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Soul - Released October 1, 2002 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Soul - Released December 5, 1995 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released May 1, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released October 1, 2002 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released July 3, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released October 15, 2007 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released October 15, 2007 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released November 5, 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

The 58-track Never My Love: The Anthology, very different from the 61-track French and Japanese release Someday We'll All Be Free (2010), appeals slightly more to fanatics than it does newcomers. Disc one covers Donny Hathaway's singles and albums highlights, from 1969 and 1972 A-sides recorded with June Conquest through 1978's "You Were Meant for Me." There's a lot of familiar ground, all of it representative, but many selections differ from the album counterparts, including the two-part 7" version of "The Ghetto," the promo edit of "Thank You Master (For My Soul)," and single edits of "Giving Up," "A Song for You," and "Come Little Children." The second disc consists of unreleased studio recordings, none of which overlaps with the material unearthed on Someday We'll All Be Free. Unfortunately, that means Hathaway's cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" isn't present, but there are two slices of hard and heavy soul that date from the late '60s, a mighty interpretation of "Never My Love" (a platinum hit for the Association), the gorgeously bittersweet "Memory of Our Love," and a fascinating 20-minute concerto. Other tracks, not quite aimless but sensibly left in the archive, help fans fill in the gaps of the mid- to late-'70s period when Hathaway's creativity was severely impaired. Disc three, all newly issued as well, is like an alternate, not quite as hot edition of Live. It draws from the eight sets Hathaway performed during three October 1971 nights at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village. None of it was included on any of the previous Hathaway live albums, yet they're no mere scraps, highlighted by similarly sprawling trips through "Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)" and "The Ghetto" that involve tremendous interplay between Hathaway and his formidable band. Finally, the last quarter of the anthology contains all of the 1972 classic Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, as well as three additional Roberta/Donny duets produced by giants James Mtume and Reggie Lucas: the number two Hot 100 hit "The Closer I Get to You," "You Are My Heaven," and the undervalued boogie gem "Back Together Again." Charles Waring's lengthy essay is an illuminating and deeply emotional read, with quotes from those who worked closest with Hathaway, including Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin, and Flack. The CD edition is shaped like a DVD set, fold-out style, with sharp design. It's a long overdue treat for anyone interested in a genius whose talents as a singer, keyboard player, songwriter, arranger, and producer gave the world a bounty of life-affirming and inspiring music. Hopefully an enterprising label has the resources to endure the licensing nightmares required to release a compilation that showcases Hathaway's work for artists like the Unifics, the Impressions, Curtis Mayfield, Phil Upchurch, Roberta Flack, Jerry Butler, and Willie Nelson. Paired with this, we'd get the full scope of the man's work. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Soul - Released February 12, 2021 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released December 5, 1995 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released April 3, 1990 | Atlantic Records

Unfortunately, Atlantic's A Donny Hathaway Collection, one of the few career retrospectives available (and basically the only one in print), isn't quite definitive; it presents a version of Hathaway's career inordinately focused on his commercially successful duets with Roberta Flack, and his slowest, most dirge-like solo recordings. A few of his best up-tempo tracks are represented ("The Ghetto," his live cover of "What's Going On"), but not before haunted material like "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," and "Giving Up." Admittedly, his duets with Flack are among the best recordings of his career, ranging from the depressed ("Where Is the Love") to the atmospheric ("The Closer I Get to You") to the downright driving ("Back Together Again"). But A Donny Hathaway Collection neglects far too much material from his two greatest solo albums, 1970s Everything Is Everything and 1973's Extension of a Man, to be considered the perfect first choice. It may simply be a matter of embellishing the myth of the tortured artist, but this doesn't present both sides of the Hathaway legend. © John Bush /TiVo
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Soul - Released March 22, 2010 | Rhino

Donny Hathaway's legacy has been mostly lost to the mainstream in the years since his untimely death. His contemporaries during the late '60s and 1970s, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Al Green, are more recognizable by name to the masses, but Hathaway's impact on popular music cannot be overstated. Someday We'll All Be Free collects virtually all of his solo output from Atlantic minus his work on the Come Back Charleston Blue soundtrack (with the studio version of "Little Ghetto Boy" being the lone exception), an interview from a live compilation from 2004, and a live version of "Nu-Po" from his In Performance album (which has been replaced with an alternate live version from Carnegie Hall). The difference between this set and the similar collection entitled Original Album Series released around the same time is that the Someday We'll All Be Free collects five previously unreleased demos and two previously unreleased live cuts. For the bonus material alone, Someday We'll All Be Free eclipses the Original Album Series box. Some of the previously unreleased compositions were picked up from an anthology that was inexplicably pulled before its release in the mid-2000s. Included is a studio version of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" that was previously only available in a live format. The general performance, although extended by a half minute, is roughly the same with its trademark quick ivory tickles presumably by Hathaway himself. The remaining demos are from 1974 and 1975 and showcase a man with incredible talent that ranges from two bouncy jazz vocals ("No Other One But You" and "The Essence of Destiny"), a gorgeous -- albeit short -- ballad ("Make It on Your Own"), and a piano jam with pomp ("Going Down"). The liner notes speculate these were from sessions for a fourth solo album that never came to fruition, in part because of the burgeoning success with duet partner Roberta Flack. The packaging is top-notch, as the compilation's four discs are housed in a DVD-sized case that opens into a trifold with the liner notes, written in French, neatly tucked into a small slit. Photographs of Hathaway, sheet music, and picture sleeves of 33s and 45s adorn the pages of the notes. The only negative aspect for the box set is that the collection breaks up albums, ordered chronologically, to fit the collection onto four discs. It's a small complaint for a compilation that honors the late singer's memory with such precision and care. In no way does it diminish its overall mission to present a macroscopic view of a master at work. Flack and Wonder were in awe of the totality of Hathaway's gifts of arranging, writing, singing, and performing. Someday We'll All Be Free serves the initiated and uninitiated alike to be the definitive collection for Donny Hathaway as a solo performer. It is a release unequivocally not to be missed. © Eric Luecking /TiVo
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Soul - Released May 27, 2008 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released December 10, 1993 | Rhino Atlantic

