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The Best of the Buddah Years

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Album Review

Barbara Mason's Buddha years spanned from 1971 to 1975 and represented a growth period from a wet-eyed soprano to a mature, throaty-singing, bodacious woman. While not as arresting to some as her teary breakout Artic Records sides, these were stellar waxings by a talented singer who had a unique way of phrasing lyrics, and who never hesitated to reveal the fragility of her mental being or often-bruised heart. The 14 tracks include an update of "Yes I'm Ready," complete with monologue, the scandalous (for the times) "Shackin' Up," and a bourbon/gin special "You Can Be With the One You Don't Love" that will have you reaching for a bottle. There's a fair share of he-say, she-say dramas: "Betty Crutcher" and Lester Snell's "From His Woman to You," Norma Toney's "So He Is Yours Now," a long salty version of Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" (revised as "Me and Mr. Jones"), and Mason's self-written dilemma, "Caught in the Middle."

Biography

Born: 09 August 1947 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

An interesting minor soul performer, Barbara Mason initially focused on songwriting when she entered the music business in her teens. As a performer, though, she had a huge hit in 1965 with her self-penned "Yes, I'm Ready" (number five pop, number two R&B), a fetching soul-pop confection that spotlighted her high, girlish vocals. One of the first examples of the sweet, lush sound that came to be called Philly soul, she...
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The Best of the Buddah Years, Barbara Mason
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