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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

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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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 May 1, 2012 | 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
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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
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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
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Soul - Released May 27, 2008 | Rhino Atlantic

With just one exception, Donny Hathaway's second full-length is a covers album, featuring one of the most pop-averse artists in soul music surprisingly offering interpretations of contemporary hit material like "A Song for You," "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," "Magnificent Sanctuary Band," and (most effectively) "Put Your Hand in the Hand," a laidback yet rolling, gospel-choir version of the song he was born to sing. In striking contrast to his debut, Donny Hathaway is a very dark record, and it opens on a particularly low note, with "Giving Up" (a 1964 R&B hit for Gladys Knight & the Pips). Most of Hathaway's performances are slow, piano-led laments, powerfully delivered but with little melodic sway to convert listeners. It's no coincedence then, that the only up-tempo song, "Magnificent Sanctuary Band," is the standout. "Little Girl" is a nice piece of gospel testifying with great male harmonizing on the chorus, and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" is a solid rendering of a song usually drenched in pathos. Still, whereas Everything Is Everything saw him leading the choir up in the front of church, Donny Hathaway sounds like the lament of a man alone in the sanctuary after services are finished. ~ John Bush
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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
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Soul - Released January 1, 1970 | Rhino Atlantic

Already a respected arranger and pianist who'd contributed to dozens of records (by artists ranging from the Impressions to Carla Thomas to Woody Herman), with this debut LP Donny Hathaway revealed yet another facet of his genius -- his smoky, pleading voice, one of the best to ever grace a soul record. Everything Is Everything sounded like nothing before it, based in smooth uptown soul but boasting a set of excellent, open-ended arrangements gained from Hathaway's background in classical and gospel music. (Before going to Howard University in 1964, his knowledge of popular music was practically non-existent.) After gaining a contract with Atco through King Curtis, Hathaway wrote and recorded during 1969 and 1970 with friends including drummer Ric Powell and guitarist Phil Upchurch, both of whom lent a grooving feel to the album that Hathaway may not have been able to summon on his own (check out Upchurch's unforgettable bassline on the opener, "Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)"). All of the musical brilliance on display, though, is merely the framework for Hathaway's rich, emotive voice, testifying to the power of love and religion with few, if any, concessions to pop music. Like none other, he gets to the raw, churchy emotion underlying Ray Charles' "I Believe to My Soul" and Nina Simone's "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," the former with a call-and-response horn chart and his own glorious vocal, the latter with his own organ lines. "Thank You Master (For My Soul)" brings the Stax horns onto sanctified ground, while Hathaway praises God and sneaks in an excellent piano solo. Everything Is Everything was one of the first soul records to comment directly on an unstable period; "Tryin' Times" speaks to the importance of peace and community with an earthy groove, while the most familiar track here, a swinging jam known as "The Ghetto," places listeners right in the middle of urban America. Donny Hathaway's debut introduced a brilliant talent into the world of soul, one who promised to take R&B farther than it had been taken since Ray Charles debuted on Atlantic. ~ John Bush
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Soul - Released November 25, 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

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Rock - Released July 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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Soul - Released May 1, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

Listen to "Song for You" and taste the musical genius of the late Donny Hathaway -- he delivers a strong, understated reading of Leon Russell's song. He blends deliciously with Roberta Flack on "Where Is the Love," and on a poignant rendition of "You've Got a Friend"; their chemistry is breathtaking. "Someday We'll Be Free" has an inspiring message that is bogged down by a meandering tempo -- the hook is compelling but isn't repeated enough. Van McCoy's "Giving Up" is done in a torching style; the emotional ballad scored for Gladys Knight & the Pips before their Motown days. Hathaway's "This Christmas" has become as regular as "Jingle Bells" around the holiday season, with kettle drums adding spice to the memorable arrangement. "The Ghetto" wasn't Hathaway's biggest hit sales-wise or chart-wise, but it's probably his most revered tune. A rolling piano, inspired backing voices, an incessant tambourine, a drummer, and bass that appeared to be joined at the hip, along with Hathaway's caricature vocals, make "The Ghetto" a captivating piece of music. Later compilations have made The Best of Donny Hathaway obsolete. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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Soul - Released December 5, 1995 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released July 3, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

Though largely revered for his studio recordings, it was on-stage that Donny Hathaway truly became a giant diamond in a sea of gems. Much like his excellent 1972 Live recording and the stellar 2004 These Songs for You, Live!, In Performance features Hathaway taking his audience to church in a way that can only be described as unique, as he truly had an individual stage presence that few others could hope to rival. In Performance isn't necessarily better than those aforementioned excellent records, but it complements them extremely well, with gritty versions of "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" and "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" leading the charge. As usual, Hathaway's delivery is electric and as sincere as a soul artist could possibly get. In Performance's sole flaw is its length. When the audience applause from the finale, "Sack Full of Dreams," has faded, one is likely to find that the 40 minutes spent listening wasn't nearly enough -- a testament to how potent and powerful Hathaway was in his prime. ~ Rob Theakston