Various Artists

Mastercuts: Funk Divas

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Not as riddled with abysmal re-recordings and poor-sounding live versions as some of the other compilations released by Mastercuts in 2005, Mastercuts: Funk Divas is a three-disc set that should come in handy for listeners who don't consider themselves experts of soul and funk from the '60s through the early '80s, but want to dig beyond the obvious classics. It's annoying that only 30 tracks are spread across the three discs (everything would've fit comfortably on two discs), but there's a decent if arbitrary assortment. A couple particularly notable inclusions: Material's "Take Care," featuring a pre-fame (and therefore pre-"Crack is wack!") Whitney Houston, and Ethel Beatty's "I Know You Care," an excellent (if hyper-repetitive) B-side from Roy Ayers' Uno Melodic label.

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