Minnie Riperton


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This album was released in the year in which the supreme songstress passed (1979). However, she bestowed upon the listener her gift of voice with a collection of fine songs. The first release was the nostalgic number "Memory Lane." With its sensuous, flowing rhythm, and melodious string and horn arrangement, Minnie Riperton strides into the lyric with her silky delivery. The single peaked at number 16 on the Billboard R&B charts after a 22-week run. The follow-up single was the vivacious "Lover and Friend." Stevie Wonder's verbal intro bow to a spirited horn introduction. Seasoned with a muted rumbling bassline and a soft texture, and supported by a majestic horn arrangement, Riperton's velvety tone takes charge. She graciously embraces the lyric with style. The single peaked at number 20 after 13 weeks. These were the only two songs to chart from this album, and unfortunately they were worthy of a better ranking. Nonetheless, they remain staples of R&B radio. It must also be noted that while Riperton's voice was as silky as the incomparable Billie Holiday's, she had the innate ability to controllably explode into higher octaves without forsaking the beauty of her voice. This admirable quality elevates her to a class of her own.

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