In 2010, I reviewed the Phyllis Hyman CD "Goddess of Love." The original review is below which I still stand by. Adding to this however (three years on), I have to say the expanded edition is remastered and sounds good. My regret is that the record company have only added the 12" single "Riding The Tiger" including the extra tracks found on the 12" to the CD pressing - disappointing indeed. "Riding The Tiger" was a hit but to be honest was and is not considered amongst her best recordings. At the time, us DJs felt that the 12" single lacked polish and consisted of a great deal of looping to fill up the wax / vinyl! This was a common trait at the time - indeed three of Aretha Franklin's 1980s Arista offerings: "Another Night", "Get It Right" and "Freeway of Love" fell the same fate, although "Jump To It" and "Love Me Right" 12" singles were better offerings from Aretha. I believe the record company have missed an opportunity with this expanded edition of Phyllis Hyman's "Goddess of Love" album - there are countless Phyllis Hyman demos and alternative takes in the vaults no doubt. The best track on the album remains "Just Me and You" and it would have been really super to have heard a demo and/or be treated to some earlier takes alongside some demos or earlier takes of some of the other tracks. What a shame but never mind...
Here is again, my 2010 review, when the original CD pressing available only as an import, was being sold at a heavily inflated price...
"I fully agree with the other review except for the classic track. In my opinion, "Just Me and You" was by far the best track on the LP and used to be played by Robbie Vincent and other Jazz Funk UK based DJs in 1982/83. It was one of those great Phyllis vocals that was simply as gorgeous as velvet. Nothing (in my opinion) is better than her work with McCoy Tyner on his "Looking' Out" LP, but this track should be singled out from Goddess Of Love LP as one of her very very best recordings. The current price of the CD here however is a tough one to swallow! but as the other reviewer rightly says, this one is really for the fans and us fans will buy of course. For those not familiar with the McCoy Tyner work, Phyllis recorded three absolute stormers: 'In Search of My Heart'; 'I'll Be Around'; and, 'Love Surrounds Us Everywhere'Looking Out "
This album was the final Arista release from Phyllis and has always divided opinion amongst fans & Phyllis alike. Produced by Thom Bell & Narada Michael Walden, two producers whos styles are akin to oil & water. Its hardly surprising the album received such a lukewarm response on its release. However time is a great healer and listening to this album now I can appreciate what both these producers bought to the table. The album includes the classic "Let Somebody Love You" & love it or loathe it classic "Riding The Tiger"
Props must be given to the Reel music label for finally releasing this on cd, the job they have done is outstanding. So many albums from the 70's & 80's are reissued with the tag "remastered" and when you get to listen to the final product its clear that the album has been ripped from vinyl. This is not the case with this release. The sound is spot on & the packaging is pristine. The liner notes are very informative, giving us an insight into the recording process with those that worked alongside Phyllis. This Reissue is a must have for any Phyllis fan, You will not be disappointed.
Goodness knows why, but this one has always tended to be overlooked among her other albums. It has always been my favourite of hers; it's an uplifting, commercial sound, without the angst that sometimes (understandably I guess) enters her work.
I guess one would call it 'disco' rather than soul; that's certainly true of 'Riding the Tiger' which was always one of her best tracks in my view. When I saw her on stage in 1987, there was much more of a showbiz dimension to her, partly due to her inclination toward show tunes I guess. She seemed, at that time, quite a long way from the excitement of some of these earlier songs, but I guess her audience liked what she was doing. Many a great singer has been compromised by poor choice of songs, but all of these are excellent choices. I guess if one is looking for some sort of 'intense' experience, drenched in emotional release, this album isn't it. To me, this album is Phyllis Hyman at her best, but I'm sure that many other fans would never agree with that opinion in a million years. And in case anyone is wondering, I do like all of them, but this one stands out for me personally.