Roberta Flack - First Take - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Vinyl LP & 2CD
50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition 1LP & 2CD Set.
Newly Remastered Version Of Original Album On Both CD & Vinyl.
CDs Include Rare B-Sides & 12 Previously Unreleased Recordings.
Roberta Flack enjoyed delayed gratification with her debut, First Take. The album came out in 1969, but it didn't reach #1 on the pop and R&B charts until 1972, after a song from the record - "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - was featured in Clint Eastwood's 1971 film, 'Play Misty For Me'. The song would stay atop the singles chart for six weeks in 1972 before winning the Grammy® Award for Record of the Year in 1973.
This 2CD/1LP set features a remastered version of the original album on both vinyl and CD along with a disc of rare and unreleased recordings.
In February 1969, Flack recorded First Take quickly, reportedly only needing 10 hours to complete all eight songs. Among the album's highlights are two songs co-written by Donny Hathaway ("Our Ages Or Our Hearts" and "Tryin' Times".) In coming years, she would record a series of hit duets with Hathaway, including "Where Is The Love" and "The Closer I Get To You". The deluxe edition of First Take also features three bonus tracks: the b-side "Trade Winds", as well the single edit versions of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Compared To What".
The second disc opens with a live version of "All The Way", a track that was originally released in 1968 on the Les McCann album, Les Is More. It's followed by 12 unreleased demos that Flack recorded over two days in November 1968 with Joel Dorn, who would produce her first four solo albums. Among those is "Groove Me", an original song that Flack wrote, but never released.
On the other demos, she covers a range of genres, including her take on traditional songs ("Frankie And Johnny"), blues standards ("Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out"), folk ("The Song Is Love"), pop ("To Sir With Love") and R&B ("Ain't No Mountain High Enough").
Roberta Flack's debut album, titled First Take in true underachiever fashion, introduced a singer who'd assimilated the powerful interpretive talents of Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan, the earthy power of Aretha Franklin, and the crystal purity and emotional resonance of folksingers like Judy Collins. Indeed, the album often sounded more like vocal jazz or folk than soul, beginning with the credits: a core quartet of Flack on piano, John Pizzarelli on guitar, Ron Carter on bass, and Ray Lucas on drums, as fine a lineup as any pop singer could hope to recruit. No soul artist had ever recorded an album like this, making First Take one of the most fascinating soul debuts of the era.
John Bush, AllMusic
Be The First To Review This Product!
Help other Birdland Records users shop smarter by writing reviews for products you have purchased.