Thelma Houston

The Best of Thelma Houston [Motown]

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The Best of Thelma Houston [Motown] Review

by Heather Phares

Motown's The Best of Thelma Houston covers her late-'70s/early-'80s output for the label, including her hit cover of "Don't Leave Me This Way." A few other covers, including "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Me and Bobby McGee," hint at Houston's range as an interpreter; originals like "If It's the Last Thing I Do," "I Want to Go Back There Again," and "Stealin' in the Name of the Lord" show her finesse with lush ballads, quintessential Motown, and gospel-inflected pop, respectively. Along with "Don't Leave Me This Way," tracks such as "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning," "Love Machine," and "I'm Here Again" reflect Houston's sophisticated but fiery take on disco. While the Spectrum collection has a slightly grittier edge to it, this compilation does a fine job of showing the breadth and depth of her Motown work.

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