Karen Young

The Best of Karen Young: Hot Shot

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Best known for her 1978 international dancefloor hit "Hot Shot," Philadelphian Young initially debuted in 1969 with a U.K. hit, "Nobody's Child." The disco craze allowed her to resurface after a long hiatus, and she went on to record a number of disco and rock-oriented singles until the mid-'80s, shortly before her untimely death. This comprehensive collection covers her recordings for West End, Atlantic, Sunshine, Ariola, and Boardwalk. Over 77 minutes long, the content spans surefire disco ("Hot Shot" and the saucy "Baby You Ain't Nothin'"), bluesy ballads (a cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come"), AOR (the somewhat fluffy "One Sure Way"), and pop/rock (the Latin-tinged "Love Me Like a Man"). The most consistent numbers are the dance ones, benefiting from Young's peppy delivery and Walter Kahn's clever production. The more rock-style entries suffer from arrangements lacking in direction in most cases, though "Ain't Gettin' Better" is notable for its meshing of a bright, R&B horn arrangement and rock guitars. However, Young's enthusiastic improv and heartfelt style are the strongest aspects throughout.

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