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The Ultimate Collection

Rick James

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iTunes Review

More than any other artist, Rick James bridged ‘70s R&B to ‘80s R&B, but that isn’t the only bridge represented in The Ultimate Collection. James also served as a conduit between the rock world and the funk world, and between the black inner city and the mainstream music industry. Save for his 1981 concept-album masterpiece, Street Songs — which must be heard in its entirety, front to back — James was a singles powerhouse. He put his full capabilities into every song, concentrating an album’s worth of weight and urgency into single tracks. “You and I,” “Ghetto Life” and “High On Your Love Suite” are monstrous and muscular, challenging the listener not to get up and move to the music. “Mary Jane” and “Give It to Me Baby” are so extraordinary and perennially fresh that if released to contemporary pop radio they could probably become hits all over again. Of course, the centerpiece of James’ career, and this collection, is “Super Freak,” a song so delightfully bizarre and funny and sexual that thirty years after its release it remains in a category all its own.

Customer Reviews


Seriously, how could anyone ever write a negative review on Rick James? The man didn't need Chapelle's Show to be deemed a legend. To all the haters, I hope the ghost of the Superfreak haunts you at night and burns you with a crackpipe! "See, I never just did things just to do them. Come on, what am I gonna do? Just all of a sudden jump up and grind my feet on somebody's couch like it's something to do? Come on. I got a little more sense then that. Yeah, I remember grinding my feet on Eddie's couch."


If you don't like Rick James's music, you're a tight-ass.


This album has some of the most groovn bass lines EVER! not to metion the amazing vocals, very very very good album


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...
Full Bio

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