Various Artists

MTV the First 1000 Years: R&B

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It may be hard to get beyond the title of Rhino's series MTV the First 1000 Years, which just may be the dumbest title in the first 1000 years of the recording industry, but the actual discs aren't bad at all. For instance, the R&B volume is an excellent compilation of urban hits from the '90s -- and, as of 1999, there weren't too many records that covered this territory well. MTV The First 1000 does this well, and, even if "What's Love Got to Do With It" sounds a little out of place here, the remaining 15 hits are all of a piece, whether they're slow ballads or new jack R&B. Although the collection isn't sequenced in chronological order, it winds up holding together very well, because the songs -- including "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)," "My Prerogative," "Bump N' Grind," "I Wanna Be Down," "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss," "No Diggity," "If I Had No Loot," "All Around the World," "Are You Somebody?," "Forever My Lady," "Rub You the Right Way," "This is How We Do It," and "End of the Road" -- are so good. At the end of the '90s, there are very few compilations of '90s R&B, but even as they begin to proliferate in the '00s, this will stand as one of the better ones.

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