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Minnie Riperton: Her Chess Years

Album Notes

Personnel includes: Minnie Riperton, The Gems, Rotary Connection.

Includes liner notes by Robert Pruter.

All tracks have been digitally remastered.

This is part of the Chess Records 50th Anniversary series.

Although Minnie Riperton is best known for her '70s solo work, especially the 1975 hit single "Loving You," the Chicago native first began recording in the early '60s. Two of her earliest singles, recorded with the girl group The Gems, open this disc, followed by a 1966 single, "Lonely Girl," recorded under the name Andrea Davis. Riperton also used that pseudonym in the Rotary Connection, and 14 tracks by that pioneering psychedelic soul outfit complete this CD. The Rotary Connection, under the leadership of Charles Stephney (later of Earth Wind and Fire) and featuring dual lead vocals by Riperton and Sidney Barnes, foreshadowed both Norman Whitfield's "Cloud Nine"-era work with the Temptations and the edgier early albums by Funkadelic, but with a greater rock emphasis. The unusual combination of Riperton's stunning, near-operatic vocals over heavy guitars on Cream and Jimi Hendrix covers make these songs odd but entertaining.


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