... is not so "ultimate"
John O'Neill | Alpharetta, GA | 09/30/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While "Ultimate Collection" finally gives us a compilation that includes "Loving Blind" and "Where are You Now", two classic Black tracks that for some bizarre reason didn't make either Greatest Hits (1996) or Greatest Hits II (2001), the "Ultimate Collection" omits too many key numbers and, with GH and GH II still in print, seems kind of unecessary. Of course the best way to go is to pick up all eight original releases (if you include the excellent "Looking for Christmas") but if your "Black budget" is restricted then I'd recommend springing for the 32 tracks on GH I & II over this latest compilation (which contains 20 tracks). A fair number of must have tracks from the two GH packages aren't included here including "Burn One Down", "Put Yourself in My Shoes" (and the alternate "blues" version found on GH II), "Life Gets Away", "No Time To Kill", the beautiful Black/Lisa Hartman Black duet "When I Said I Do", "One More Payment", "Nothing's News" and the '01 GH II only "Money or Love". You really can't argue about any of the tracks here - winners all - but there's just too much missing if a compilation is all you're interested in. And following hot on the heals of GH II - there's been no release of new material in the interim - I just have to question the need. It seems like a last ditch effort by Black's old label to cash in on his back catalog now that he has formed his own label, "Equity Records". Five stars for the material that IS present... but minus two for what's NOT!"