Eddie Kendricks

The Ultimate Collection

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When you think of R&B's great falsettos, Eddie Kendricks is a name that comes up along with Philip Bailey, Curtis Mayfield, Blue Magic's Ted Mills and the Stylistics' Russell Thompkins, Jr. Most of the solo albums that Kendricks recorded for Motown in the '70s are worth owning, but if you're on a tight budget and want to stick to his more essential solo recordings, The Ultimate Collection would be the most logical purchase. Released in 1998, this generous disc contains 16 songs that he recorded after leaving the Temptations. Many of them are essential gems, including "Boogie Down," "Keep On Truckin'," "Get the Cream Off the Top" and "Shoeshine Boy." The late singer could be quite charismatic, and he brings plenty of charm to the ballad "Skippin' Work Today" and the title song of He's a Friend (which finds Kendricks expressing his Christian beliefs without preaching and/or getting in your face). Though not all of the selections are gems (some are merely decent), this is by far the best Kendricks collection available on CD.

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