Menagerie [Bonus Tracks]

Menagerie [Bonus Tracks]

by Bill Withers
     
 

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Following the twin peaks of Still Bill and Live at Carnegie Hall in the early '70s, Bill Withers had a little trouble sustaining his peak of creativity, along with his chart positions. He still made good music and had hits, but had trouble delivering a consistent album that brought him back to the heights of hisSee more details below

Overview

Following the twin peaks of Still Bill and Live at Carnegie Hall in the early '70s, Bill Withers had a little trouble sustaining his peak of creativity, along with his chart positions. He still made good music and had hits, but had trouble delivering a consistent album that brought him back to the heights of his Sussex work. Finally, in 1977, he delivered Menagerie, an assured return to form by one of soul's greatest singer/songwriters of the '70s. If Menagerie doesn't have the earthiness or consistent brilliance of Still Bill, it nevertheless has a solid set of songs and an easy, relaxed charm that is thoroughly winning. Where his Sussex material was slyly eclectic, touching on a number of different styles, this album is more cohesive, a smooth album that points the way toward quiet storm while retaining a warm soulfulness, largely due to Withers' wonderful voice. Even when the tempo gets sprightly, as on "Lovely Night for Dancing," there's a relaxed vibe and a nice sheen to the production that keeps things even-handed and easy. As such, those listeners who preferred the darker undercurrents that ran through such songs as "Use Me" and "Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?" may find this a little too amiable, but that's just a matter of taste -- this is an easy record to like, after all, with a consistent tone and a soothing vibe, plus a good set of songs. If it's not as distinctive as his Sussex records, it's nevertheless an undeniable high point in his catalog. [The 2003 reissue contains three bonus tracks: a previously unreleased demo of "Rosie," a single version of "Lovely Night for Dancing," and an instrumental of "Let Me Be the One You Need."]

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/01/2008
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886972479125
catalogNumber:
724791
Rank:
38742

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bill Withers   Primary Artist,Guitar,Keyboards
Clifford Coulter   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Soloist
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion
Jerry Knight   Bass,Bass Guitar
Keni Burke   Bass,Bass Guitar
Charles Veal   Concert Master
Dean Grant   Keyboards
Hodges, James & Smith   Background Vocals
Russ Kunkel   Conga,Drums,Shaker
Clarence McDonald   Keyboards
Ray Parker   Guitar
Mike Jones   Synthesizer
Alvin Taylor   Drums
Ralph McDonald   Percussion

Technical Credits

Bill Withers   Producer
Clifford Coulter   Producer
Keni Burke   Producer
Clarence McDonald   Arranger,Producer,String Arrangements
Bob Merritt   Engineer
Joseph M. Palmaccio   Mastering
Paul Riser   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
David Ritz   Liner Notes
Leo Sacks   Producer,Reissue Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Lou Beach   Illustrations
Fong Y. Lee   Packaging Manager

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