Pure Slow Jams

Various Artists

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Pure Slow Jams Review

by William Ruhlmann

Pure Slow Jams, part of Universal's genre-specific series of compilations released under its "Pure" brand name (Pure Funk, Pure Disco, etc.) contains 18 major R&B ballad hits of the 1970s. Most of them were drawn from Universal's vast catalog of acquired record companies (MCA, Motown, etc.), although several have been licensed from other companies, notably Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" and Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" from Sony, the Delfonics' "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" from BMG, Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" from EMI, and Aretha Franklin's "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)" from Warner. Major stars such as the Commodores, the Temptations, the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight & the Pips are represented, along with less-prominent artists such as Al Wilson and Lenny Williams. Some of the songs, such as "Lean on Me" and "Let's Stay Together," have arguably become standards in the ensuing quarter-century; others, such as the Floaters' "Float On" (in which each bandmember introduces himself, announces his astrological sign, and explains what kind of woman he likes) are dated novelties. But they were all R&B (and in most cases pop) hits, and they all proceed at slow and medium tempos, all the better for close dancing. The album is a bonanza for anyone who grew up listening to R&B radio in the '70s and favored the softer sounds.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Dells 04:35
2 Floaters 04:12 SpotifyAmazon
3 Commodores 04:51 Amazon
4 Bill Withers 03:46 SpotifyAmazon
5 L.T.D. / Jeffrey Osborne 04:35 SpotifyAmazon
6 Ray, Goodman & Brown 04:14 SpotifyAmazon
7 The Delfonics 03:21 SpotifyAmazon
8 The Chi-Lites 05:07 SpotifyAmazon
9 The Temptations 03:46 SpotifyAmazon
10 The Jackson 5 03:57 SpotifyAmazon
11 Marvin Gaye 03:55
12 Billy Paul 04:46 SpotifyAmazon
13 Al Green 03:16
14 Al Wilson 03:27 SpotifyAmazon
15 Peaches & Herb 03:59 Amazon
16 Lenny Williams 07:06 SpotifyAmazon
17 Aretha Franklin 03:25 SpotifyAmazon
18 Gladys Knight & the Pips 04:20 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick