Title: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Patti LaBelle.
Producers include: Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Howie Rice, Peter Burnetta, Prince.
Compilation producer: Andy McKaie.
Includes liner notes by Joseph Laredo.
Digitally remastered by Erick Labson (MCA Music Media Studios, North Hollywood, California).
This is part of MCA's 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection series.
Audio Remixer: Erick Labson.
Liner Note Author: Joseph F. Laredo.
Photographer: Albert Sanchez.
Arrangers: Michael Stokes; Steve Skinner.
Like any record company worth their salt, MCA knows a good gimmick when they see it, and when the millennium came around -- well, the 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection wasn't too far behind. Supposedly, the millennium is a momentous occasion, but it's hard to feel that way when it's used as another excuse to turn out a budget-line series. But apart from the presumptuous title, 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection turns out to be a very good budget-line series. True, it's impossible for any of these brief collections to be definitive, but they're nevertheless solid samplers that don't feature a bad song in the bunch. For example, take Patti LaBelle's 20th Century volume -- it's an irresistible 12-song summary of her latter-day MCA recordings. There may be a couple of noteworthy songs missing, but many of her best-known songs for the label are here, including "On My Own," "New Attitude," "Kiss the Pain Away," "Stir It Up," "If You Asked Me To," "The Right Kind of Lover," "When You Talk About Love," "Flame," and "When You've Been Blessed (Feels Like Heaven)." Serious fans will want something more extensive, but this is an excellent introduction for neophytes and a great sampler for casual fans, considering its length and price. That doesn't erase the ridiculousness of the series title, but the silliness is excusable when the music and the collections are good. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine