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R&B - Released November 28, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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R&B - Released March 6, 2015 | Legacy Recordings

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R&B - Released November 28, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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Both commercially and artistically, switching from Motown to Buddah in the mid-'70s proved to be a very wise move for Gladys Knight & the Pips. Imagination and Claudine were gem-laden smashes, and their winning streak continued with their third Buddah date I Feel a Song. The dramatic "I Feel a Song (In My Heart)" and an unlikely remake of Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" became major hits, as did the soaring ballad "Love Finds Its Own Way." Knight's monologue on "The Way We Were" is most ironic -- reflecting on the nostalgia that seems to be human nature, she noted that 1974 would someday become "the good old days." And when disco era-nostalgia took hold in the '90s, post-baby boomers seemed to be expressing a belief that the '70s were a simpler, less stressful time. Equally appealing are the gritty numbers "Better You Go Your Way" (written by Bill Withers) and "Don't Burn Down the Bridge." If one notices that "Seconds" sounds like something Dionne Warwick would have done early in her career, it's no coincidence -- Burt Bacharach (who also co-wrote many of Warwick's early hits) co-wrote the song. Thanks to Capitol-EMI's R&B-oriented reissue label The Right Stuff, I Feel a Song was finally heard on CD in 1997. ~ Alex Henderson
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R&B - Released December 5, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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The final album on Columbia for Gladys Knight & The Pips did reasonably well, getting them three chart hits, but it didn't include any of the anthemic R&B or pop crossover songs they had been landing in the '80s. It was a well-produced effort, and Knight sang with her usual vigor, spirit, and intensity, but nothing seemed to click on the level that Knight And The Pips expected. ~ Ron Wynn
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R&B - Released January 1, 1997 | Motown

The Ultimate Collection nearly lives up to its billing, featuring 22 tracks on a single disc. Among the featured cuts are all of Gladys Knight & the Pips' Top Ten pop hits for Soul Records, including "Everybody Needs Love," "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "The End of Our Road," "It Should Have Been Me," "The Nitty Gritty," "Friendship Train," "I Don't Want to Do Wrong," "If I Were Your Woman," and "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)." For most casual fans, those who just want the hits, this will be the definitive collection of Knight's early career. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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R&B - Released January 1, 1968 | UNI - MOTOWN

An album of remakes by Gladys & the Pips still managed to chart (#136) on Billboard's Pop Album Chart. Only one track escaped as a single, "I Wish It Would Rain"; while beautifully done, it lacked the hurt of the Temptations' original. Renditions of "You're My Everything" and "Tracks of My Tears" work much better. Fans will enjoy the group's soulful renditions of pop hits like "The Look of Love" and "Theme From Valley of the Dolls." An update of Brenda Holloway's "Every Little Bit Hurts" is a keeper; Gladys seems to identify with the lyrics, enhancing the performance. Motown compiled and released Silk N' Soul to capitalize on the group's slew of hits. It charted lower than normal for a Pips release because it lacked an original hit single to propel it higher, but this is still some fine listening. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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R&B/Soul - Released February 27, 2007 | RCA - Legacy

The Claudine movie soundtrack sported the jammin' million-selling single "On and On" by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Written and produced by Curtis Mayfield and featured in the classic 1974 family drama starring Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones, and Lawrence Hilton Jacobs (Welcome Back Kotter, Alien Nation, Cooley High), it parked at number two R&B for four weeks, going to number five Pop on Billboard's charts in 1974. Claudine is the least celebrated of songwriter/producer Mayfield's soundtrack albums (Superfly, Sparkle), though it's the most poignant of them. "Mr. Welfare Man" lays out the dehumanizing effect of being on welfare, while still being enticing and majestic in its dynamic arrangement. As much airplay as the track garnered, oddly it was never released as a single. "To Be Invisible" spoke to a child character's need to escape her depressing surroundings. Originally recorded by Mayfield on his Curtis LP, "The Makings of You" is a heart-tugging, strings-cushioned ballad that Knight sings wonderfully. Other LP tracks that received airplay are the upbeat, beautiful title track and the sweet "Make Yours a Happy Home," which curiously wasn't issued as a single until 1976. Claudine went gold, hitting number one on the R&B charts in summer 1974. It was reissued on CD by Capitol on June 8, 1999. ~ Ed Hogan
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R&B - Released February 1, 1980 | Columbia - Legacy

