Natalie Cole

The Best of Natalie Cole [EMI-Capitol Special Markets]

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EMI's Best of Natalie Cole from 2001 focuses on her recordings for Capitol in the '70s and collects a couple of songs from each album she released. She had a few big chart hits in the '70s, and they are all included: the smooth R&B classic "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" hit number six in 1975, the sultry "I've Got Love on My Mind" reached number seven in 1977, and the quiet storm ballad "Our Love" hit number ten in 1978. Cole doesn't have the world's strongest voice -- at times it could be shockingly thin and her scatting on "Mr. Melody" is cringe inducing -- but she makes the most of it on tracks like the surprisingly funky "Sophisticated Lady (She's a Different Lady)," the grooving cautionary tale "Annie Mae," and the disco jam "Party Lights." A highlight of the disc is her duet with Peabo Bryson, the disco-funk "Gimme Some Time," taken from 1979's We're the Best of Friends. This disc is not the best of Cole as the title claims, but it does do a decent job of summing up her early work at a very low price. [The Best of Natalie Cole was re-released by Collectables in 2003 as The Best of Natalie Cole: The Priceless Collection with an identical track listing but a different cover.]

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