The Essential Babyface

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rob Theakston
After his stint with the Deele in the late '70s, Babyface along with co-conspirator L.A. Reid almost single-handedly set the standard of commercial adult contemporary R&B since the early '80s, when he rose to prominence as an in-demand songwriter and producer. He's been responsible for an armada of hits rivaled by only a few other producer/songwriters in modern commercial chart history, writing hits for Madonna, Boyz II Men, Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and a legion of other artists. However, within that span of time his solo efforts have been sorely overlooked by mainstream audiences, being primarily accepted only by die-hard R&B fans. This makes ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rob Theakston
After his stint with the Deele in the late '70s, Babyface along with co-conspirator L.A. Reid almost single-handedly set the standard of commercial adult contemporary R&B since the early '80s, when he rose to prominence as an in-demand songwriter and producer. He's been responsible for an armada of hits rivaled by only a few other producer/songwriters in modern commercial chart history, writing hits for Madonna, Boyz II Men, Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and a legion of other artists. However, within that span of time his solo efforts have been sorely overlooked by mainstream audiences, being primarily accepted only by die-hard R&B fans. This makes the Essential Babyface release all the more important, as it's a survey of just his works and not productions of other artists. It's a comprehensive look at his career, from the quiet storm ballads of his early years like "Whip Appeal" to the up-tempo urban radio hits like "How Come, How Long" featuring guest vocals by Stevie Wonder, and leaves no stone unturned in between. Unlike his 2000 collection, Essential Babyface doesn't rely so much on his productions for other artists, which makes it instantly appealing to die-hard fans and gives casual listeners an appreciation of the depths of Babyface's talent. The only exception comes from his MTV Unplugged medley, featuring two of his all-time biggest productions: the Boyz II Men anthems "I'll Make Love to You" and "End of the Road." The Essential Babyface is easily the strongest representation to date of Babyface as an artist, and not just a producer/songwriter.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/10/2003
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998917224
  • Catalog Number: 89172

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Babyface Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals
Howard Hewett Vocals, Background Vocals
Jody Watley Vocals, Background Vocals
Kenny G Saxophone
Gerald Albright Tenor Saxophone
Marc Nelson Background Vocals
Shanice Wilson Background Vocals
Kayo Bass, Synthesizer Bass
Oscar Brashear Trumpet
Ray Brown Trumpet
Mariah Carey Background Vocals
Eric Clapton Guitar
Kenneth Crouch Piano
Sheila E. Percussion
Nathan East Bass
Melvin Edmonds Background Vocals
Reggie Griffin Keyboards
Larry Johnson Saxophone
Ricky Lawson Drums
Wayne Linsey Keyboards
Greg Phillinganes Piano
L.A. Reid Percussion, Drums
John "J.R." Robinson Drums
Bo Watson Keyboards, Musical Direction
Stevie Wonder Harmonica, Vocals, Background Vocals
Michael Hart Thompson Guitar
William Ross Conductor
Tim Carmon Keyboards
Reggie C. Young Trombone
Dede O'Neal Background Vocals
Beverly Crowder Background Vocals
Kevon Edmonds Background Vocals
De Rock Percussion
Jeffrey Daniels Vocals
Technical Credits
Babyface Composer, Producer, drum programming
Howard Hewett Composer
Joseph M. Palmaccio Mastering
L.A. Reid Composer, Producer
Daryl Simmons Composer, Producer
Stevie Wonder Composer
William Ross String Arrangements
Ron Kellum Art Direction
Perri Reid Composer
Dana Meyers Composer
Rick Day Cover Photo
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