Finally! For far too long, mega-talent soul singer Candi Staton had been lacking a comprehensive collection of her prime Southern R&B material from her glory years, 1969-1973. While it's true that Staton's chart success continued in the disco era with "Young Hearts Run Free," from 1975, that music is in a different universe from her Muscle Shoals period, when she recorded for Fame and other labels. This compilation contains 26 tracks form those hallowed years, when Staton's deep soul tomes rang up no less than 12 consecutive Billboard R&B hits, a pair of Grammy nominations, and a gold album. Like Aretha Franklin, Linda Jones, and Otis Redding, Staton's voice is the sound of emotion being ripped from the human heart and offered, bleeding and broken, pleading and yearning, to the listener. Collected here are her stunning "I'm Just a Prisoner (Of Good Loving)," her amazing read of Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is," the killer "I'm Another Man's Woman, Another Woman's Man," the definitive version of Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man," "He Called Me Baby," "Sure as Sin," the stellar "Get It When I Want It," and the only version of "In the Ghetto" that matters. In all, while this could have easily been a double CD, all of the tracks here warrant their appearance: there isn't a mediocre one in the bunch, as evidenced further by the inclusion of "Heart on a String," "The Thanks I Get for Loving You," "Sweet Feeling," "Someone You Use," and "Love Chain," as well. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek