DIONNE WARWICK: The Love Collection (Label: Sony BMG)

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DIONNE WARWICK: The Love Collection

Every home should have a Dionne Warwick compilation and God knows there’s enough out there to choose from. This latest 20 tracker is as good – and in many ways better – than most that are already available. There are a couple of reasons for this. First – the set is aimed directly at the Valentine’s Day/red heart/ bouquet of flowers market. So each and every one of the cuts says something about that most elusive yet most appealing of human emotions, and though you’ve heard all the songs a million times before the lovely lady from New Jersey made them special when she recorded them and that special, fragile magic remains. Secondly, unlike lots of previous Warwick collections this one is a fairly comprehensive sweep – taking in not just her Wand/Scepter glory days but visiting lots of her later high spots. There are plenty of collaborations too – notably the oft-neglected ‘Love Power’ with Jeffrey Osborne and ‘I Don’t Need Another Lover’ with the Spinners. Good too, to have the Isaac Hayes-penned ‘Déjà Vu’ included – you don’t get that on too many other collections, while wherever soul fans meet the argument rages about whether Dionne’s version of ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ is better than Aretha’s. It’s all academic of course – both are excellent – as is each and every cut on this lovely collection.
(BB) 5/5