Chic

The Chic Organization Box Set, Vol. 1: Savoir Faire

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Even if you are intimately familiar with all the previously released material on The Chic Organization Boxset, Vol. 1 -- and don’t have to think hard about cuts that are missed -- it’s hard not to be floored by the box set’s existence. Appropriately enough, the French wing of Warner beat the American mothership to the punch, and involved the band’s Nile Rodgers, who also pens some illuminating liner notes, in compiling this four-disc anthology. It doesn’t just cover Chic's releases, but Rodgers and Bernard Edwards' dynamite production work for Sister Sledge, Norma Jean, Sheila & B. Devotion, Diana Ross, and several others as well. Just about all the big guns are here, from the Hot 100 and club chart toppers, to the stellar ballads, to the deep classics that deserved better, like the ace eight-minute 12” mixes of the A-sides off the Soup for One soundtrack. Most of the previously unreleased material, highlighted by three songs from a shelved Johnny Mathis album and Chic’s own gorgeous “Just Call Me,” is at least fascinating when it’s not up to the band's hitmaking standard. For whatever reason, Dimitri from Paris was called upon to update five tracks; he uses nothing but original elements in his imaginative mixes, but plenty of casual fans would prefer to have the original 12” mixes of “I Want Your Love,” Sister Sledge's “Lost in Music,” and Norma Jean's “Saturday” in a box like this. That minor gripe notwithstanding, this is an absolute treasure.

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