Neville Brothers

Treacherous: A History of the Neville Brothers 1955-1985

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At the dawn of the 21st century, the Neville Brothers may well be the greatest living institution of New Orleans R&B, but it took a long time for them to achieve such a lofty status, and the talents of Aaron, Art, Charles, and Cyril Neville had been scattered through a number of different groups (and a number of different record labels) over the space of three decades before they began to finally gain the nationwide recognition they richly deserved in the mid-'80s. Treacherous: A History of the Neville Brothers was the first compilation album to paint a reasonably accurate picture of the full scope of the Nevilles' accomplishment, and it still stands as the best introduction to their body of work. While it predates their acclaimed collaborations with producer Daniel Lanois on Yellow Moon and Brother's Keeper, it's a near-flawless representation of the Neville Brothers' earlier period (both as individuals and collectively), blending classic New Orleans R&B, smooth balladry, traditional second-line rhythms, potent Crescent City funk, and plenty of stops in between into a mighty and potent gumbo of joyous groove. Treacherous also cherrypicks the highlights from several unfortunately uneven albums, and flows more comfortably than many of the group's "real" albums. Anyone with even a passing interest in New Orleans music needs to check out the Neville Brothers, and this collection is as good a starter as anyone could hope for.

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