Best of Bill Withers: Lean on Me

The Best of Bill Withers: Lean on Me

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

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

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Collectors note: This is not the same as the very similarly titled Lean on Me: The Best of Bill Withers, a 1994 best-of that also came out on Sony (catalog #5294). Each disc has 18 tracks and includes his biggest and best hits, yet only 13 of the songs are found on both CDs, and the 2000 compilation has a new set of liner notes by David Ritz. This is still too light on his earliest Sussex material, which is his best work and is represented by just seven of the tunes. It's also messily sequenced, with six less impressive and poppier mid-1970s Columbia outings leading off the program before you get to the early '70s goodies, including "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean on Me," and "Use Me." Still, this would have to get the nod over the 1994 best-of just for the inclusion of one of those Sussex tunes alone, the uplifting and earthily bluesy 1971 cut "Harlem."

Product Details

Release Date:
05/30/2000
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646385227
catalogNumber:
63852
Rank:
411

Related Subjects

Tracks

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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Lean on Me: The Best of Bill Withers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
grannyrn More than 1 year ago
Bill Withers is the best. One of my favorites is Hello Like Before, although I love everything he has ever made. Somehow he is one of my favorites I have never seen in person. I saw a documentary on netflix and would love to have a copy. What a sensual man. Buy it and you won't be disappointed. Long time fan. We are the same age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't think I have enjoyed a CD more than the Lean on Me album. Bill Withers is extremely talented. I would love to see him in concert and read more about him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
*i am 20 years old and i bought this cd a couple years ago. i always loved "ain't no sunshine" and "lean on me." i wanted to find out more of what bill had in store. i soon found out he was the genious behind "use me" "grandma's hands" and "lovely day." it's funny because i never realized all the times his music was sampled-a sign of how he's inspired people. i love this album and even to this day-one of my favorites. "the same love that made me laugh" is one of my all time favorites.
ZoeyTheCat More than 1 year ago
I had a Bill Withers album in the 70's that introduced me to more than the essential "Lean on Me." The songs I came to love are included on this CD. The lesser known soul-rocking tracts of "The Same Love that made me Laugh," "Grandma's Hands," and "Use Me." It's difficult to find these mellow soul songs anymore but time has not diminished Bill Wither's brilliance. How anyone can deliver such wonderful words with such a mellow, wrenching voice still amazes me! I remember wearing my record out, especially "The Same Love that Made Me Laugh, Made Me Cry." Can anyone today write such truths and deliver them with a beautiful voice? Don't think so. These songs are still poignant and beautiful today.
ktownkid More than 1 year ago
I've always wanted to own a Bill Withers "Best Of..." CD, and "Lean On Me-Best of Bill Withers" is terrific. If you haven't already added this CD to your collection, it's well worth buying!!! I LOVE Bill's music!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago