Q - 11/94, p.1444 Stars
- Excellent - "...This is the best Lewis collection available and it's said even she thinks so..."
Personnel includes: Barbara Lewis (vocals); Vin Bell, Trade Martin, Charles Macey, Carl Lynch (guitar); Harold Dessent, James Mack (flute); Charles Brown (tenor saxophone); Clark Terry, Joe Newman, Melvin Davis (trumpet); Jimmy Cleveland, Benny Powell, Quentin Jackson (trombone); Johnny Young, Paul Griffin, George Butcher (piano); Floyd Morris (organ); Rail Wilson, Haywood Henry, Art Kaplan (bass); Jimmy Lewis, Chuck Rainey (electric bass); Al Duncan, Gary Chester (drums); Jimmy Johnson (percussion); The Dells (background vocals).
Producers include: Bert Berns, Bob Gallo, Bob Bateman, Lou Courtney.
Compilation producer: Paul Williams.
Recorded between March 1962 and January 1968. Includes liner notes by David Nathan.
Digitally remastered by Bill Lacey.
Personnel: Barbara Lewis (vocals); Warren Kime, Tasha Thomas (vocals, background vocals); Johnny Carter (vocals); Verne Allison, Marvin Junior (tenor); Mickey McGill (baritone); Chuck Barksdale (bass voice); Al Gorgoni, Reggie Boyd, Earl Backus, Bill Suyker, Charles Macey, Trade Martin, Vince Bell, Carl Lynch (guitar); James Mack, Phil Bodner (flute); Paul Winter , Paul Winter Consort (saxophone); Buddy Lucas, Charlie Brown (tenor saxophone); Clark Terry, Dave Burns, Dud Bascomb, Money Johnson, Joe Newman Quartet , Harold "Money" Johnson, Joe Newman , Melvin Davis , Mel Davis , Jimmy Nottingham (trumpet); Sonny Russo, Dicky Harris, Johnny Messner, Dickie Harris, Jimmy Cleveland, Quentin Jackson, Benny Powell (trombone); Tony Studd (bass trombone); George Butcher, Johnny Young , Patrick Browne, Pat Brown, Leroy Glover, Ernie Hayes, Paul Griffin (piano); Floyd Morris (organ); Chuck Rainey, Dick Romoff, Jimmy Lewis , Bob Bushnell (electric bass); Warren Smith , Charles "Honeyman" Otis, James Oliver (drums, percussion); Gary Chester , Al Duncan , Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums); Jack Jennings, Jimmy Johnson, Todd Sommer, Alvin Rogers (percussion).
Liner Note Author: David Nathan .
Recording information: Atlantic Recording Studios, New York, NY (03/20/1962-01/??/1968); Chicago, IL (03/20/1962-01/??/1968); Detroit, MI (03/20/1962-01/??/1968); New York, NY (03/20/1962-01/??/1968).
Director: Bert Berns.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Louis Mauro; Fred Klein; Joe Tekula.
Arrangers: Andrew "Mike" Terry; Bob Bateman; Teacho Wiltshire; Leroy Glover; Lou Courtney; Arif Mardin; Artie Butler; Riley Hampton; Bob Gallo.
Barbara Lewis may not have been one of the toughest or funkiest singers to appear on the Atlantic Records roster, but her hits for the label define pop-soul at its best, especially the subtle but wonderfully sexy "Hello Stranger," one of the most seductive tunes to ever make its way to AM radio. "Baby, I'm Yours" and "Make Me Your Baby" were nearly as memorable, and if Lewis recorded numbers like "Puppy Love" and "My Heart Went Do Dat Da" a bit too often, she had the talent and the class to make something worthwhile of even the silliest material (and as it happens, she also wrote the latter two songs, as well as the sublime "Hello Stranger"). In 1994, Rhino Records released a definitive single-disc collection of Lewis' recordings for Atlantic, Hello Stranger: The Best of Barbara Lewis, and Rhino's British branch has recycled this compilation as part of their Platinum Collection series of soul hits packages. The packaging for The Platinum Collection isn't quite as attractive as Hello Stranger, and it lacks the earlier disc's fine liner notes and detailed information on the original recordings, but this does contain the same twenty songs in the same order, all sung with cool passion and an easygoing sensuality by the remarkable Lewis, and from a musical standpoint you can't do much better than this. Anyone who still makes make-out mixtapes in this day and age will want to have a copy of "Hello Stranger" on hand, and the rest of this collection won't spoil the mood, either. ~ Mark Deming