Billy Preston

20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of Billy Preston

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After kicking around on various labels for half a dozen years and developing a reputation as a stellar sideman, Billy Preston finally broke through to mass success as a recording artist with the instrumental "Outa-Space" on A&M Records in 1972, and he had a string of other hits over the next several years, including the chart-toppers "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "Nothing From Nothing." This discount-priced best-of features all of his Top 20 pop and R&B hits, including the 1979 duet with Syreeta, "With You I'm Born Again," a Top Five hit on the Motown subsidiary Tamla that now resides in the Universal vaults along with the A&M catalog. In addition to his hits, Preston also co-wrote the ballad standard "You Are So Beautiful," and his version is included here. Though never a major hit, his "That's the Way God Planned It," recorded for the Beatles' Apple label, was a signature song for him. That track is not in the Universal vaults, but he did record a live version for A&M that has been included. Thus, the 11 tracks here give a good sense of the highlights of Billy Preston's career as a frontman during the 1970s.

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