Helen Reddy

Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits

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In 1987, Capitol re-released this ten-song disc on CD with five additional tracks, including Helen Reddy's last three hit singles; this vinyl set contains the ten biggest tunes that built the singer's legend. Just as George Martin remixed the songs by the group America that he did not originally produce for their "best of," some of these productions feel like different mixes rather than the sound radio listeners were familiar with. It's the same voice, and the same musicians; however, "I Am Woman" has more pronounced horns, bigger drums, and Reddy's voice is clearer than on the original album. It certainly sounds like a superior mix, not what radio listeners were used to, unless the mastering job on this Greatest Hits release contains more defined mastering than the 45 rpm. There's a special thanks to producer Joe Wissert, so it is very likely he expanded the sound of the Jay Senter recording from her second album; Larry Marks' work from her debut, I Don't Know How to Love Him; and possibly some of the Tom Catalano productions as well. Hearing these ten powerful hits together is a strong argument against Reddy's detractors -- she climbed the charts with about as many songs as her friend Petula Clark, and both were embraced by adult contemporary radio. Leon Russell's "Bluebird" is absent, but the sublime Harriet Schock composition "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" is here, the last of her singles from this era to go Top Ten, and second to last adult contemporary number one. It's a brilliant tune, and striking performance. Francesco Scavullo did the photography, as he did for so many stars, from Janis Joplin to Barbara Streisand and Diana Ross. "You and Me Against the World" is moving and soulful, taking a Paul Williams composition and showing some of the heart Reddy would bring to her Center Stage disc many years later. The original vinyl ten-song version of Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits is a concise package culled from six of her first seven albums.

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