Helen Reddy

The Best of Helen Reddy [Intercontinental]

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There are so many Helen Reddy best-of compilations that it's difficult to distinguish most of them from each other -- they mostly all touch the expected bases ("I Am Woman," "I Don't Know How to Love Him," "Delta Dawn," "Angie Baby," "Leave Me Alone," "You and Me Against the World," "Peaceful") and beyond that, it's pretty much a judgment call about what to include. This release, from her native Australia and dating from 1991, has the virtue of a very low list price (especially as a 20-song disc) and good sound -- plus the presence of one song that Reddy isn't much known for doing, but which she did extremely well, "How Can I Be Sure," cut on her (largely ignored) very first LP, which is going back nearly four decades, at this writing. Balancing out its presence, alas, is her Vegas-style rendition of "Hit the Road Jack," which is as laughable as the Rascals number is beguiling. What saves the disc from taking a power-dive into the ground so near its end are the next two numbers, "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)" and "Keep On Singing," the latter one of Reddy's best ventures into the pop side of country music. In all, one could do a lot worse for a lot more money, even if the annotation here is minimal.

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