Christine N. from GAINESVILLE, VA Reviewed on 9/7/2006...
still in shrink wrap!
Pop diva's finest moments
John Jones | Chicago IL | 07/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since her 1988 debut release, Vanessa Williams has released a wealth of strong and sweet pop/soul music, and this collection offers us the highlights of her cache. Earlier, dancier material like "The Right Stuff" and "Running Back to You" recall a lighter, less-hardcore period of R&B, while the slick ballad "Dreamin" and the lush midtempo jam "The Comfort Zone" represent mellow soul at its finest. Her monumental, across-the-boards smash "Save the Best for Last" is still elegant and endearing, and the Bossa Nova/flamenco stylings of the Babyface-produced "Betcha Never" sound better with each listen. The collection is essential even if you have all of William's solo efforts, as it features her memorable contributions to other projects. "Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly" (from the "Ain't Nuthin But a She Thing" compilation and featuring Me'shell N'degeocello) is a jazzy revelation, and "Where Do We Go From Here" (from her film "Eraser") is a grand, symphonic pop affair. Then there's the lovely duet with Brian McKnight, "Love Is" (surprisingly strong for a cut from a "90210" soundtrack), but Vanessa truly saves the best for last with a slick cover of Bobby Caldwell's "My Flame," recorded especially for this collection. As always with Williams, a tasteful arrangement and honey-dipped vocal make for a superior pop moment. All in all this compilation is a testament to the warmth of Vanessa's voice as well as her knack for selecting top-notch songs. With material like this, the title "The First Ten Years" is by no means a presumptuous statement."
Excellent talent that continues to stand the test of time
Lawrence Ferguson | 12/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By now we all know the Vanessa Williams story. Those of us that follow music can acknowledge that it is hard to keep up with the times and still hold tight to your passions. Vanessa has such a talent of both acting and singing. Her first album was the Right Stuff in 1988 and since then she has the determination to continue and grow. Her greatest hits is not what most people would expect. Vanessa is in the ranks of Streisand and Bette. Vanessa has a style and elegance about her music and is not so hip-hop stereotyped. She is more than beauty...she has a talent that backs her. Besides.....there aren't many Miss America's that you can remember that have gone beyond the Contest and survived. I strongly encourage those out there to add this to your music collection,you won't regret it!"
A. R SCOTT | Houston, Texas | 09/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like all of Vanessa's music and I enjoy this album. If you are a Vanessa Williams fan then you would definitely enjoy this album. Because it contains some of her best work. But, this album doesn't do Vanessa any Jusice because it is missing a lot of her best work. But, above all I like it and I enjoy it because it is a great album and she sings well. It contains a lot of good songs that I like but it needs a lot more to complete but maybe one day they will re-release her greatest hits and do a better job . But, it is still a great album and a must have for any Vanessa Williams fan."
A good starting point, but it doesn't tell the whole story!
J. Lund | SoCal, USA | 07/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For most potential purchasers--those who wish to own one Vanessa Williams album with her most famous performances--this collection will serve that purpose adequately. Such hit ballads as SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST, THE SWEETEST DAYS, DREAMIN', LOVE IS, and COLORS OF THE WIND are included, as are such popular dance tracks such as THE RIGHT STUFF, THE COMFORT ZONE, and RUNNING BACK TO YOU. However, there's more to Vanessa's career than winning popularity contests, whether it be for beauty or for topping the BILLBOARD pop charts. For me, the ideal Vanessa anthology would be two discs. That allows enough space to go beyond the hits and expose some very intriguing tracks that didn't get issued as singles. There's her jazzy doo-bop Ella tribute ELLAMENTAL, her fine cover of Sting's SISTER MOON (with the composer on backing vocals!), the nightclub jazz vibe of WHAT WILL I TELL MY HEART?, such overlooked dance tracks as HAPPINESS and YOU GOT THE LOOK, and such quality non-album cuts as ALFIE, LOVE LIKE THIS, and the super dope remix of WORK TO DO. Beyond the hits, Vanessa took some subtle yet significant strides by placing her attractive vocal talents into areas to the left of the pop and r&b/soul mainstream. Excepting her cover version of Flora Purim's OPEN YOUR EYES (with Me'Shell Ndegeocello), that chance-taking is missing from this CD. Perhaps that's excusable given the disc's title...it lives up to its name, no more and no less."
"Greatest Hits..." is somewhat lacking
D.T. | Washington, DC USA | 07/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sure, Vanessa may not the biggest diva out there, but one cannot deny is that Vanessa has proven through out the years that she has talent! She's on Broadway, doing films and commercials, but the one thing that helped to propel to her superstar status is her beautiful voice. "Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years" tries and almost succeeds in recapping Williams' first ten years of her recording career.
The album includes her chart topping hits like "Dreamin'", "The Right Stuff" & of course "Save The Best for Last." Every track on the album is a great representation of Williams' career and that she can really sing, but it also fails to be a complete set. With the album only having twelve of Williams' hits & then "My Flame" a bonus track (which became a hit), this discs makes this collection fall short. There could be been more representation on this compilation from her last studio album "Next", like her smash dance floor hit "Happiness." Also, her top 40 hit "Just For Tonight" from her album "The Comfort Zone" should of been included on this set. This set doesn't do but much justice for showing Williams did start out as a dance artist before switching up and becoming more ballad oriented. The collection should of been more chronological as well and the linear notes could of easily been better than what fans and novices are provided.
Not to seem too negative, the album also includes the tune "My Flame", a smoldering piece of R&B, to this day that's played often on the local urban and jazz stations and the gem "Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly." The songs that are on this compilation are top-rate and it is good to see all of them on one CD.
Even with the album lacking some tracks, the album is a great starter for a person that is just been enlightened about Vanessa, but I suggest that you go through the other albums and you'll see the masterpieces that were meant to be on this album. Or one could import "The Very Best of Vanessa Williams" which does a better job at taking a look at her career before moving on to Lava Records."