The Definitive Collection

Rick James

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The Definitive Collection Review

by Rob Theakston

A condensed version of the 2005 Rick James Gold collection, The Definitive Collection trims the fat found on Gold and leaves a nice balance between his most well-known hits and some of his most acclaimed production work with other artists. Definitive wastes no time getting into the goods either, starting with the one-two punch of "You and I" and his ode to herbal jazz cigarettes, "Mary Jane." The goods are chronologically arranged, and it's not until the middle of the disc that James' most well-known anthems -- "Super Freak, Pt. 1" and "Give It to Me Baby" -- are found. But it's not only his recordings that make Definitive so accessible for casual fans; his production work with Teena Marie, Smokey Robinson, and the Temptations (all included here) will sound instantly recognizable to anyone who listened to R&B radio during the '80s. Lacking any sort of deep cuts, collectors and die-hard fans will most likely already own everything here. But casual fans looking for all the hits would be well served in using this as a starting point to explore further, as Definitive has all the hits and then some.

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