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The Ultimate Collection

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Formed: 1978 in Grand Rapids, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s

Groomed to be the heirs to the Jackson 5 throne in the early '80s, DeBarge mirrored the Jacksons early success with a string of hits, but were unable to sustain their winning streak beyond the mid-'80s. Formed in 1978, the Grand Rapids, Michigan quintet was comprised of four brothers and one sister: Eldra, Mark, James, Randy, and Bunny. The group signed with the same label that the Jacksons started with, Motown (via the Gordy subsidiary), courtesy of older brothers Tommy and Bobby (who were members...
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The Ultimate Collection, DeBarge
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