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Feel the Fire - The 20th Century Collection

Stephanie Mills

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Album Review

What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’? (1979), Sweet Sensation (1980), and Stephanie (1981) didn’t appear on CD until a 2008/2009 Universal Japan program. On Feel the Fire: The 20th Century Collection, they’re finally given wider recognition and distribution, anthologized in full with the addition of five mostly essential 12” versions. This represents Stephanie Mills' artistic peak. For all three albums, the singer worked extensively with producers James Mtume and Reggie Lucas, who transitioned from jazz firebrands into sought-after R&B collaborators once they wrote “The Closer I Get to You,” a Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway duet that topped Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart in early 1978. Each one of these albums crossed into the Top 30 of the Billboard 200, propelled by the breezy, fully ornamented disco-soul of “What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’?,” “Sweet Sensation,” “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” and the Teddy Pendergrass duet “Two Hearts,” as well as the proto-Hi NRG stomper “You Can Get Over” and the synthesizer-bass-anchored club hit “Put Your Body in It.” The albums don’t merely hold up; they hang together. Mtume and Lucas brought their instrumental skills and utilized their core studio unit — keyboardist Hubert Eaves, drummer Howard King, bassist Basil Fearrington, guitarist Ed Moore, and vocalist/arranger Tawatha Agee, among others — throughout the sessions, making the albums play out like a true, unified trilogy. This set is essential for any lover of late-‘70s/early-‘80s R&B. Stephanie Mills was in the top tier, while Mtume and Lucas were heavyweights, wholly deserving of being mentioned in the same breath as the Chic Organization's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, their more popular contemporaries.

Customer Reviews

Stephanie

She can do no wrong.
I have them all on vinyl already, but I will buy this cd,too
M

Timeless.

The world needs more of Stephanie Mills. With every passing year, her music matures like. Good wine.

Biography

Born: 22 March 1957 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

Stephanie Mills first came to fame as "the little girl with the big voice" as the star of the hit Broadway play, The Wiz, an adaptation of L. Frank Baum's classic book, The Wizard of Oz. She had many R&B hits such as "I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love," "I Feel Good All Over," "(You're Puttin') A Rush on Me," "Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel)," and "Home," along with one certified, million-selling single, "Never Knew Love Like This...
Full bio
Feel the Fire - The 20th Century Collection, Stephanie Mills
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