Complete Atlantic Singles Plus [Remastered]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Atlantic Records must have felt conflicted when they signed the Sweet Inspirations to a record deal in 1967. On one hand, the group was clearly one of the finest female vocal groups (arguably the finest) in the history of R&B, featuring four outstanding singers who could dazzle individually or in harmony. But at the same time, the Sweet Inspirations were in great demand as backing vocalists, having worked magic on sessions for some of Atlantic's biggest stars, including Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, and Esther Phillips, and by making them stars on their own, the label could spoil a formula that had been working well for them. Between 1967 and 1971, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Atlantic Records must have felt conflicted when they signed the Sweet Inspirations to a record deal in 1967. On one hand, the group was clearly one of the finest female vocal groups (arguably the finest) in the history of R&B, featuring four outstanding singers who could dazzle individually or in harmony. But at the same time, the Sweet Inspirations were in great demand as backing vocalists, having worked magic on sessions for some of Atlantic's biggest stars, including Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, and Esther Phillips, and by making them stars on their own, the label could spoil a formula that had been working well for them. Between 1967 and 1971, Atlantic released 17 singles by the Sweet Inspirations, and while several of them fared well on the R&B charts, none of them became major crossover hits or pushed them into true soul stardom, even though they were teamed with some of the best producers and arrangers in the business. If the Sweet Inspirations didn't earn much chart action, it was never a matter of talent or the quality of their product, as confirmed by a listen to The Complete Atlantic Singles Plus, which pulls together the A- and B-sides from those 17 45s, along with four bonus tracks, three seeing their first release here. The Sweet Inspirations -- Cissy Houston (Whitney's mother), Myrna Smith, Estelle Brown, and Sylvia Shemwell, with Ann William replacing Houston in 1969 -- never sound less than expert on any of these 37 tracks, and put a soulful stamp of their own on tracks that were already hits for others, including "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," and "To Love Somebody" (the latter recorded while the Bee Gees looked on in amazement). Atlantic clearly spared no expense on these sessions, with Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin, and Ugene Dozier among the producers and arrangers who worked on this material, and the graceful strut of the music is as much of a pleasure as the fine voices they accompany. The Sweet Inspirations are ultimately better remembered for their work behind the scenes than their recordings as headliners, but these sides make it clear they were four of the finest vocalists birthed by the Southern soul movement of the '60s; this set ignores the gospel sides they recorded for Atlantic, making it less than a definitive overview of their career, but if you're only looking for their soul sessions, this is pure magic, and as good as it gets.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/3/2014
  • Label: Real Gone Music
  • UPC: 848064002635
  • Catalog Number: 400263
  • Sales rank: 36,226

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Sweet Inspirations Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Jerry Butler Composer
Carole King Composer
John Lennon Composer
Paul McCartney Composer
Wilson Pickett Composer
Otis Redding Composer
Gilbert Bécaud Composer
Mort Shuman Composer
Burt Bacharach Composer
Wade Marcus Arranger
Nick Ashford Composer
Roland Chambers Arranger, Composer
Tommy Cogbill Producer
Hal David Composer
Ugene Dozier Producer
Lamont Dozier Composer
Tom Dowd Producer, Engineer, Horn Arrangements
Kenny Gamble Composer
Howard Greenfield Composer
Isaac Hayes Composer
Leon Huff Composer
Arif Mardin String Arrangements
Chips Moman Composer
Alex North Composer
Doc Pomus Composer
David Porter Composer
Brad Shapiro Producer
Joe Tarsia Engineer
Jerry Wexler Composer, Producer
Hy Zaret Composer
David Nathan Producer, Liner Notes
Shapiro Composer
Dave Crawford Producer
Gordon Anderson Executive Producer
Bobby Martin Arranger
Roger Williams Artwork
Mike Milchner Remastering
Dave Moyssiadis Engineer
Mann Curtis Composer
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