Billy Ocean

Let's Get Back Together: The Love Songs of Billy Ocean

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This nicely assembled, if slightly lengthy, UK collection of Billy Ocean's ballads emphasizes the best-known hits from his ‘80's catalog, and also includes many non-singles and several newly recorded tunes. The first portion of the set holds the most mass appeal, as it contains significant chart entries like "Suddenly," "There'll Be Sad Songs (to Make You Cry)," "Love Is Forever," and "The Colour of Love." However, it's actually towards the latter part of the set that two of the real gems lie: one being the previously unreleased "Our Love Will Survive"; the other, the sorely overlooked Love Zone album track "Promise Me." "Our Love Will Survive," an outtake from the 1987 Tear down These Walls sessions, is a summery pop-rock ballad with more guitars and less predictable melody than Ocean's typical ballad fare. It's truly too bad that it wasn't released upon its initial recording. The two newly recorded entries are both remakes. Tracy Chapman's "Baby Can I Hold You" and Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" are both given a contemporary pop-reggae feel by producer Michael Peden. It's clear here that Ocean still possesses a distinctive, honey-coated voice of soul; but the rather impersonal arrangements don't allow him shine to his fullest. Given its specialized nature, this collection will mostly appeal to devoted Ocean fans - for, all of the hits found here are also contained on Jive's 1997 double-disc, L.I.F.E.. The presence of "Our Love Will Survive" and the two new entries make the disc a nice collection addition for ballad connoisseurs and ardent Ocean fans.

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