Aaron Neville

Singles Collection Plus 1969-1977

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These 22 tracks contain all of Aaron Neville's solo A-sides, recorded apart from his membership in the Neville Brothers band. His recordings of the songs of Allen Toussaint -- who was also his producer during these years -- are the stuff of legend, mainly because they feature all the different aspects of that signature voice -- no matter what he's singing. While it's true that the Toussaint material stands head and shoulders over most of what's here, there are moments where he covers absolute dreck and transforms it into killer soul. An example? How about his cover of David Gates' schlock-pop standard "Baby I'm-A Want You?" OK; thankfully, the other 21 cuts here are big-time tunes, including "Tell It Like It Is," his original reading of "Cry Me a River," that was later reprised on A&M in a lesser version, a seriously bluesy reading of Gerry Goffin's and Carole King's "One Fine Day," Leo Nocentelli's "She's on My Mind," and a calypso-cum-ska version of Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times," that blows every other version out of the water. Add this to the ten Toussaint tracks (each one a gem in its own right), and you have a collection that is way easy on the wallet and way deep in the gold.

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