PATTI LABELLE: You Are My Friend … The Ballads (Label: SPV Blue)

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PATTI LABELLE: You Are My Friend ... The Ballads

The German SPV label is currently doing a great job reissuing some classic soul sets – and this 13 tracker is one of their best. The collection was originally put together in 1997 by the Sony label when the compiler cherry picked a knee-trembling baker’s dozen from the various albums Ms Patti cut in the 70s – solo and with Labelle. The original album’s long been deleted and though the singer’s many fans will probably have all the cuts on their source LPs, when you hear old favourites presented in a new context it really does throw new light onto them and, more, between them, the cuts prove (if proof were indeed needed) that the singer, born Patricia Holt, is one of THE truly great soul divas. Her performances on songs like ‘Come What May’, ‘You Are My Friend’, ‘Little Girls’ and ‘I Don’t Go Shopping’ are truly spine-tingling and define what soul is all about. I know that some critics jibe at the lady’s mannerist and over-the top tendencies but when pure emotion takes control (as it does here) there’s no telling where it might end. Patti Labelle is all about passion – and here’s an excellent way to acquaint yourself with it… but beware – prepare for some spine-tingling moments.
(BB) 4/5