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Essential Collection
Gladys Knight & Pips
Essential Collection
Genres: Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

While Gladys Knight and the Pips spent large portions of the '60s, '70s, and '80s on the charts, this smart CD is the first attempt to compile high points of their tenures at various labels (Motown subsidiary Buddah, Colum...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Gladys Knight & Pips
Title: Essential Collection
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Hip-O Records
Original Release Date: 9/28/1999
Release Date: 9/28/1999
Genres: Pop, R&B
Styles: Classic R&B, Motown, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731454502924, 731454502948

While Gladys Knight and the Pips spent large portions of the '60s, '70s, and '80s on the charts, this smart CD is the first attempt to compile high points of their tenures at various labels (Motown subsidiary Buddah, Columbia, MCA). While Knight proved equally at home with smokin' church-bred R&B (the original "I Heard It Through the Grapevine") and uptown pop (an unfortunate medley of "Try to Remember" and "The Way We Were"), she was most effective on plainspoken tales of everyday people. That's the reason "Grapevine," "Midnight Train to Georgia," "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," and "Save the Overtime for Me," recorded over a 15-year span, sound so much of a piece. --Rickey Wright

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CD Reviews

Only Collection To Cover All Of Their Labels
James E. Bagley | Sanatoga, PA USA | 10/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Gladys Knight and the Pips are one of the most successful groups in R & B history. Gladys' ultrasoulful voice was a nice blend of southern warmth and fiery gospel, while the Pips provided tuneful backup that contained plenty of character. They recorded for several labels over the years and this 18-track collection includes samples from all of them.This chronological retrospective leads off with 1961's "Every Beat Of My Heart" (versions of which charted on both Vee-Jay and Fury) and its follow-up on Fury "Letter Full Of Tears" (written by the great Don Covay). A move to the Maxx label resulted in 1964's enclosed minor hit "Giving Up" (written by future disco star Van McCoy). At this point Gladys & the Pips were major stars on the chitlin circuit, but mainstream success eluded them until they joined Motown in 1966. The collection includes six of their biggest Motown hits, such as the frenetic original version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" and the lovely ballads "If I Were Your Woman" and "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)." In spite of their successes at Motown, Gladys and the Pips always felt like second-class citizens there (Miss Ross of course always got preferential treatment) and moved over to Buddah in early 1973 when their Motown contract was up. It was at Buddah that they made their most memorable music and this set includes (again) six of their biggest hits there, among them their signature song "Midnight Train To Georgia," the funky barnburner "On And On" (from the film Claudine) and an effective live version of "The Way We Were" teamed with "Try To Remember." A jump to Columbia in 1979 resulted in a lot less hits than their tenures at Motown and Buddah reaped, but there were a few great moments, such as the enclosed Grammy winner "Save The Overtime For Me" and a version of "Hero (Wind Beneath My Wings)" that remains definitive. This collection then closes with Gladys & the Pips' last number one r & b hit - another Grammy winner - the call & response funkster "Love Overboard" on MCA from 1987. Since then, Gladys has remained at MCA and has occasionally put out solo albums that have been critically successful (although not big sellers).While this collection is the only one available to contain hits from all of Gladys & the Pips labels, there are quite a few major hits that were left off. They include the haunting r & b # 1 "Part Time Love" and the joyful "Make Yours A Happy Home" from the Buddah years as well the bopper "Landlord" from the Columbia years. These hits can be found on the 17-track Soul Survivors collection that concentrates on Gladys & the Pips' biggest hits between 1973 and 1988. To get all of the Motown hits, I suggest you check out The Ultimate Collection."
"one of the most beloved groups of our time:
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 07/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Hip-O Records have released a compilation to end all compilations, spanning almost 30 years in music from 1961 to 1987, every conceivable hit from Gladys Knight & The Pips is inclusive. This soulful, funk and doo-wop artist has touched our hearts over the years in music, with a deep creative devotion to lyric and message. Knight has the edge over todays artist such as Mariah and Whitney, with such sincerity and heartfelt warmth through each song and performance.Each selection is a gem on its own merit - "EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART" the opening track - "LOVE OVERBOARD" the closing track. Highlight though, is "HERO (WIND BENEATH MY WINGS)" prefer this over the Bette Midler version, Gladys seems to tribute The Pips, with lyrics like "you always walked a step behind".Must have for all fans of music that jammed over three decades and pioneered the sound of today - Gladys Knight & The Pips is the - ESSENTIAL COLLECTION for you!Total Time: 66:35 on 18 Tracks/ Hip-O Records - 314 545 029 2 (1999)"
A slam dunk! Clearly the best collection available for all
Paul Tognetti | Cranston, RI USA | 01/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I don't know how I missed this one (it was issued in 1999) but I happened upon this collection for the very first time today at a local bookstore. It is almost the collection I have been waiting for for yaars. "In "Essential Collection" Hip-O Records has assembled the most comprehensive collection to date of of the hit singles of this legendary group.
Not only has Hip-O included the groups first big hit "Every Beat of My Heart" from 1961 but they have also managed to add the extremely hard-to-find "Letter Full of Tears" from later that same year. And as one might expect, nearly all of the groups biggest records from their highly successful stint at Motown are also included. Enjoy once again great tunes like "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" (I have always preferred it to the Marvin Gaye version), the 1970 smash "If I Were Your Woman", "Friendship Train" and the haunting "Neither One of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)" from 1973. As another reviewer has duly noted among the tunes that were not included on this disc are "The Nitty Gritty" and "The End of Our Road". There were a lot of raised eyebrows when in 1973 GLadys Knight and the Pips announced they were leaving the comfortable digs of Motown Records and moving on to Buddah Records. It seemed like a bad fit. Buddah had been the home of late 60's bubblegum music. But Gladys apparently knew what she was doing because after their arrival at Buddah the group reeled off 4 consecutive Top Ten hits including "Midnight Train To Georgia", "I've Got To Use My Imagination", "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" and "On and On". It was a brand new sound for the group and the public loved it. Aside from those big hits "Essential Collection" also includes Glady's stunning medley "The Way We Were/Try To Remember". Glady's performance on that number proved just how versatile a singer she really was.
As the 70's progressed the group seemed to run out of gas and disappeared for a few years. They resurfaced at Columbia Records in 1983 and managed some moderate success on the R&B charts with tunes like "Save The Overtime (For Me)" and "Hero".
Both of those tunes are included here as well. Just when it seemed that Gladys Knight and the Pips has vanished from the scene forever they emerged on MCA in 1988 with an unexpected hit "Love Overboard". What a great record! A lot of people agreed because "Love Overboard" won a Grammy award for best R&B tune of the year. My wife and I had the great good fortune to see Gladys Knight and the Pips perform in 1989. At that point they had been performing together for over 3 decades. What a memorable show!
"Essential Collection" is the one and only anthology of Gladys Knight and the Pips" that includes the groups work for 6 different labels. While it would have been nice if this collection included 24 tracks instead of 18 you will not find a better representation of the work of this extremely talented group. It really should be regarded as "essential". Highly recommended!"