Live in New York/More Stuff

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In this anomaly as far as reissue two-fers go, Collectables took Stuff's second record and combined it with one of their three live albums recorded in the '70s, Live in New York. On the follow-up to their eponymous debut record, Stuff really didn't take many chances in the evolution of their sound, preferring to stay the course with their light, well-executed sound based around pop-soul and jazz. More Stuff found future disco superproducer Van McCoy behind the production boards, and the group builds on that blueprint: the crown jewel of the eight-song session is their treatment of Stevie Wonder's "As," which stays faithful to the original. But the real gem of the disc is the Live in New York half, which shows the group in a more relaxed fashion, free of production ornaments like a horn section and with more of an emphasis on grooves than arrangements. This was also Stuff's swan song, which is fitting; like many similar groups, Stuff's live performances improved upon their efforts in the studio.

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