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Audio CD, October 21, 2008
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Candlelight (Album Version) 4:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Roll Out (Album Version) [feat. Wyclef Jean] 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Superlover (Album Version) 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. System (Album Version) 5:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Truth Will Set You Free (Album Version) 4:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Without You in My Life (Album Version) 5:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Tears For The World (Album Version) 4:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Dear Rosa (Album Version) 6:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. How Long (Album Version) 4:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Miss Otis Regrets (Album Version) 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 21, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B001E2PTIG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,730 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Labelle is back with one of the most anticipated recordings of 2008! Sounding every bit as sassy, fresh and edgy as in their heyday, Patti, Nona and Sarah have brought together some of the powerhouse talents of today & yesterday to create a true event. The first single 'Rollout' prominently features Wyclef Jean on an upbeat contemporary anthem that will expose Labelle to a whole new audience. Lenny Kravitz plays all over the three tracks he produced combining unique R&B retro sounds with his natural rock edge. The Masters of Philly Soul Kenneth Gamble & Leon A. Huff bring their magic to four of the album's ten tracks. The album closes with a recording of 'Miss Otis Regrets' from 1969. Produced by Kit Lambert.

About the Artist

In the history of female groups, none has ever achieved the longevity, or experienced the kind of creative evolution, that Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash have. Since their original formation at the dawn of the girl-group era as The Bluebelles (with then-fourth member Cindy Birdsong) in 1961, through their incarnation as R&B powerhouse (Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles), and on to their pioneering years as the unprecedented rock-soul-funk trio Labelle, Hendryx, LaBelle and Dash have remained peerless.

These three women spent fifteen years together with a consistent commitment to bringing energy, excitement and soul power to live performances, and cutting-edge innovation to a series of classic albums until 1976, when they separated without fanfare to pursue individual goals and aspirations. Thirty-two years later, with the release of a brand new Verve Records album (featuring such top notch producers as Lenny Kravitz, Gamble & Huff, and Wyclef Jean), the aptly titled Back to Now, Labelle is back on center stage. Formed out of the merging of two Philadelphia/New Jersey-based groups in 1960, Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles were imaginative and innovative from the start, choosing to interpret standards and classics such as "You'll Never Walk Alone," "Danny Boy" and their ultimate showstopper "Over The Rainbow" with soaring vocals and unique harmonies. Following their '61 hit, "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman," the original quartet toured extensively, bringing audiences to their feet at such venues as The Apollo in New York, The Uptown in Philadelphia and The Regal in Chicago. Signed to Atlantic Records by legendary executive Jerry Wexler, the group cut two albums (the first of which included their version of "Groovy Kind Of Love") without major chart success. With the departure of Birdsong to join The Supremes, the remaining three were in need of a radical change to survive changing musical times as the `70s dawned. Recalls Sarah Dash, "I wrote to Vicki Wickham [the producer of the British television show, Ready Steady Go! on which the group had appeared in 1965] and told her we needed management. She came to a show we did at The Apollo. We knocked the audience down to the ground that night! She said, `I have some ideas...' Wickham brought Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp (the management team for The Who) of London-based Track Records and the group signed with the label, moving to the U.K. for a period of nearly six moths, trying different musical concepts and approaches at Wickham's suggestion. Notes Patti, "What we were doing was kinda corny. We knew we needed to make a big move. I was afraid of change...but when it happened, it was a welcome change." For Nona, "It was time to get out of the old and into the new. I'm always looking for change so I was excited and interested in discovering something new." When the newly-named trio Labelle returned to the U.S., the bouffant wigs were replaced with Afros, sequined gowns with jeans. Their 1971 debut set for Warner Brothers included material such as The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" and Carole King's "You've Got A Friend" as well as tunes by Laura Nyro and new compositions by all three group members. The same year, Labelle teamed with Nyro for her groundbreaking album It's Gonna Take A Miracle, produced by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, which featured much-loved songs of the `50s and `60s. A national tour opening for The Who was followed by a second Warners album (Moonshadow) and by the time Labelle signed with RCA in 1973 (for the one-off Pressure Cookin' album), the trio had traded in jeans for silver space suits and feathers. Working with New York designers Larry LeGaspi and Richard Erker, Labelle visually bridged the chasm between R&B and glam rock. Labelle's stage show was revamped: audiences were treated to Patti and Nona flying down from the ceiling and Sarah rising from the floor, bringing a combination of drama, power and high octane soulful vocalizing to the most diverse of crowds, culminating in a SRO show at New York's Metropolitan Opera House in 1974. That year, Labelle signed with Epic Records. Working with famed producer Allen Toussaint in New Orleans, the group created a breakthrough album with Nightbirds, spurred on by the across-the-board international success of the hit single "Lady Marmalade" (covered in 2001 by Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim and Pink). Whether on Rock Concert or Soul Train, in Rolling Stone or Jet," Labelle's futuristic blend of soul and rock found favor with audiences coast-to-coast. Featuring a number of tailor-made, distinctive compositions by Hendryx (such as "Going Down Makes Me Shiver" and "Messin' With My Mind"), two strong albums in the form of 1975's Phoenix and 1976's Chameleon followed. As all three agree, "Everyone had different directions they saw for themselves...". Patti, Nona and Sarah forged individual pathways. Always remaining friends and staying in touch, the trio came back together in 1995 to record the No. 1 dance music hit "Turn It Out" for the movie, To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, and came together in 1999 (with Cindy Birdsong) to receive a prestigious R&B Foundation Pioneer Award. After Nona found a song that was a tribute to civil rights leader Rosa Parks, "I asked Pat about us doing it as a group. Pat's been talking about us getting back together for thirty years! I said, `we should either stop announcing it...or do it!'" For Patti, the idea of coming back together to record and tour was all about timing: "Every time it came up, I was working. I knew it was long overdue but each time, I was not ready to do it and I had so many things on my plate. My manager Damascene Pierre Paul kept asking me to do do this; he was begging me and finally, I gave in. Then I said, `I don't want to half-step...I will make time to do this." Adds Sarah, "We'd been talking about it and we had a meeting in 2007 to see what we could put in motion. We never did a farewell tour. We just stopped. This is a way of bringing completion for the fans who were with us from the beginning."

