While there is a domestic two-CD package available of the best of the late Minnie Riperton
's work that pretty much captures every single and hit, this entry in Capitol Nippon's Free Soul
series does a better job in some ways on a single disc. While it is unusual for the Free Soul
series to focus on a single artist, Riperton
is rightfully an exception to that rule as she stood -- no, towered -- over virtually every other artist in her class with the possible exception of Dusty Springfield
, who is now, sadly, also gone. The track list here, 19 in all, features more than a fair share of hits such as "Simple Things," "Lovin' You," "The Edge of a Dream," "Could It Be I'm in Love," "Don't Let Anyone Bring You Down," etc. But in addition to these more well-known cuts, this set goes to the albums themselves for tracks that had been overlooked because they either weren't released as singles or ended up as B-sides, such as "Inside My Love," "Take a Trip," "Perfect Angel," "Feelin' That Your Feelin's Right," and many others. What emerges is a well-rounded portrait of Riperton
's considerable gifts, not only as a vocalist but as an interpreter and as an artist who controlled her environment in the recording studio. There isn't a thing here that doesn't ring true as hers. There are a good many Riperton
collections out there, but this is the first one to adequately gauge the depth and breadth of the artist.