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Epiphany - The Best of Chaka Khan, Vol. 1

Chaka Khan

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Album Review

Chaka Khan's career through the 1996 release of Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Vol. 1 — involving eight albums with Rufus and eight solo albums, along with assorted collaborations — produced roughly 40 Top 40 R&B singles, not to mention dozens of undervalued album cuts. So it is clear that any one-disc attempt at wrapping up the highlights is bound to work more like a sampler than a true best-of. And though this release is given the "Vol. 1" tag, it remained without a sequel as late as 2005, when Reprise reissued it without altering the contents. Yet another frustration is that previously unreleased songs take the place of missing classics like "Sweet Thing," "Clouds," "Fate," "Close the Door," and "Stay." (That's just for starters.) Nonetheless, the disc does contain Khan's most popular work, from ballads like "Through the Fire" to anthems like "I'm Every Woman" and "Ain't Nobody," along with other radio staples, such as "I Feel for You" and "Tell Me Something Good." At the absolute least, Khan deserves a solo-only best-of, as well as a disc that sticks strictly to her work with Rufus. (The Very Best of Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, the only anthology dedicated to Rufus, has its own set of issues.)

Biography

Born: 23 March 1953 in Great Lakes, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known in the mainstream for her superb 1984 cover of Prince's "I Feel for You," R&B singer Chaka Khan enjoyed solo success as well as popularity as a member of the group Rufus. Born Yvette Marie Stevens in Great Lakes, IL, on March 23, 1953, she was raised on Chicago's South Side, and at the age of 11 formed her first group, the Crystalettes. While still in high school, she joined the Afro-Arts Theater, a group which toured with Motown great Mary Wells; a few years later, she adopted the...
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