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Barry White: Gold

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Album Review

Gold follows a handful of major Barry White compilations released since the '70s, including Casablanca's two-volume Greatest Hits (released in 1975 and 1981, then on CD), the three-disc 1992 box set Just for You, 1995's All-Time Greatest Hits, and 2002's two-disc The Ultimate Collection. Many of the sets in Hip-O/Universal's Gold series amount to reissues of two-disc anthologies released during the early 2000s through labels distributed by Universal, and this one is not an exception — it's exactly like The Ultimate Collection, albeit with different visual presentation. As any Barry White fan would be quick to tell you, White was so much more than a large, oversexed, deep-voiced novelty. He was a tremendously prolific and gifted songwriter, arranger, and producer. Even without all the albums released under his own name, he'd have quite a legacy with Love Unlimited and the Love Unlimited Orchestra, not to mention his stint in A&R and behind the scenes work with Gene Page, Gloria Scott, Danny Pearson, and Webster Lewis. Gold includes five Love Unlimited Orchestra tracks — the big guns, like the number one pop single "Love's Theme" and the number one club single "My Suite Summer Suite," as well as the pleasant surprise of "Midnight and You" — but otherwise concentrates on Barry White's solo-in-name releases, ranging from 1973's "I'm Gonna Love You, Just a Little More Baby" (number one R&B, number three pop) to 1979's "It Ain't Love, Babe (Until You Give It)" before picking back up with 1987's "Sho' You Right." (White released albums during the intervening years that are not represented, and Universal would've had to license roughly ten charting singles from them to be thorough). The extensive back catalog of his other ventures could use a whole lot of love, but Gold offers about as much lush and exquisitely arranged soul music as one could hope to get in two and a half hours.


Born: 12 September 1944 in Galveston, TX

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

Say the name Barry White and you'd be hard pressed to follow it with the name of any other recording artist with such a huge, cross-sectional following. He was at home appearing on Soul Train, guesting with a full band on The Today Show, and appearing in cartoon form in various episodes of The Simpsons. During the '70s, Dinah Shore devoted a full hour of her daily syndicated Dinah! show to White. While there was a period where Barry White wasn't releasing records or making the pop charts, he did...
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Barry White: Gold, Barry White
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