All-Time Greatest Hits
Barry White’s art did not have the depth or breadth of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder or Curtis Mayfield, but he did what he did better than anyone else in history. Always led by White’s deeper-than-deep baritone, his songs are lavish productions that roll along on grooves that are as easygoing as they are insistent. Every component was intended to engulf the listener in sound — White has never gotten his due as an arranger on par with Isaac Hayes, Charle Stepney and Leon Ware. At a time when disco songs were rolling out of record plants like packs of chewing gum, songs like “Never, Never Gonne Give Ya Up,” “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” and “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” offered the listener the authenticated drama of a classical orchestra. Under the lush arrangements, the grooves in White’s songs are ineffable, which is why they have endured long after the work of his contemporaries has vanished. In addition to the immortal hits, don’t miss “Playing Your Game, Baby” and “Let the Music Play,” lesser known but no less essential exponents of a soul signature.