In 1977, 1978, and 1979, Gladys Knight & the Pips put a lot of effort into recording separately. Minus Knight, the Pips recorded two LPs as a trio (1977's At Last The Pips and 1978's Callin', both on Casablanca), while Knight provided her first two solo albums (1978's Miss Gladys Knight on Buddah/Arista and 1979's Gladys Knight on Columbia). But by 1980, the group itself was their top priority again. The R&B department at Columbia had very high hopes for this album, and they weren't disappointed. Both creatively and commercially, About Love was Gladys Knight & the Pips' most successful album since 1974's I Feel a Song. The people they can thank for the album's excellence are the husband and wife team of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, who wrote and produced all of the material. The ballad "Landlord" soared to number three on Billboard's R&B singles charts, and the uptempo dance items "Bourgie, Bourgie" (originally recorded by Ashford & Simpson as an instrumental) and "Taste of Bitter Love" also became hits. Meanwhile, About Love also contains its share of gems that weren't released as singles, including the dramatic "Add It Up" and the smooth "Friendly Persuasion." This impressively consistent LP indicated that Gladys Knight & the Pips still had a lot of life left in them as a group, and sure enough, they stayed together for another ten years before parting company for good in 1990. ~ Alex Henderson
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R&B - Released September 29, 1995 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released November 28, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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In 1978, Gladys Knight & the Pips recorded one album as a group in addition to doing some recording separately. That year, Knight provided her first solo album, Miss Gladys Knight, for Buddah/Arista, while the Pips recorded Callin' (their second album without her) for Casablanca. And together, they recorded The One and Only, which didn't go down in history as one of their all-time classics but is a generally pleasant, if unspectacular, soul-pop outing. This LP finds the quartet working with various producers, including Michael Masser, Richie Wise, Tony Camillo, and the Van McCoy/Charles Kipps team. The album's best-known offering is the disco-flavored single "It's a Better Than Good Time," which Knight also recorded as a solo artist in 1978. Other decent tracks range from the vibrant "Come Back and Finish What You Started" (written by McCoy/Kipps) to the ballad "What If I Should Ever Need You" and the exuberant, gospel-minded "Saved By the Grace of Your Love." Nothing on The One and Only is in a class with "Midnight Train to Georgia" or "I Feel a Song (In My Heart)," but none of the material is bad either. Although not essential and not recommended to casual listeners, The One and Only is worth hearing if you're among Gladys Knight & the Pips' die-hard fans. ~ Alex Henderson
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R&B - Released November 28, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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R&B - Released November 16, 1998 | Columbia - Legacy

Unaccountably ignored when it was finally released, this is actually a first-rate account of the later history of Gladys Knight & the Pips. Dating from a good half-decade past their chart heyday, Live at the Roxy captures the quartet in a spirited if somewhat slick mode -- "Grateful" opens the show (after an intro of the Charlie Chaplin co-authored standard "Smile") on a smooth pop/soul note, but when they slide into "Taste of Bitter Love" you know why audiences were still packing to see them in 1980, and why you're buying this CD. The soulful vocal acrobatics, the soaring harmonies, and the energy spikes can fill a room even off the CD, and at the actual show it must've been awesome. From there on Knight and company never let up, gliding effortlessly through bluesy R&B and gospel-tinged sounds, in a recording that's as beautifully balanced technically as it is energetic. Knight sometimes sounds a little strained, as the set of shows from which this CD was drawn came from the midst of a massive tour -- but as compensation for those moments, she gets a little bit of help on "Landlord" from Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick. This may have been past their high charting days, but Gladys Knight & the Pips were still worth hearing in 1980, and this CD is an essential coda to any collection of their hits. As to why it took 18 years to show up is something you'll have to ask Sony Music. ~ Bruce Eder
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Ambient/New Age - Released September 27, 2013 | Columbia - Legacy

Holiday albums are a subgenre all their own, with a brief sales window each holiday season, offset by the fact that these albums are generally economical and easy to produce, often featuring hymns or carols that are in the public domain, and they can be reissued each holiday season for years, and sometimes even decades, all of which makes them far from a loss leader. This set features select tracks from Gladys Knight & the Pips, who recorded several such Christmas releases, a trend Knight continued when she went solo. ~ Steve Leggett
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Soul - Released January 1, 2004 | Motown

A decent debut album that didn't quite establish a musical idenity for the group, despite the inclusion of the classic "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and the wonderful, definitive version of the title track. (Mary Wells' little-known original ranks a close second.) The big drawback, however, is a bowdlerized (i.e. censored) version of "Take Me in Your Arms and Love Me." The editing not only severely damages the song's "story structure" (Berry Gordy had a firm belief that a song should tell a story), it undermines the erotic awareness Knight brings to the material. Thankfully, the restored version is found on Anthology. ~ John Lowe
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R&B - Released February 1, 1973 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released January 1, 1975 | UNI - MOTOWN

