Barbara Acklin

Greatest Hits

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When people think of Chicago soul, they normally think of Curtis Mayfield. It make sense, for he truly was the godfather of that sound. However, there were quite a few other gifted practitioners, one of them being Barbara Acklin. Her Brunswick sides combined Stax funk and Motown sheen along with the overall polish of Philadelphia International Records. This collection collects her best work from her prime late-'60s/early-'70s period. Most of the hits, unfortunately, were regional smashes, which in itself is a travesty. "Love Makes a Woman" is beautiful light funk crossed with swing, incredibly well-played, and led by Acklin's soulful vocals, which are easily on a par with Martha Reeves. One of Acklin's biggest songs was "Am I the Same Girl," which ended up being an instrumental hit for the Young-Holt Trio under the title "Soulful Strut." As great as their version was, it was a bit of a crime, and the original version is included here in all its glory. The vocal version of the song became a hit in 1992 when revived by Swing out Sister. Barbara Acklin's awesome legacy, though, is well-represented in this fine collection, which is a must for all fans of early-'70s urban soul and pop.

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