Classic R&BAny compilation album that starts with Aretha Franklin’s 1967 megahit “Respect” (written by the legendary Otis Redding) deserves a healthy dose of… well, respect. In honor of Grammy’s 50th Anniversary, Shout! Factory is releasing a series of cds under the title Ultimate Grammy Collection. This specific title features Classic R&B songs, covering almost 20 years of music from 1967 to 1985.

The aforementioned Otis Redding is featured with his 1968 double Grammy winning tune “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay.” Like the majority of the songs on this album, it needs no introduction and no further information. Similar early tracks on the album include Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” and The Isley Brother’s “It’s Your Thing.” These are immortal musical performances that still pack the punch they did almost four decades ago.

While every track on here is a winner (literally, this is a collection of Grammy winners) some stand out more than others. Besides the first four mentioned above, “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & The Pips and Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” stand out from the rest. But Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” is a showstopper no matter where you place it. Even among a cadre of other hits it stands out, and puts the blues back in rhythm and blues.

A complete track listing is available at the link below, but this is the type of album that spruces up any mix cd, Itunes shuffle, or general music mix. The songs can be played in order to follow the slow evolution of R&B from the late ’60s to the mid-’80s, or they can be shuffled in with other tracks to provide a solid base of well-known music.

Zach’s Rating: A-
Perfect For: Some of the best tracks in music history
Stay Away if: You already own these tracks

To purchase Ultimate Grammy Collection: Classic R&B, visit Amazon
For more information and a track lising, visit The Ultimate Grammy Collection’s homepage
For Zach Freeman’s review of Ultimate Grammy Collection: Classic Country, visit BloggerNews
For Zach Freeman’s review of Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary Country, visit BloggerNews
For Zach Freeman’s review of Ultimate Grammy Collection: Classic Pop, visit BloggerNews
For Zach Freeman’s review of Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary Pop, visit BloggerNews
For Zach Freeman’s review of Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary R&B, visit BloggerNews

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