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DeBarge: The Definitive Collection

DeBarge

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Album Review

If you could swear you've seen this set of tracks, in this same order, somewhere else, it's because you have. The Definitive Collection, released in 2008, is a re-dressed version of 1997's The Ultimate Collection. The mastering credits for both discs are the same, so there is presumably no difference in the sound. The packaging here is a little more attractive, but unlike the Universal-distributed Gold series, the details in the liner notes are thin: no release dates, no chart information. This set of songs makes for the best DeBarge anthology available, containing not just the DeBarge-the-group Top Ten R&B hits but solo hits for El, Bunny, and Chico, as well as some deeper cuts, like the single edit of 1982's "Stop! Don't Tease Me" (grade B-plus boogie that deserved better) and "Stay with Me" (a gorgeous album cut, the basis of Ashanti's "Foolish"). Chronologically, the set ends with Bunny's singles from her 1987 solo album. Altogether a compulsory component of anyone's '80s R&B collection.

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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DeBarge: The Definitive Collection, DeBarge
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