Soul Music Records (label)
25 November 2016 (released)
13 January 2017
Gladys Knight is one of the world's best known vocalists. Having signed to Motown Records in 1966 as part of the family group Gladys Knight & The Pips, which featured her brother Bubba, sister Brenda and cousins William and Eleanor, she spent over a decade riding the crest of a wave as the central voice of the one the best remembered recording acts from the era. However in 1978, 12 years after she debuted with Motown, she opted to explore the solo realm. With the band signed to Buddah Records, she opted to release through the label a collection entitled Miss Gladys Knight, which failed to set the charts alight. A year later came a collection for Columbia Records titled Gladys Knight, which caused her to rethink her career options as it once again proved a commercial failure. While her solo career would gain ground with her third solo album, 1991's Good Woman, the two earlier release have been long since forgotten.
All that is set to change with the Soul Music Records double-disc re-release of the collections. Anyone who has had the privilege to hear these releases will question why they didn't set the world on fire at the time of release. Perhaps Knight's loyal fanbase were not quite ready to lose the family group from their stages and were worried if Knight's solo status shone too brightly that they could lose their favourite outfit.
However, now the two collections have finally been given a fresh breath of life, it is essential that anyone with even a passing interest in Gladys Knight takes a moment to enjoy the effortless beauty of this double disc collection.
Centre stage is Knight's flawless vocal. Shining brightly on the mid-tempo gem I'm Still All Caught Up With You, it is inevitable that Knight can lift any song to unforgettable status. In anyone else's hands this song would have been mediocre, but in Knight's it is a overlooked gem.
At it's most impressive are the irrepressible It's Better Than Good Time, breath-taking We Don't Make Each Other Laugh Anymore and unforgettable I (Who Have Nothing), which show exactly why Knight will always be one of the highest ranked recording artists of all time.
This is a classic that never was, which should now hopefully attain the status it deserves.