20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Billy Preston
Though he's mostly remembered as a keyboard sideman (The Beatles, Sam Cooke, etc.), Billy Preston’s overlooked musical gift was how he inhabited his own songs, vocally, musically, and spiritually. He was like Stevie Wonder in that way. This perfectly paced set collects Preston’s best, from the ubiquitous “You Are So Beautiful” (popularized by Joe Cocker) to the Sly Stone–esque “Will It Go Round in Circles” to the Afro-popping instrumental “Outa-Space” (dig the clavinet and wah-wah) to the No. 1 pop smash “Nothing from Nothing.” Even the funk-chugging “Space Race” and “Struttin’”—and the beautiful “I Wrote a Simple Song”—reveal the gospel in Preston’s soul.