Gladys Knight & the Pips

All I Need Is Time

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Gladys Knight & the Pips were together for almost 40 years. They started performing together in 1952 (when Knight was only eight years old), and it wasn't until 1990 that a 46-year-old Knight finally became a full-time solo artist and the Pips retired from music. Only seven of the group's 38 years were spent at Motown, but they were seven incredibly important years. They did some of their most essential work at the label, which they signed with in 1966 and left in 1973. That year, Buddah made them an offer they couldn't refuse, and a very aggressive promotional campaign on their part made 1973's Imagination (their first Buddah album) a blockbuster hit. 1973 was also the year in which Motown released All I Need Is Time, which was recorded not long before their departure from the label. This LP wasn't the mega-hit that Imagination was, but even so, it is generally excellent. Knight has a lot of first-rate material to work with, and she is as impressive on romantic ballads and slow jams ("I'll Be Here When You Get Home," "Oh! What a Love I Have Found," "All I Need Is Time") as she is on up-tempo gems, which include the Staple Singers' "Heavy Makes You Happy" and a superb cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Agin)." Meanwhile, there are hints of Philadelphia soul on "The Only Time You Love Me Is When You're Losing Me," which shows us what Knight & the Pips might have sounded like in the 1970s if they had recorded for Philadelphia International instead of Motown and Buddah. A fine album that should have done a lot better, All I Need Is Time is well worth obtaining if you're a fan of the group's 1970s output.

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