HERstory, Vol. 1 is a selection of remixes, hits, featured appearances, and soundtrack contributions dating from 1992 through 1997, the era during which Mary J. Blige released her first three studio albums. It was put out in four configurations: digital, CD, and double LP, as well as octuple 7"s in a carrying case. The track lists differ slightly across formats; only the CD and LP editions are identical. Universal's catalog department presumably directed the majority of the project's budget toward the production of the vinyl versions, as the compact disc has the look of a checkout-counter impulse purchase, and the accompanying booklet contains minimal information. There are other confusing details. Method Man is demoted to featured artist on the Puff Daddy mix of "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By," Nas is uncredited on "Love Is All We Need," Smif-N-Wessun are listed as "Smif N' Wesson" on the remix of "I Love You," and so forth. The chart-topping debut "You Remind Me" and My Life standout "Be Happy" are among a handful of classics represented in original form, but the all-contemporaneous remixes, previously scattered across What's the 411? Remix and multiple-format singles, are the greater attraction, reminders of why Blige was justifiably promoted as "The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul." No matter the effort put forth with this, Blige's rich MCA catalog -- five multi-platinum albums, zero expanded/deluxe editions, not even a simple hits overview -- remains woefully neglected.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
feat: Craig Mack
feat: Grand Puba
feat: LL Cool J
feat: Method Man