Barbara Acklin

The Complete Barbara Acklin on Brunswick Records

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Favoring a supple, sophisticated approach quite distinct from the grittier sound of her Chicago rivals, soul diva Barbara Acklin cut some of the finest records to come out of the Windy City in the late '60s, most notably "Love Makes a Woman" and "Am I the Same Girl." She also cut her fair share of overbaked dross, which renders The Complete Barbara Acklin on Brunswick Records such a generous but frustrating listen. Assembling all five of the LPs Acklin cut for Brunswick between 1968 and 1973 -- an output totaling 45 songs -- the set offers the kind of all-inclusive, respectful treatment rarely afforded to artists of Acklin's limited commercial stature, but given the abundance of inferior material, listeners without completist impulses will be far better served by more focused best-of collections. That said, diligent listeners will find some classic performances outside of the familiar hits, most of them originating from the pen of the Chi-Lites' Eugene Record, whose nuanced melodies and sublime arrangements (in particular the transcendent "Here Is a Heart") fit Acklin's soulful vocals like a glove.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:29
2 2:26
3 2:57
4 3:00
5 2:16
6 2:58
7 2:53
8
2:40
9 2:37
10 2:25
11 2:39
12 2:43
13 2:39
14 2:17
15 2:45
16 2:51
17 2:44
18 3:04
19 3:11
20 4:29
21 2:44
22 2:41
23 3:08

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:16
2 2:31
3 3:42
4 3:37
5 3:33
6 3:11
7 4:57
8
3:18
9 3:29
10 3:40
11 3:08
12 2:39
13 2:32
14 2:49
15 2:33
16 3:24
17 3:20
18 3:02
19 3:39
20 3:56
21 3:01
22 3:25
blue highlight denotes track pick