Short and sweet, this ten-track compilation hits all the high points of Rick James' career, from his 1978 number one debut single, "You and I," to the 1984 triumph "17," collecting every major hit in between while casting off James' post-1984 denouement without a second glance. But really, the casual fan looking for hits without misses won't need to go any farther than this disc. You won't find any rarities or unreleased material here. What you will find are all the songs that propelled James to peaks that glinted off the gorgeously arrayed rhinestone feathers of his "punk-funk" empire. "Super Freak," "Give It to Me Baby," and "Cold Blooded," all chart-topping heavyweights, are here. So are the equally juicy "Mary Jane" and the Smokey Robinson duet "Ebony Eyes." It would have been nice to see a few of James' other funk jams included, but that probably would have defeated the purpose of this tight budget set. For the super-freaky '80s retro-ist who's looking for snappy party favorites, 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rick James will certainly give the biggest bang for the buck. Everyone else will be better served by a more complete package.
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AllMusic Review by Amy Hanson