Various Artists

R&B Live!: Essentials

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The artists featured on R&B Live! Essentials are some of the best-known funk and soul acts of the '70s and early '80s, although they aren't necessarily performing their best-known material. Still, even if many of the selections won't be familiar to more casual fans, a lot of what's here is pretty high-quality; it's hard to go wrong with stars like Marvin Gaye, Kool & the Gang, Earth, Wind & Fire, War, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, the Commodores, and Teddy Pendergrass performing in the prime of their careers.

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