Ranging from inner-city soul to orchestral grandeur to a bluesy ballad to easy-listening pleasantries, Extension of a Man was Donny Hathaway's most ambitious LP, the justly titled capstone to his phenomenal career. Coming, however, from one of soul music's most widely talented figures, this wasn't exactly a surprise; both of his previous studio full-lengths, Everything Is Everything and Donny Hathaway, treated soul as merely a starting point to express his multitude of ideas concerning music and arrangement, song and performance. On Extension of a Man, the ambition began and peaked with the opener, a six-minute orchestral piece titled "I Love the Lord; He Heard My Cry, Pts. 1-2." Arranged and orchestrated for 45 musicians by Hathaway himself, it applied the buoyant optimism of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue to a religious context, and segued smoothly into the transcendent "Someday We'll All Be Free," one of Hathaway's most beloved songs. The next two pieces, "Flying Easy" and "Valdez in the Country," were also Hathaway originals, first recorded during the late '60s as part of Chess studio groups; the first is a piece of pop-soul fluff lifted up by his superb reading, the second a smooth jazz-fusion jam with Hathaway illustrating on electric piano his excellent improv capabilities. "Love, Love, Love" and "Come Little Children" were the charting singles, the former a sublime love song heavily influenced by Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. Unfortunately, these disparate pieces, brilliant as they are, don't coalesce into a single work as well as on his masterpiece Everything Is Everything, but Hathaway never stops impressing with his conceptions of arrangement and performance. Crippled by depression, he would never release another solo album during the last five years of his life, though among the projects he'd hoped to record was the four-part concerto Life, to be performed by the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra with him in the conductor's chair, and the score of an epic biblical film. © John Bush /TiVo
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Soul - Released June 8, 2004 | Rhino Atlantic

Few musicians gave more to their audience than Donny Hathaway. Capable of leading the section or letting the crowd take him away, a man whose sensuality oozed out of him on-stage but who also aired his struggles with despair and social unrest, Hathaway really had no comparison in soul music, or even pop music in total. (His closest kin, Sam Cooke, was the only one who possessed a similarly transcendent voice, gloriously simple yet with enormous depth.) Fans of latter-day soul music's most cathartic figure previously had two avenues to enjoy Hathaway in a live context: the brilliant original album Live from 1972 and the valuable document In Performance, issued in 1980 after his suicide (perhaps the most tragic death in pop history). Atlantic/Rhino's breathtaking compilation These Songs for You, Live! combines roughly half of those LPs and bolsters the program with six unreleased tracks (only some from the same concerts) and an interview. The results prove that, arranging skills aside, Donny Hathaway reached his peak facing not a mixing board but an audience of living (and often screaming) people. Compilation producers Dave Nathan and Barry Benson start out with a pair of light pieces, Hathaway originals "Flying Easy" and "Valdez in the Country," before beginning the heart of the disc, a selection of inspired covers. The choices are all formidable (though for a variety of reasons), including Carole King's "You've Got a Friend," the Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On," and the Beatles' "Yesterday" (the latter, astonishingly unreleased, takes its place as one of the most gorgeous versions ever recorded of the most performed pop standard of the 20th century). No one could deny that these pieces are soaked in melodrama, though Hathaway's spirit and fire transcend the pathos so completely that in his hands they're transformed. His own "Someday We'll All Be Free" is another gorgeous performance, this one leavened by his alternate modes of piano playing, gospel arpeggios in the beginning but meaty jazz solos later on. These performances, all recorded between 1971 and 1973, provide the most compelling proof that it was Donny Hathaway who reached the pinnacle of true gospel-soul. © John Bush /TiVo
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Soul - Released October 1, 2002 | Rhino Atlantic

Donny Hathaway's 1972 Live album is one of the most glorious of his career, an uncomplicated, energetic set with a heavy focus on audience response as well as the potent jazz chops of his group. The results of shows recorded at the Troubadour in Hollywood and the Bitter End in New York, the record begins with Hathaway's version of the instant soul classic "What's Going On," Marvin Gaye's original not even a year old when Hathaway recorded this version. His own classic "The Ghetto" follows in short order, but stretches out past ten minutes with revelatory solos from Hathaway on electric piano. "Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)" is another epic (14-minute) jam, with plenty of room for solos and some of the most sizzling bass work ever heard on record by Willie Weeks. Any new Donny Hathaway record worth its salt also has to include a radical cover, and Live obliges nicely with his deft, loping version of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy." The audience is as much a participant as the band here, immediately taking over with staccato handclaps to introduce "The Ghetto" and basically taking over the chorus on "You've Got a Friend." They also contribute some of the most frenzied screaming heard in response to any Chicago soul singer of the time (excepting only Jackie Wilson and Gene Chandler, of course). Hardly the obligatory live workout of most early-'70s concert LPs, Live solidified Hathaway's importance at the forefront of soul music. © John Bush /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1970 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released July 3, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released July 1, 1970 | Rhino Atlantic

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