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Apr 15th 2004


 Minnie Riperton - Perfect Angel/Adventures in Paradise/Stay in Love/Minnie: (Statewide)


It's been some 25 years since her untimely demise but finally, finally her early works on ABC/Epic and Capitol have been released on CD. Just whom am I talking about, none other than of course the ever endearing songbird, the high pitched, high octane songstress - Minnie Riperton

For the loyal followers of her music this has been a long time coming as these 4 albums were only on LP to date and were very hard to find in your local area record shops (unless you live in New York's Greenwich Village or London's Soho Square) but with the help of certain key personal and fan support, these irreplaceable albums have found their way to CD.

With 2 LPs on one CD, 1974's 'Perfect Angel' (released through Epic on the ABC label) sees Minnie teaming up with Stevie Wonder on producing and background duties as well as her husband Richard Rudolph producing and it was from this album that she scored big with her monster hit in 'Loving You' (rumor has it that this track was penned as a lullaby for daughter Maya as you can hear her name mentioned at the end of the record). The album also features little gems such as 'Take a little Trip', 'Reasons' and the title track.

The following year 'Adventures in Paradise' (which is personally one of my favourites from her) was released and although it was not as commercially successful as the previous, it still scores with the beautiful ballad 'Inside My Love' that featured Joe Sample, Wayne Henderson, Stix Hooper and Welton Felder (also known as The Crusaders) and 'Minnie's Lament' but also on this album was one of the most sought after and sampled tracks to date in 'Baby, This love I have' (as used by A Tribe called Quest and Alfonzo Hunter to name a few). This album also saw Stewart Levine handling production duties and was one that was setting the tide of things to come from the songstress.

Stay In Love which arrived in 1977, shows a lighter, more romantic side to Minnie. It was during the recording of this album (in 1976 to be precise) that Minnie found out she had Breast cancer and was awarded the American Cancer Society's Courage Award a year later. Stay In Love was a soul fan delight which again provided some lovely gems including the club oriented up beat track 'Young Willing & Able, 'Can You Feel What I'm Saying?', 'Gettin' Ready for Your Love and the devilishly wicked 'Stick Together', co-written with Stevie Wonder.

Her last album before her untimely death in 1979 the self-titled 'Minnie', was released through Capitol Records with whom she signed with a year earlier. The album delivered once again with the lovers stroll down 'Memory Lane' as well as the beautiful ballad 'Never Existed Before'. Also on the album was 'I'm A Woman', 'Lover & Friend', and 'Return To Forever'

For those of you who appreciate good music and want to listen to a singer at the top of her craft then these CDs belong in your listening station. Very much in the same vein as Phyllis Hyman, Minnie was taken away from us much too soon and is sorely missed - just think of the quality of music she would have out today. A true TY-D Pick indeed. 

On a footnote: her daughter Maya (now aged 32) is also a talented singer and actress who can see seen on the small screen on SNL (Saturday Night Live) and on the big screen on Duets (with childhood friend Gwenyth Paltrow), Duplex (with Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore) and 50 First Dates (also with Barrymore and Adam Sandler)


Listen to Minnie Riperton's - 'Baby, This Love I have'

Listen to Minnie Riperton's - 'Lovin' You'



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