Lean on Me: The Best of Bill Withers

Lean on Me: The Best of Bill Withers

5.0 7
by Bill Withers
     
 

Despite the abrupt end of his brilliant recording career in 1985, Bill Withers's legacy lives on. Since his self-imposed exile, his sentimental and bluesy soul songs have been covered by a wide variety of artists including Club Nouveau ("Lean on Me"), Me'Shell NdégeOcello ("Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?"), Will Smith ("Just the Two of Us"), and Paul… See more details below

Overview

Despite the abrupt end of his brilliant recording career in 1985, Bill Withers's legacy lives on. Since his self-imposed exile, his sentimental and bluesy soul songs have been covered by a wide variety of artists including Club Nouveau ("Lean on Me"), Me'Shell NdégeOcello ("Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?"), Will Smith ("Just the Two of Us"), and Paul McCartney ("Ain't No Sunshine"). The Gap even built a highly successful commercial campaign around his 1977 hit "Lovely Day." What makes this best-of package the quintessential Withers experience, however, is the inclusion of a number of lesser-known songs that show off the song man's R&B, funk, jazz, and folk nuances. Among the highlights are the string-laden "Harlem," the bossa-nova groove of "I Want to Spend the Night," and the brassy soul of "I Wish You Well." In the disc's liner notes, Withers eloquently describes his music: "We all have different rhythms and rhymes. Mine might be slower than one man's and faster than another's. All I know for sure is this: When I'm writing, I'm a conduit. A larger spirit is moving through me. All I can do is be open when that spirit starts to move." Let's just hope that the spirit moves Withers to bless us with his sweet soul music once again.Dave Gil de Rubio

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Eighteen tracks, from the early '70s to the mid-'80s, including his early Top Ten singles, but also minor hits like "Grandma's Hands," "Kissing My Love," and "Lovely Day." Those who admire songs like "Lean on Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine" are advised to approach this best-of with caution; from the mid-'70s onward, Bill Withers forsook his folky singer/songwriter soul for more anonymous, slick MOR soul and urban contemporary. His early sound was far more distinctive, and his early-'70s Sussex albums are recommended alternatives to this compilation.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/30/2000
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646385227
catalogNumber:
63852
Rank:
12585

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Lovely Day  - Bill Withers
  2. I Want to Spend the Night  - Bill Withers
  3. Let Me Be the One You Need  - Bill Withers
  4. Hello Like Before  - Bill Withers
  5. Tender Things  - Bill Withers
  6. I Wish You Well  - Bill Withers
  7. Ain't No Sunshine  - Bill Withers
  8. Grandma's Hands  - Bill Withers
  9. The Same Love That Made Me Laugh  - Bill Withers
  10. Lean on Me  - Bill Withers
  11. Harlem  - Bill Withers
  12. Use Me  - Bill Withers
  13. Who Is He? (And What Is He to You?)  - Bill Withers
  14. You Just Can't Smile It Away  - Bill Withers
  15. Just the Two of Us  - Grover Washington
  16. Steppin' Right Along  - Bill Withers
  17. You Try to Find a Love  - Bill Withers
  18. My Imagination  - Bill Withers

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bill Withers   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Clavinet
Steve Stills   Guitar
Dorothy Ashby   Harp
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion,Conga
David T. Walker   Electric Guitar
Jim Keltner   Drums
Jerry Knight   Bass
Robbie Buchanan   Synthesizer Strings
Dennis Budimir   Acoustic Guitar
Keni Burke   Bass
Charles Veal   Concert Master
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Melvin Dunlap   Bass
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Bass
Chris Ethridge   Bass
Don Freeman   Strings,Voices,Vibes,DX-7
Steve Gadd   Drums
James Gadson   Drums
Eric Gale   Guitar
Louis Johnson   Bass
Booker T. Jones   Percussion
Russ Kunkel   Percussion,Conga,Drums
Edie Lehmann   Background Vocals
Clarence McDonald   Keyboards
Kate Markowitz   Background Vocals
Harvey Mason   Drums
Marcus Miller   Bass
Larry Nash   Keyboards
Melvin "Wah Wah" Ragin   Electric Guitar
Grover Washington   Saxophone
Ernie Watts   Soprano Saxophone,Soloist
Al Jackson   Drums
Bill Eaton   Conductor
Raymond Jackson   Clarinet,Piano,Electric Piano
M.B. Gordy   Tambourine,Tom-Tom,Hi Hat

Technical Credits

Bill Withers   Composer,Producer
Dorothy Ashby   Producer
Ralph MacDonald   Composer,Producer
Richard Alderson   Engineer
Keni Burke   Producer
Ed Cherney   Engineer
Michel Colombier   Producer
Denny Diante   Producer
Melvin Dunlap   Producer
James Gadson   Producer
Mick Guzauski   Engineer
Bill Halverson   Engineer
Booker T. Jones   Arranger,Producer
Bill Lazerus   Engineer
Clarence McDonald   Arranger,Producer
Bob Merritt   Engineer
John Myles   String Arrangements
Larry Nash   Producer,rhythm arrangement
Paul Riser   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
William Salter   Composer
Phil (Boogie) Schier   Engineer
Keith Seppanen   Engineer
Grover Washington   Producer
David Ritz   Liner Notes
David Nathan   Liner Notes
William Becton   Composer
Tony Sellari   Art Direction
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Bill Eaton   Arranger
Raymond Jackson   Producer,String Arrangements
M.B. Gordy   Simmons

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