The result of what Nona likes to call the trio's "re-ignition" is a bold new album which embodies everything Labelle has ever been. With the group's ever-distinct harmonies and high octane vocals, LaBelle, Hendryx and Dash bring something new and fresh to their latest work. Producers Lenny Kravitz, Gamble & Huff and Wyclef bring out the best in the trio. "I had just seen Kenny and Leon receiving their induction into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and Pat performed "If You Don't Know Me By Now," recalls Sarah. "I called Kenny and asked if he would meet with us." Nona brought Kravitz to the table: "We're friends and admirers of each other's work. We talked to him about the idea of us getting together and invited him to a session. He showed up that day at 5:00 and we haven't stopped working since."

Customer Reviews

If you're a Labelle fan you will appreciate this cd.
This is a MASTERPIECE tht cnt be duplicated....i just finished listening to this cd and as i stated b4, i'm glad they got 2gether to make ths cd, it's "FLAWLESS"!!!!!
charles jones
Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, collectively known as "Labelle," have reunited with wonderful results.
Alex Honda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John L. Hughes, Jr. on October 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The "try-too-hard-to-be-trendy" single "Rollout" is the only misstep on this otherwise excellent album from the reunited Labelle. Producers Lenny Kravitz and the legendary Kenneth Gamble step back and let the girls robust harmonies and interplay shine on such smashing originals as "Candlelight", "Superlover", "System" and "How Long". Even when the trio gets sappy on "Tears for the World", the girl's hearts still shine. But the real highlight here is the smoking cover of the 70s rock/r&b band Mother's Finest song "The Truth Will Set You Free".

Patti's over-the-top vocal performances are in check, and Nona and Sarah definitely make their presence known. Labelle has always been a group where the background vocals are just as important as the lead vocals. One of the best r&b albums released in a long time. Welcome back, Labelle!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Music Maven on October 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
They're baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!! And, not a minute too soon. Patti, Nona & Sarah still have it all goin' on! An amazing album!

