Chaka Khan

I'm Every Woman: The Best of Chaka Khan

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Chaka Khan's career through the 1996 release of Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Vol. 1 (released in Germany as I'm Every Woman: The Best of Chaka Khan) -- involving eight albums with Rufus and eight solo albums, along with assorted collaborations -- produced roughly 40 Top 40 R&B singles, not to mention dozens of undervalued album cuts. So it is clear that any one-disc attempt at wrapping up the highlights is bound to work more like a sampler than a true best-of. And though this release is given the "Vol. 1" tag, it remained without a sequel as late as 2005, when Reprise reissued it without altering the contents. Yet another frustration is that previously unreleased songs take the place of missing classics like "Sweet Thing," "Clouds," "Fate," "Close the Door," and "Stay." (That's just for starters.) Nonetheless, the disc does contain Khan's most popular work, from ballads like "Through the Fire" to anthems like "I'm Every Woman" and "Ain't Nobody," along with other radio staples, such as "I Feel for You" and "Tell Me Something Good." At the absolute least, Khan deserves a solo-only best-of, as well as a disc that sticks strictly to her work with Rufus. (The Very Best of Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, the only anthology dedicated to Rufus, has its own set of issues.)

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