DeBarge

The Ultimate Collection

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The most in-depth collection of the group's work available, DeBarge's Ultimate Collection gathers 16 of the group's biggest hits from the early and mid-'80s. The compilation includes milestone singles such as "Love Me in a Special Way," "Who's Holding Donna Now?," "Who's Johnny?," and a dance remix of "Rhythm of the Night"; it would've been nice if the album also included the original version. The group's slightly less-definitive tracks reveal them to be equally adept at lively, upbeat pop like "You Wear It Well," sweet ballads such as "A Dream," and surprisingly funk- and soul-tinged turns like "Stop! Don't Tease Me" and "I Like It." Latter-day singles such as "Save the Best for Me (Best of Your Lovin')" and "Dance All Night" round out the album nicely; though they don't have the impact of the group's work with El DeBarge, including them gives Ultimate Collection a feeling of closure and completion. Fans who want more than a just-the-hits compilation like 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection should be satisfied by this well-crafted retrospective.

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