Although the early-'90s compilation That's How It Is: The Chess Years was a solid grouping of Laura Lee's most essential mid- to late-'60s recordings, the 2006 Very Best of Laura Lee is a 21-track anthology from the U.K. has a slight edge. It not only has everything from That's How It Is (including all of her Chess chart singles), but also adds five additional songs. Lee is the kind of singer who appeals more to soul cultists than general soul and pop enthusiasts, as her voice and tough persona were more distinctive than her somewhat average (if earthy) material and Southern soul arrangements. But the cuts that Lee fans will want to hear from her early career are here, including the slightly salacious "Dirty Man" and "Wanted: Lover, No Experience Necessary," along with perhaps her most distinctive Chess outing, "Up Tight, Good Man" (famed for its dramatic spoken middle section). This doesn't have her most famous song and biggest hit ("Women's Love Rights"), however, as that was done in the early '70s, after she'd left the Chess label. ~ Richie Unterberger
09011OThe Very Best of Laura Lee (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/32/602498322949.jpg?v=314.9913.49USDOutOfStockMSI:UNIVERSAL/ISLANDCDRB-SoulLaura-Lee2010-03-23
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