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