DeBarge: Eldra DeBarge, Randy DeBarge, James DeBarge, Mark DeBarge, Bunny DeBarge.
Liner Note Author: Steven Ivory.
Arrangers: Reggie Lucas; Clare Fischer; Benjamin Wright Jr.; Daniel LeMelle; Eldra DeBarge; Peter Wolf ; Randy DeBarge; Jerry Knight; Russell Ferrante; Steve George; David Foster; Burt Bacharach; Carole Bayer Sager.
If you could swear you've seen this set of tracks, in this same order, somewhere else, it's because you have. The Definitive Collection, released in 2008, is a re-dressed version of 1997's The Ultimate Collection. The mastering credits for both discs are the same, so there is presumably no difference in the sound. The packaging here is a little more attractive, but unlike the Universal-distributed Gold series, the details in the liner notes are thin: no release dates, no chart information. This set of songs makes for the best DeBarge anthology available, containing not just the DeBarge-the-group Top Ten R&B hits but solo hits for El, Bunny, and Chico, as well as some deeper cuts, like the single edit of 1982's "Stop! Don't Tease Me" (grade B-plus boogie that deserved better) and "Stay with Me" (a gorgeous album cut, the basis of Ashanti's "Foolish"). Chronologically, the set ends with Bunny's singles from her 1987 solo album. Altogether a compulsory component of anyone's '80s R&B collection. ~ Andy Kellman