74 minutes of Dionne's best on a single disc-that's 20 of her biggest Scepter and Arista hits, including the Top 10 smashes That's What Friends Are For; Then Came You; I Say a Little Prayer; I'll Never Love This Way Again; Walk On By; Anyone Who Had a Heart; Message to Michael; Heartbreaker; Do You Know the Way to San Jose , and more-all digitally remastered with great notes and photos!
This 20-track career overview's problems are summed up by the differences between two songs. "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," released in 1969, came near the end of Warwick's classic collaborative period with Burt Bacharach
and Hal David; contrast its witty approach to heartbreak ("What do you get when you kiss a guy? / You get enough germs to catch pneumonia / And after you do, he'll never phone ya") with "I'll Never Love This Way Again," the single that launched her chart comeback a decade later. That track encapsulates everything wrong with late-'70s easy listening, right down to the turgid Barry Manilow
production. Saddest, though, is Warwick's capitulation to empty displays of technique over the perfectly sung vulnerability she specialized in with Bacharach and David. Skip this set in favor of The Dionne Warwick Collection
, 24 masterpieces from the earlier period that will rarely be far from your CD player. As for Warwick's terrific 1974 meeting with the Spinners
on "Then Came You," you'd do better to check out a greatest-hits set
by those smooth-soul champs. --Rickey Wright