Patti's soaring soulful vocals; Nona's optimal funk; and, Sarah's exquisite harmonizing have always been the stuff of Musical Legend. Labelle is still fresh after 32 long years of absence from the Music Scene.

Having had the privilege of bearing witness to their many 'incarnations' from the Bluebelles to their solo careers, this musically jaded writer can sincerely say this is one of their top musical endeavors.

Don't wait for Santa to be kind to you - get this fabulous album now. You'll be playing it over and over and discovering new delights each time you play it. BRAVA DIVAS!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andre S. Grindle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Obviously many classic soul lovers have been awaiting this for a very long time-finally Sarah Dash and the incomparable Nona Hendryx team back up with the now solo diva Patti Labelle for a full fledged reuinion. 'Back To Know' features the production help of both contempo musicians Wyclef Jean and Lenny Kravitz along with old Labelle pals Gamble & Huff for this gutsy,funky soul fest-full of those high energy gospel shouts and harmony's that Sarah,Nona and Patti can give us. All of the songs are excellent-even "Rollout";the only cut obviously designed to "reach the kids" of the new millenium with it's bass heavy hip-hop/pro-tools softwhere sound. Aside from that all of the music here could easily have been ripped from a late 70's follow up to Labelle's last album Chameleon (a classic more then worth hunting down);"Candlelight","Superlover" and "System" all explore the waters of soul,gospel drenched R&B and hardcore funk before each tune is out. Lenny Kravitz' presense makes itself clear on "Truth Will Set You Free",a tough funk rocker reminding us not only that Labelle were one of the earliest female groups to combine funk and rock but that none of that spark has faded with time or seperation. Even if the music world of today welcomes them the world Labelle are making a comeback in has changed dramatically. We've moved waaaay beyond Marvin Gaye's concerns about an "overcrowded land" with "fish full of mercury";we have global warming,a disintigrating economy and paranoia about terrorism.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Wilson on October 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Labelle has not missed a beat 30 years hence !! These women have the same funky fire they had in the 70s. My favorites are Candlelight and Superlover, but every one of these is groovy, on a righteous tip, slamming, banging, whatever term you wanna use from whatever decade.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. bell on October 22, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I know Labelle's history and I know that they are a talent unmatched by any other group male or female. But I just knew that they were going to come back with some mess, well one listen to the first song "Candlelight" and I knew then that the mess that I thought they were going to throw out here is far from what I thought. In fact I had to tell myself "that's what you get for thinking that you know what you don't." After 30 plus years they have come back with a masterpiece. You can listen to all 10 songs and hear the artistry that went into them. The real instruments and the harmony is pure magic. There is nothing on the market that sounds like this CD. The single "Rollout" is just a fun diddy for the ladies which Patti shouts out in a meaningful manner. Labelle, you have come back to now not with a good CD, not with a great CD but with a masterpiece. Oh and Miss Otis Regrets from 1970 (i think) is on there to let the people know that they don't sound too different from way back then. I'm not an awards type person but this is really Grammy material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Harrison on November 11, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is the album that many Labelle fans have been waiting for since their last album "Chameleon" in 1976. It picks up right where they left off and Patti, Nona and Sarah all sound amazing. The first time I listened to "Back To Now", it brought me back to the mid-70's era. This is REAL soul music inflected with some cool funky vibes. When you listen to "Candlelight" the opening track, you hear Lenny Kravitz's production stamp all over it. What a great collaboration! The first single, "Rollout" featuring Wyclef Jean is infectious but I think the autotune production is a bit unnecessary. Also, I find that the melody sounds very similar to Roberta Flack's late-80's hit "Oasis". Take a listen to both tunes and see for yourself.

My favorite track on the album is "System" - quintessential Nona Hendryx lyrics with real sweaty funk. I love it more and more each time I hear it. "Dear Rosa" is an epic and couldn't be more timely; President-elect Obama would be proud to hear a song like this and hopefully it will further inspire him!

The closing track "Miss Otis Regrets" is the remake of the Cole Porter classic with Labelle's vocals that were recorded in 1970. They sound incredible and it blends harmoniously with the tracks that were recorded more recently.

I highly recommend this album to Labelle fans everywhere. Enjoy.
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