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Soul - Released August 9, 1974 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Hi-Res Distinctions Best New Reissue
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R&B - Released January 1, 2007 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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R&B - Released January 1, 1993 | Capitol Records

Until 1999's Free Soul (Capitol) and 2001's exhaustive but more excellent overall Petals (The Right Stuff) came along, Capitol Gold offered the best summation of this true original's horribly undervalued solo career. As with Free Soul, Capitol Gold leaves a significant gap by excluding the best moments from Minnie Riperton's debut (Come to My Garden), an album that was released on GTR. This issue would be rectified by The Right Stuff, a subsidiary of Capitol, for Petals. Still, Capitol Gold makes for a fine substitute introduction to Riperton; it includes all of her significant singles and a good survey of album tracks that didn't receive the notice they deserved when they were originally released. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released May 22, 1975 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Adventures in Paradise, the follow-up to Perfect Angel -- an album featuring Minnie Riperton's biggest hit, much assistance from Stevie Wonder, and several of his associates, as well as an iconic outer sleeve -- tends to be viewed as a flop, at least by those who disregard Minnie as a novelty one-hit wonder. If the album is a flop on principle because none of its three singles was as big as "Lovin' You," or because Stevie was no longer around, so be it, but it's borderline classic by any other measure. The key collaborators here, outside of Minnie's songwriting husband Richard Rudolph, include keyboardist Joe Sample, guitarist Larry Carlton, saxophonist Tom Scott, and harpist Dorothy Ashby. Hardly poor substitutes. Most importantly, the album's three central songs were co-written with Leon Ware, who had come up with the Jackson 5's "I Wanna Be Where You Are" and was on the brink of writing what would become the entirety of Marvin Gaye's I Want You, along with his own excellent Musical Massage. Each of the Riperton/Rudolph/Ware songs ooze playful sensuality, desire, and lust -- especially "Inside My Love" (a Top 30 R&B single), a swooning slow jam filled with double entendres. If it weren't for the supremely seductive innocence in Minnie's voice, the words would likely fall flat in their directness ("You can see inside me/Will you come inside me?/Do you wanna ride inside my love?") The opener, "Baby, This Love I Have," is even more heated, with Minnie's frustrated yearning wrapped around a lithe arrangement. (It's gentle six-note guitar-and-bass intro would later resurface in A Tribe Called Quest's "Check the Rhime.") The songs written by Minnie and Rudolph alone match up well with the best of Perfect Angel, and they're deceptively eclectic, mixing and matching soul and rock with touches of country and adult pop. The album was tailor made for the kind of '70s radio format that would not balk at spinning Boz Scaggs, LTD, and Fleetwood Mac back-to-back-to-back. But, for whatever reason (poor promotion, closed minds), it did not do nearly as well as it deserved. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2006 | Parlophone Catalogue

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R&B - Released February 5, 1977 | Capitol Records, LLC

Riperton's final release for Epic had its problems, but still included some solid singles, even though only one charted and it didn't go very far. Riperton had begun to channel her powerful voice and didn't rely so much on the octave-leaping screams and effects. Sadly, she now knew she was suffering from cancer and was working diligently for the American Cancer Society, as well as promoting the album and working on her career. ~ Ron Wynn
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Soul - Released August 9, 1974 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rock - Released January 1, 1980 | EMI Catalogue

This posthumously released album features an outstanding cast of veterans who pay tribute to the remarkable vocalist Minnie Riperton. While Riperton's vocals were recorded during the year of 1978, all the other vocals were recorded in the spring of 1980. The hit from this album was "Here We Go," featuring Peabo Bryson's far-reaching tenor. The single peaked at 14 on the Billboard R&B charts in as many weeks. Even though most of the selections are set in a midtempo rhythm, they have a calming effect. The second release was "Give Me Time." Not as successful as its predecessor, it still has the untarnished texture for which Riperton's vocals were known. ~ Craig Lytle
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R&B - Released May 9, 1979 | Capitol Records, LLC

This album was released in the year in which the supreme songstress passed (1979). However, she bestowed upon the listener her gift of voice with a collection of fine songs. The first release was the nostalgic number "Memory Lane." With its sensuous, flowing rhythm, and melodious string and horn arrangement, Minnie Riperton strides into the lyric with her silky delivery. The single peaked at number 16 on the Billboard R&B charts after a 22-week run. The follow-up single was the vivacious "Lover and Friend." Stevie Wonder's verbal intro bow to a spirited horn introduction. Seasoned with a muted rumbling bassline and a soft texture, and supported by a majestic horn arrangement, Riperton's velvety tone takes charge. She graciously embraces the lyric with style. The single peaked at number 20 after 13 weeks. These were the only two songs to chart from this album, and unfortunately they were worthy of a better ranking. Nonetheless, they remain staples of R&B radio. It must also be noted that while Riperton's voice was as silky as the incomparable Billie Holiday's, she had the innate ability to controllably explode into higher octaves without forsaking the beauty of her voice. This admirable quality elevates her to a class of her own. ~ Craig Lytle
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Soul - Released October 19, 2018 | CLASSIC WORLD ENTERTAINMENT

Blues - Released November 9, 1999 | LucasRecords

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R&B - Released November 1, 1970 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Minnie Riperton's solo debut is in many respects her finest hour -- devoid of the overly syrupy production that hampers her later work, Come to My Garden instead couches her miraculous voice in the elegant arrangements of the great Charles Stepney, striking a perfect balance between romantic melodrama and sensual nuance. Call Stepney's singular approach "chamber soul"--the nimble melodies and insistent grooves swell with orchestral flourishes, while the jazz-inspired rhythms (courtesy of Ramsey Lewis' group) at times evoke Van Morrison's masterpiece Astral Weeks. Stepney creates the ideal backdrop for Riperton's soaring vocals, which reveal a subtlety and restraint absent from the glass-shattering bombast of her subsequent performances -- the opening "Les Fleurs" (covered decades later by 4Hero) crystallizes the entire record, embracing both intimacy and majesty to haunting effect. ~ Jason Ankeny

Pop - Released January 31, 2017 | Weishaupt Music & Entertainment

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