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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rick James

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As a singer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and all-around showstopper, Rick James was Prince’s equal in the ‘80s R&B arena. But in contrast to Prince’s unwieldy, sometimes impenetrable discography, James’s work can be neatly summarized in the ten songs included on 20th Century Masters. James was equally adept at writing ineffably catchy funk songs (“Mary Jane”) and dreamy ballads (“Ebony Eyes”). His career straddled — and in many ways, instigated — the shift between the fat, big-band funk of the ‘70s (“Bustin’ Out”) and the programmed, icy funk of the early ‘80s (“Cold Blooded,” “17”). In between, he delivered several dance-floor anthems that belong neither to the ‘70s nor the ‘80s, but fuse elements of funk, disco and boogie, and have therefore become timeless (“Give It To Me Baby,” “You and I”). Of course, the most definitive Rick James song will forever be “Super Freak,” if only because it's the hit that adequately reflects its author’s eccentric-yet-irresistible personality.

Customer Reviews

RIP Rick James

I can't believe all of the great musical artists we have lost in the last two years, Dimebag, Rick James, I mean why could we lose someone as unimportant as 50 cent. I mean he is the worst rapper, especially compared to Tupac and Biggie

I'm Rick James!!!

Rick James is an awesome singer that is just fun to listen to...... hes just got that funny funk that makes you laugh...or dance or whatever!


Rick James was the man long before Dave Chappelle and Charlie Murphy decided to do a skit about him. Rick recorded some of the hotest jams from the 70's and 80's, was pretty much the creater of the Mary Jane Girls, who have plenty of hot tracks themselves. Rick also produced some great music from that generation. It aint all just "Superfreak" and Dave Chapelle kids. Check it out.


Born: February 1, 1948 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

In the late '70s, when the fortunes of Motown Records seemed to be flagging, Rick James came along and rescued the company, providing funky hits that updated the label's style and saw it through into the mid-'80s. Actually, James had been with Motown earlier, though nothing had come of it. After growing up in Buffalo and running away to join the Naval Reserves, he ran away from the Navy to Toronto, where he was in a band with future Buffalo Springfield members Neil Young and Bruce Palmer, and with...
Full Bio
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rick James, Rick James
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Funk
  • Released: Jan 01, 2000

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