20th Century Masters: The Best Of Patti LaBelle (Millennium Collection)


CDPossessed of one of pop music’s great voices, Patti Labelle has done the girl-group thing with the Bluebells, and thrown down the full-on funk with LaBelle. Her solo career found LaBelle trying on both up-tempo dance hits and classy soul ballads. This short set is from her latter period, reflecting such triumphs as “On My Own,” her duet with Doobie Brother Michael McDonald that was a No. 1 pop hit, and the touchingly compassionate “Oh People.” “New Attitude” and “Stir It Up,” her R&B hits from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack now sound dated because of the ’80s-specific production touches, but other songs–“When You Talk About Love” and “When You’ve Been Blessed”–show off her dynamic voice to good advantage. This set is not quite the equal of 1996’s Greatest Hits, but it has a lot to recommend it nonetheless. –Daniel Durchholz

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