It's a familiar pattern: An artist leaves one label, enjoys success at another label, and inspires the previous label to try cashing in with some previously unreleased material. When Gladys Knight & the Pips left Motown for Buddah in 1973, Motown still had some unreleased material in the can. So when the group's Buddah smashes were burning up the charts in 1975, Motown tried to cash in with A Little Knight Music, a collection of previously unreleased material that was recorded in early '70s. The LP, which Motown released on its Soul subsidiary, wasn't a hit -- A Little Knight Music didn't get much promotion, and the only people who bought the uneven LP were Knight's most obsessive fans. As you might suspect, A Little Knight Music is far from a collection of masterpieces. Nonetheless, most of the material is decent. There are some pleasant Pam Sawyer/Gloria Jones songs (including "Don't Tell Me I'm Crazy" and "No One Could Love You More"), and covers of the Beatles' "Come Together," Jackie De Shannon's "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," and the Archies' "Sugar Sugar" aren't bad either. Those who think of "Sugar Sugar" as pure bubblegum will be surprised to hear how well the tune works as funky Detroit soul. The LP's only previously released track is the Johnny Bristol-produced "Can You Give Me Love With a Guarantee," originally available on the Standing Ovation album of 1971. Overall, A Little Knight Music isn't a bad record -- it just isn't a great one. And with a singer of Knight's caliber, one hopes for excellence instead of an album that is merely competent. Far from one of Knight's essential releases, A Little Knight Music is strictly for hardcore collectors. ~ Alex Henderson
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R&B - Released November 28, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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This album spawned two Billboard R&B Top Ten singles with "Money" and "Part Time Love." The former is a midtempo cut with a polished texture but contrasted by Gladys Knight's ardent vocals. The latter is a rather short but sweet-tempered ballad. Both peaked at number four with the latter surviving three weeks longer on the charts at 14. "Street Brother" is a blues number featuring an impressive Bubba Knight on lead vocals. The rendition of the Roberta Flack classic "Feel Like Makin' Love" has an urban, blues ambience complemented by the cohesive touch of the Pips. Eugene McDaniels, who produced much of the album, also wrote this vintage number. The songs shine with eloquence and are seasoned with an inviting Southern aura. ~ Craig Lytle
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R&B - Released January 1, 1987 | Geffen*

All Our Love marked the end of an era, for this 1988 release was Gladys Knight's final album with the Pips -- in 1990, she officially became a full-time solo artist and the Pips retired from music. No one can say that they didn't have a long run; Knight was only eight when the group was formed in 1952, and she was 46 when it finally broke up after 38 years. Nor can anyone say that Gladys Knight & the Pips' final album together was commercially unsuccessful -- thanks to major hits like "Love Overboard" and "Lovin' on Next to Nothin'," All Our Love went gold. In various interviews, Knight was quoted as saying that she was surprised the album did so well; she really didn't think she would ever see the top of the charts again. But then, MCA gave All Our Love a very aggressive promotional push and made sure that it was relevant to 1988s urban contemporary scene, hiring such producers as Reggie and Vincent Calloway, Nick Martinelli, and Sam Dees. Tracks like "Complete Recovery," "Thief in Paradise," and the above mentioned singles are pure urban contemporary -- synthesizers and drum machines are prominent, and no one's going to mistake All Our Love for a retro soul effort. Nonetheless, the group usually manages to be true to itself; most of the time, All Our Love sounds fairly organic rather than forced or contrived. Sometimes excellent and sometimes merely decent, the album falls short of essential. But because it was Knight's final album with the Pips, it has historic value -- and it was a pleasing, respectable way for the group to end its very long run. ~ Alex Henderson
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R&B - Released March 1, 1973 | UNI - MOTOWN

Although they left Motown (actually Soul) shortly after they cut this album, Gladys Knight & the Pips were at their performing peak during the early '70s. This magnificent title track featured stunning vocals by Knight and equally effective backing vocals from the Pips, and had several other outstanding songs on it. Why Motown never pushed them as much as they could have mystified many at the time, and while Knight and the Pips didn't surpass their Motown material at other labels, they created enough outstanding songs to justify their decision to leave. ~ Ron Wynn
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R&B - Released November 28, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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You could say that In the Beginning is a reissue of a reissue. In 1968, Bell set out to cash in on the popularity of Gladys Knight & the Pips' Motown smashes by assembling Tastiest Hits, a collection of their pre-Motown work. Tastiest Hits went out of print after a few years, but in 1974, Bell reissued the collection as In the Beginning. Although the cover was different, Bell provided the same 11 songs in the same order and kept the liner notes that radio man Enoch Gregory had provided in 1968. In the Beginning was sold as a budget LP; the record went for around $2-3 in 1974, and that wasn't a bad deal because most the selections are excellent. "Every Beat of My Heart," "Operator," "Giving Up," "Lovers Always Forgive," and "Letter Full of Tears" are all essential examples of Gladys Knight & the Pips' pre-Motown period. In fact, their version of Johnny Otis' "Every Beat of My Heart" was their first major hit. And even the songs that fall short of essential are highly appealing. In 1974, In the Beginning was a very affordable and attractive way to get acquainted with the work that Gladys Knight & the Pips did before Berry Gordy came into the picture. ~ Alex Henderson