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The Legend of the Chi-Lites

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Album Review

This CD has an identical track listing to the Kent vinyl LP, also titled The Best of the Chi-Lites, that came out in the late '80s. The only difference is a new cover and updated (and comprehensive) liner notes by Tony Rounce. As for whether you should buy this if you want to pick up a Chi-Lites best-of, it's so close in content to a couple of previous Chi-Lites anthologies that it probably gets down to which package happens to be most convenient to obtain. This particular greatest-hits comp replicates almost exactly the tracks chosen for Brunswick's 2001 collection 20 Greatest Hits, and is also quite similar (though not as similar) to Rhino's Greatest Hits, though you might have an easier time finding the Kent anthology in the U.K., since it's a British release. If this does end up being the best-of you get, it certainly serves the Chi-Lites' legacy well, including all of their notable chart entries. Many of the tracks remain landmarks of smooth '70s harmony soul, though some listeners might be surprised to hear some tougher Temptations-influenced soul-funk on some early sides, like "I Like Your Lovin' (Do You Like Mine)," "Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)," and "(For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People."

Biography

Formed: 1959 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '10s

One of the most popular smooth soul groups of the early '70s didn't hail from Philadelphia or Memphis, the two cities known for sweet, string-laden soul. Instead, the Chi-Lites were from Chicago, a town better known for its gritty urban blues and driving R&B. Led by vocalist Eugene Record, the Chi-Lites had a lush, creamy sound distinguished by their four-part harmonies and layered productions. During the early '70s, they racked up 11 Top Ten R&B singles, ranging from the romantic ballads "Have You...
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