- Released: November 11, 1997
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Personnel includes: Regina Belle, Barry White, James "J.T." Taylor, Peabo Bryson (vocals); Walter Afanasieff (various instruments); Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitar); Michael Brecker (saxophone); Dexter Wansel (keyboards, synthesizer); Nate Phillips (bass); John Robinson (drums); Pablo Batista (percussion); Gerald Levert, Cynthia Biggs, Charlene Holloway (background vocals).
Producers include: Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy, Narada Michael Walden, Nick Martinelli, Gerald Levert.
Compilation producer: Leo Sacks.
Engineers include: Steve Counter, David Frazier, Jack Perry.
Recorded between 1987 and 1995. Includes liner notes by Nikki Giovanni.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This is part of Legacy's "Rhythm And Soul" series.
Regina Belle stands as one of the most underrated R&B singers to emerge in the late '80s. This collection is an adequate retrospective of the singer, although a couple of her key singles, "Please Be Mine" and her first duet with Peabo Bryson, "Without You," were left off in favor of a few non-hits. However, the collection clocks in at nearly 74 minutes, and the songs are featured in their full-length versions (most of them averaging five minutes in length, two over seven), so therefore this CD is nearly filled to capacity. Belle is a singer of sophisticated, jazz-infused quiet storm R&B, similar at times to Anita Baker, Oleta Adams, and Phyllis Hyman. She shines brightest on her signature song "Baby Come to Me." Other highlights on this set include the equally satisfying "So Many Tears" (complete with exquisite saxophone solos), the gorgeous "If I Could" (which should have been a much bigger hit than it was), her take on Teddy Pendergrass' "Love TKO," the Dianne Warren-penned "All I Want Is Forever" (with James "J.T." Taylor), and her biggest hit to date, "A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)," again with Peabo Bryson. There is not too much information on the singer or the songs in terms of liner notes, but at least the chart positions of her hits are included. Save for the two omissions, this set provides a good representation of the singer's best work, and it will have to do until the day when a more complete, two-disc retrospective is issued. ~ Jose F. Promis