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.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann