Perfect Angel (Deluxe Edition - Remastered) Minnie Riperton feat. Stevie Wonder
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- 2It's So Nice (To See Old Friends)04:44
- 3Take A Little Trip04:09
- 4Seeing You This Way02:44
- 5The Edge Of A Dream04:23
- 6Perfect Angel03:42
- 7Every Time He Comes Around03:54
- 8Lovin' You03:59
- 9Our Lives05:44
- 10Lovin' You (Single Version With Countdown)03:36
- 11Reasons (Extended Version)04:11
- 12It's So Nice (To See Old Friends) (Exended Version)08:46
- 13Take A Little Trip04:16
- 14Seeing You This Way (Acoustic Version)03:27
- 15The Edge Of A Dream (Extended Version)05:06
- 16Perfect Angel (Extended Version)05:10
- 17Every Time He Comes Around (Extended Version)06:18
- 18Lovin' You (Alternate Band Version)04:51
- 19Our Lives (Extended Version)09:31
- 20Don't Let Anyone Bring You Down (Perfect Angel Version)03:42
Info for Perfect Angel (Deluxe Edition - Remastered)
Minnie Riperton, the singer with a distinctively high upper vocal range, topped the charts around the world in 1975 with "Lovin' You," one of the period's most distinctive and iconic hits. But the song only scratches the surface of Riperton's remarkable musical career, which began in her teens and ended prematurely with her untimely passing in 1979, at the age of 31. And it's only one facet of the extraordinary album from which it emerged, Perfect Angel.
Minnie's many facets are explored on Perfect Angel: Deluxe Edition, to be released as a double album set in 96kHz, 24-bit high-resolution audio format, in celebration of the singer's 70th birthday. This set brings home the fact that, though not known at the time for contractual reasons, the original album is essentially a collaboration with Stevie Wonder, who: co-produced the album with Minnie's husband Richard Rudolph; arranged the tracks with his band, Wonderlove; played keyboards, harmonica and drums; and wrote two songs. The set offers an excellent representation of Riperton's interpretive gifts and remarkable talent, all the more extraordinary for Wonder's contributions, which were made while he was winning GRAMMY® awards for Talking Book and Innervisions, and working on another LP, Fulfillingness' First Finale, which featured Minnie as a background vocalist on that album's "Creepin'" and was eventually issued just weeks after Perfect Angel in the summer of 1974. Wonder, a Taurean, was credited on Perfect Angel as "El Toro Negro"—the Black Bull.
"Minnie was my dear friend," said Stevie Wonder. "She was an extraordinary, vibrant person with an extra-special voice. I was a big fan of hers before we met and it was my honor to produce the album with Minnie and her husband Richard. Minnie had a positive energy that radiated throughout these sessions and throughout the rest of her life. When Minnie lived, she lived. She continues to live through this release."
"The whole experience was a total surreal experience and a pure joy from start to finish," Richard Rudolph now says of the making of Perfect Angel. "Working with Stevie Wonder in that intimate setting really was more that just a dream come true. And you can feel the 'wonder' throughout the entire album," Rudolph continues. "Minnie would be overjoyed to know that her music continues to touch people's lives."
Perfect Angel: Deluxe Edition includes 11 bonus tracks to the remastered original album, making in essence an alternate, extended version of Perfect Angel. Included is a duet version of "Take A Little Trip" with Stevie Wonder; an acoustic version of "Seeing You This Way;" and an alternate take of "Lovin' You," notable for its backing by the Wonderlove band, as the hit single version only used Rudolph on guitar and Wonder on keyboards. The seven-inch single version, with a synth overdub, plus a countdown by Rudolph not on the original, is also included. A bonus to the alternate LP is a 'Perfect Angel version' of "Don't Let Anyone Bring You Down," with Wonder playing most of the instruments, along with Hubert Laws on flute. The song was re-recorded with a different producer and band for Minnie's follow-up album, Adventures In Paradise.
Other cuts extend well past the LP's original fadeouts. They feature extraordinary solos and jams by Wonder and his band members, who were 20-year-old Michael Sembello and Marlo Henderson on guitars, Reggie McBride on bass and Ollie Brown on drums, with guests Sneaky Pete Kleinow on pedal steel guitar and percussionist Rocky Dzidzornu. On background vocals with Minnie are Wonderlove vocalists Deniece Williams, a future solo star, Lani Groves and Shirley Brewer, and the songwriter Yvonne Wright.
Minnie Riperton, vocals
Marlo Henderson, guitar
Michael Sembello, lead guitar
Reggie McBride, bass
Rocki Dzidzornu, congas
Ollie E. Brown, drums
El Toro Negro, drums, piano
Engineered by Malcolm Cecil, Robert Margouleff
Produced by Malcolm Cecil, Robert Margouleff
The tragic 1979 death of 31-year-old Minnie Riperton silenced one of soul music's most unique and unforgettable voices -- blessed with an angelic five-octave vocal range.
Riperton was born in Chicago on November 8, 1947; as a youth she studied music, drama, and dance at the city's Lincoln Center and later contemplated a career in opera. Her popMinnie Riperton career began in 1961 when she joined the local girl group called the Gems, signing to the famed Chess label to release a handful of singles as well as lend backing vocals to acts including Fontella Bass, the Dells, and Etta James. After graduating high school, Riperton went to work at Chess as a receptionist; following the Gems' dissolution, she signed with the label as a solo act, releasing a single, Lonely Girl, under the alias Andrea Davis.
In 1968, Riperton was selected as the lead vocalist of the psychedelic soul band the Rotary Connection, which debuted that year with a self-titled LP. The singles Amen and Lady Jane found a home on underground FM radio, but the group failed to make much impact on mainstream outlets.
In 1970 Riperton pursued a solo career; teaming with producer/arranger Charles Stepney and her husband/composer Richard Rudolph, she issued a brilliant debut album called Come to My Garden, in 1970. But again commercial success eluded her grasp. In 1973 she relocated to Los Angeles, where she caught the ears of Stevie Wonder and was immediately enlisted to his backing group, Wonderlove. Singing backing vocals on many tracks on Stevie's 1974, Fulfillingness' First Finale album and touring as a member of his backing unit.
Minnie RipertonStevie agreed to produce Minnies's 1974 album Perfect Angel, on which he also contributed two songs and played harmonica and keyboards. The popularity of the international hit Lovin' You made her a household name. However subsequent LPs like 1975'sMinnie Riperton Adventures in Paradise and 1977's Stay in Love failed to repeat its success. By this time, however, commercial woes were the least of her concerns. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she underwent a mastectomy in 1976, later becoming a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and earning a Society Courage Award from then-President Jimmy Carter.
Minnie continued performing despite her declining condition, with 1979's Minnie the final record completed during her lifetime -- she died in L.A. on July 12 of that year. Unreleased vocal tracks with new instrumental backing comprised 1980's posthumous collection Love Lives Forever featuring many of Minnie's admirers such as Michael Jackson, George Benson, Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack and Stevie.
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