- Released: October 17, 2000
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Island / Mercury
- 1.Only The Strong Survive
- 2.Moody Woman
- 3.I Dig You Baby
- 4.Never Give You Up
- 5.Mr. Dream Merchant
- 7.Hey, Western Union Man
- 8.Ain't Understanding Mellow
- 9.One Night Affair
- 10.What's The Use Of Breaking Up
- 11.A Brand New Me
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Producers: Gamble & Huff, Jerry Ross, Robert Bowles, Gerald Simms, Jerry Butler.
Compliation producer: Harry Weinger.
Recorded between 1967 & 1969. Includes liner notes by Stu Hackel.
Digitally remastered by Suha Gur (Universal Mastering Studios East).
Arrangers: James Mack; Joe Renzetti ; Robert Bowles; Bobby Martin ; Jimmy Wisner; Thom Bell.
Glorious late '60s and early '70s soul by one of the true masters. This one disc best-of (for a more expansive look at Jerry Butler's career, check the two disc box set ICEMAN) covers Butler's tenure at Mercury Records (1966-73) after an earlier stay at Vee Jay, and thus necessarily stints on classics like "He Will Break Your Heart."
Just about everything included here is memorable, though, whether it be crossover pop smashes like " "Hey, Mr. Western Union Man," and "Only the Strong Survive," or lesser-known tracks like the electric-sitar drenched ballad "Ain't Understanding Mellow" (a duet with the charmingly-named Brenda Lee Eager).