Nancy Wilson

The Essence of Nancy Wilson: Four Decades of Music

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The Essence of Nancy Wilson: Four Decades of Music Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Nancy Wilson has recorded a lot of material in several different styles, so an accurate summary is hard to achieve -- even on a collection the size of the four-disc The Essence of Nancy Wilson. Perhaps realizing this, the compilers have ditched the traditional chronological progression of a box set and instead dedicated each disc to a specific theme. The first disc is "Spanning the Decades," containing "rare singles and charted hits"; the second is a collection of 23 previously unreleased cuts, including an entire unreleased Live at the Sands album from August 1968, dubbed "From the Vaults"; each of the 22 selections on the third disc were selected by the artist herself on a disc appropriately called "Nancy's Choice"; the fourth is "Hidden Gems," featuring 18 tracks finding their first U.S. release on CD here. This is an idiosyncratic approach, to say the least, and it does have its charms, especially since the Live at the Sands is nicely done (albeit a little supper-clubby), and there are good moments peppered throughout the rarity-filled collections, moments that hardcore collectors will cherish. That doesn't mean that this is the definitive Nancy Wilson set, or that it truly captures her "essence," either, especially since it often leans toward the pop side and does favor the obscure to the basic canon (which essentially is on disc one and much of disc three). That doesn't make this a bad box, since it does have a lot of good Nancy Wilson in one place, plus a lot of interesting material for collectors, but it falls short of being truly definitive.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Nancy Wilson 02:48
2 Nancy Wilson 03:14
3 Nancy Wilson 02:02
4 Nancy Wilson 04:50
5 Nancy Wilson 03:50
6 Nancy Wilson 02:24
7 Nancy Wilson 04:56
8
Nancy Wilson 01:56
9 Nancy Wilson 03:05
10 Nancy Wilson 03:32
11 Nancy Wilson 02:33
12
Nancy Wilson 02:44
13
Nancy Wilson 06:27
14 Nancy Wilson 08:15
15 Nancy Wilson 02:17
16 Nancy Wilson 02:56
17 Nancy Wilson 02:36
18 Nancy Wilson 02:22
19
Nancy Wilson 04:18
20 Nancy Wilson 03:11
21 Nancy Wilson 03:20
22 Nancy Wilson 02:53
23 Nancy Wilson 03:01
blue highlight denotes track pick