By BRUCE DENNILL
Various Artists: It Must Have Been Love – An Essential Love Collection
Various Artists: Stand By Me – Classic Soul
Various Artists: Give Me The Night – Essential R&B
Various Artists: Listen To The Music – A Collection Of Classic Rock
Various Artists: Breezin’ – A Definitive Jazz Collection
Compilations are often a dicey bet, either because, while there are the songs you want collected in one place, there are also a handful of tunes you can take or leave at best, or actively loathe at worst. This quintet of Warner collections circumvents that issue to some degree by separating 75 well-known tracks into five tracklists with neat, distinctive themes.
There are combinations of younger and older artists and originals and covers, allowing for a range of tastes within each theme and within the greater collection. So there is Everything But The Girl singing I Don’t Want To Talk About It rather than their mega-hit Missing on one hand and Dionne Warwick singing I Say A Little Prayer on the other. George Benson nails two title tracks across two genres with Give Me The Night and Breezin’ underlining the idea that perhaps great music is simply great music. He’s joined under the jazz banner by the populist likes of David Foster (with the Kenny G-featuring After The Love Has Gone) and purist icon Miles Davis with Tutu. This is an example of the scope of the catalogue from which these products were drawn and the imagination used in lining up what has been cherry-picked in interesting and generally satisfying ways.