Trying to boil down a recording career that spans multiple decades into a single album's worth of music is a daunting task at best. Richie Havens gets the "best-of" treatment on 1987's Collection. The 17-track disc includes eight Havens originals, notably "Woman" and "Prayer," but the strength of the album lies in cover tunes like the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." What keeps this collection from really representing Havens' career is the absence of anything from his performance at Woodstock, which yielded his best-known work. In fact, all of the songs found on Collection are from the same five albums, which were all released between 1970 and 1973. Since the release of Collection, Havens has made some strong material, including Sings Beatles and Dylan, which of course is not included. Overall, it is a fair, if incomplete, overview of this folk legend's body of work.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Vanderhoff