Surprisingly enough, Classic Masters became the first U.S.-released Soul II Soul best-of when Virgin put it out in 2003. Even though it contains every important moment of the group's action in the U.S. ("Back to Life," "Keep on Movin'," "Get a Life," "A Dream's a Dream," etc.), the fact that early singles like "Fairplay" and "Feel Free" aren't present makes the disc feel as if pieces of the puzzle are missing. Still, this a fine package of some of the best mainstream dance music made during the late '80s and early '90s. Soul II Soul's synthesis of several music styles -- including soul, disco, house, reggae, and hip-hop -- was as progressive as it was accessible.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman