Yet another outstanding collection of one of my all-time fav
Paul Tognetti | Cranston, RI USA | 08/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"They were a significant force in American popular music for nearly three decades. Over the course of their storied career Gladys Knight and the Pips would master a variety of genres and experience a remarkable degree of chart success. Over the years there have been any number of fine compilations of the music of this legendary group. Now in 2007, Sony/Buddah has released "Love Will Find It's Own Way: The Best of Gladys Knight and the Pips". This is a terrific collection that is sure to be embraced by both long-time fans like myself and those uninitiated folks who are curious to learn just what made this group so darn special.
Count 'em. During their remarkable run Gladys Knight and the Pips hit the Billboard Hot 100 Pop charts a total of 40 times. Over the years the group would amass an impressive total of seven Top Ten Hits. You will find all of the groups big hits included on this disc. It all began in 1961 with the #9 hit "Every Beat Of My Heart" on Chicago's Vee-Jay label. Later that same year "Letter Full of Tears" would make some noise nationally on the tiny Fury label. Both of these early chart offerings are included in this collection. Those who are old enough to remember the groups Motown years from 1967 through 1973 are sure to fondly recall such classic tunes as "If I Were Your Woman", "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)", the rollicking "Friendship Train" as well as the groups first really big hit record at Motown which was the original version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" from the Fall of 1967. In all a total of a half dozen of the groups Motown hits appear here.
Now there certainly were a lot of raised eyebrows in 1973 when Gladys Knight and the Pips announced that they were leaving the comfortable confines of Motown and moving on to Buddah Records. To many people this seemed like a very bad idea. Buddah was best known as the home of late 60's bubblegum music that featured the likes of Ohio Express and the 1910 Fruitgum Co. 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". A new team of writers and producers had come up with a brand new sound for the group and the public loved it. Aside from those big hits "Love Will Find It's Own Way: The Best of Gladys Knight and the Pips" also includes Glady's stunning medley "The Way We Were/Try To Remember". What a tremendous vocal performance! Also included is the group's fine 1975 hit "Part Time Love". Finally, you can sample a pair of tunes from the group's years at Columbia records. "Save The Overtime (For Me)" and "Hero" a/k/a "Wind Beneath My Wings" were really not bad records but the group just never seemed to click at Columbia. Perhaps the label just didn't know what to do with them or maybe time had finally passed them by.
Just in case you were wondering, I am pleased to report that all of the tunes on "Love Will Find It's Way: The Best of Gladys Knight and the Pips" are the original hit single recordings that you would remember from the radio. The re-mastering job is outstanding and the package includes a neat fold out booklet for your perusal. So is this the best Gladys Knight collection?? I don't think I am prepared to go that far. I guess it all depends on just what you are looking for. But for most folks "Love Will Find A Way: The Best of Gladys Knight and the Pips" would be an outstanding choice. Highly recommended!