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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second only to (sometimes joint first with) Aretha.......oh yeah, 14 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Evidence: The Complete Fame Records Masters (Audio CD)
Picture the scene. It's a sultry, emasculating July night, so much so that activity other than sitting and drinking and talking and eating is too much. There's a studio across the road, and despite the weather there's a female singer, some backing singers and some musicians laying down some Southern soul like their lives depended on it, and being generous souls they've got the doors open, so the music sounds out.

I don't know how effective a verbal picture that is, but in an ideal world that music would be what's on these two discs, because it's frightening.....in the best way. There are forty eight tracks across these two discs and the old `all killers, no filler' chestnut applies, for once. The perennially deluded Mick Hucknell covers "That's How Strong my Love Is" on his current album, which only goes to show he should stick to growing grapes. Staton's reading of the song kills his from the moment she sings `If I were....' which as it happens is but a percentage of the first line of the lyric.

The birds must be real wilful for Staton not to sing them out from the trees on "Mr and Mrs Untrue" where she takes hold of the lyric from the first line and the horns and strings carry her all the way. Hell, I'm going to have to start a new paragraph; the goose bumps are getting too much for this one.

One Elvis Presley did a heartfelt reading of "In the Ghetto" but Staton trumps it. Every word is clearly enunciated so the pathos of the lyric -something which the likes of both Hucknell and Joss Stone would either mangle or simply fail to get- sparkles. The resulting verbal picture is far more vivid than anything this writer could convey.

"Are You Just Building Me Up?" wasn't even released until 2011, by this writer's reckoning some 38 years after it was waxed. Why the delay? As with everything here it's a gem, cut in this case in 3:28 and just one of the 48 reasons for buying this set, which I suggest you do even before you've finished reading this sentence. You know it makes sense.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

N. Jones
(REAL NAME)   

Location: Oxford, Great Britain

Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,054