection of top quality soul music.
If it wasn't for Nuyorican Soul, The Orb and filmwise Tarantino's Jackie Brown and Road Trip, I think I would have missed out on Minnie. She has a truly sexy voice and any album - which has Lovin' You (sampled by the Orb's A Huge Ever Brain...), I am The Black Gold of The Sun (as covered by Nuyorican Soul) and Inside My Love which featured on those aforementioned two films - gets my vote. True class - even if you discount everything else on the album, buy it for the sheer class of these tracks. I have not found any other song like Inside My Love to evoke, yes, such sexiness. Minnie and Jose Feliciano's cover of Light My Fire (well, OK Felicano's) is from where a certain Will Young (allegedly) plundered such an amazing rendition of The Doors' classic. Just buy this CD, if you love wonderful music with beauty and soul.
I can't express how much I love Minnie Ripertons's voice; such a beautiful voice, my favourites on this album are: I Am The Gold of The Sun & Les Fleurs - very uplifting songs. Inside My Love beautifully sung. Back Down Memory Lane; I defy anyone who cannot relate to this song. It brings back many memories of a very special friendship I had that came to an abrupt end. Loving you is by far by favourite, I first heard it when I was a teenager and loved it. Whenever I listen to this song I always think of this person. I would definitely recommend this album.