Various Artists

The Soul of Seduction

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This two-disc compilation brings together 30 Sony Music R&B artists performing songs about sex. Though the selections come from as early as Aretha Franklin's 1962 "Just for a Thrill" and as late as Babyface's 1989 "Whip Appeal," most date from the 1970s, when such artists as the Manhattans, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (featuring Teddy Pendergrass), Johnnie Taylor, Earth, Wind & Fire, and the O' Jays were giving the Columbia and Epic labels a strong presence on the R&B charts. The singers' ideas of seduction may not always be yours. For example, the Intruders declare, "I'm not even married" in "I Wanna Know Your Name," and Billy Paul's "Let's Make a Baby" is not a sentiment shared by all lovers. But the groove is usually suggestively slow, and the singing is alternately languid and frantic. Clearly, somebody at Legacy noticed the sales that the Right Stuff, Capitol's reissue line, was getting on its Slow Jams series and decided to compete. And since the Sony catalog is just as rich, the concept works just as well.

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