Personnel: Bill Withers (vocals, guitar, piano, Clavinet); Booker T. Jones (guitar, keyboards); Ray Parker, Joe Kelly, Eric Gale, David T. Walker, Melvin "Wah Wah" Ragin, George Johnson, Stephen Stills, Benorce Blackman (guitar); Dorothy Ashby (harp); Ray Jackson (piano, electric piano, Clavinet); Larry Nash (electric piano); Paul Smith (keyboards, synthesizer).
Producers: Bill Wither, Clarence McDonald, Keni Burke, Larry Nash, Booker T. Jones.
Compilation producers: Bill Withers, Leo Sacks.
Engineers: Bob Merritt, Phil Schier, Bill Halverson.
Includes liner notes by David Ritz.
All tracks have been digitall remastered.
This is part of the Legacy Rhythm And Soul series.
Personnel: Bill Withers (vocals, guitar, piano, Clavinet); Eric Gale , Stephen Stills (guitar); Dennis Budimir (acoustic guitar); David T. Walker, Melvin "Wah Wah" Ragin (electric guitar); Dorothy Ashby (harp); Don Freeman (strings, vibraphone); Raymond Jackson (clarinet, piano, electric piano); Grover Washington, Jr. (saxophone); Ernie Watts (soprano saxophone); Clarence McDonald, Larry Nash (keyboards); Robbie Buchanan (string synthesizer); Russ Kunkel (drums, congas, percussion); Harvey Mason, Sr. , James Gadson, Jim Keltner, Al Jackson, Jr. , Steve Gadd (drums); Ralph MacDonald (congas, percussion); M.B. Gordy (hi-hat, tambourine, tom tom); Paulinho Da Costa, Booker T. Jones (percussion); Edie Lehmann, Kate Markowitz (background vocals).
Liner Note Authors: David Nathan; David Ritz.
Recording information: Conway Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Dijo; Record Plant, LA, CA; Rosebud Recording Studio, New York, NY; Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, CA; Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA; The Complex, Los Angeles, CA; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA; The Wally Heider Stucio, Hollywood, CA; Wally Heider Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Yamaha R&D Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Michael Ochs.
Arrangers: Clarence McDonald; Bill Eaton; Booker T. Jones.
Eighteen tracks, from the early '70s to the mid-'80s, including his early Top Ten singles, but also minor hits like "Grandma's Hands," "Kissing My Love," and "Lovely Day." Those who admire songs like "Lean on Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine" are advised to approach this best-of with caution; from the mid-'70s onward, Bill Withers forsook his folky singer/songwriter soul for more anonymous, slick MOR soul and urban contemporary. His early sound was far more distinctive, and his early-'70s Sussex albums are recommended alternatives to this compilation. ~ Richie Unterberger