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First Take Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, September 19, 1995
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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. Compared To What 5:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Angelitos Negros 6:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Our Ages Or Our Hearts 6:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. I Told Jesus 6:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodby 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 4:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Tryin' Times 5:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Ballad Of The Sad Young Men 7:00$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Roberta Flack Store


Image of album by Roberta Flack


Image of Roberta Flack


Biography by Steve Huey

Classy, urbane, reserved, smooth, and sophisticated -- all of these terms have been used to describe the music of Roberta Flack, particularly her string of romantic, light jazz ballad hits in the 1970s, which continue to enjoy popularity on MOR-oriented adult contemporary stations. Flack was the daughter of a church organist and started playing piano early enough ... Read more in Amazon's Roberta Flack Store

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Frequently Bought Together

First Take + Chapter Two + The Very Best of Roberta Flack
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002J5S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,946 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Out of print in the U.S.! Import pressing of the 1969 debut album from the sophisticated Soul vocalist. Eight tracks. Warner.

Customer Reviews

Listening to this album will be an experiencing like no other.
V. VanCamp
Roberta Flack's voice is like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day -she's not a belter - she is an original whose voice can move my soul with its subtly & power.
I purchased this CD to replace my original vinyl record which I have given to my grandson who - incidentally - loves this kind of music.
Free Form Enterprises

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Steven B. Williams on August 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Here is one of those albums so pure in its artistry that it stands as one of the finest examples of what "less is more" truly means. But it wasn't until I saw Roberta in person that I understood the power of her connection with an audience. And visa versa. It was 1972, still early in her trajectory, and she had sold out what was one of her biggest concerts to date at the H.I.C arena in Honolulu. At the last minute, she fell ill and everyone had the option of getting their money back or keeping their ticket till she rescheduled several months later. No one was surprised that everyone held on to their ticket, but no one was prepared for what happened when she finally appeared. So enraptured was the audience that the second her foot hit the stage she received a standing ovation that simply would not stop. Not when she finally gave up bowing and sat down at her piano, and not when she finally buried her face in her hands and simply wept. It was the most profoundly moving concert moment I have ever seen - and she hadn't even sung a note! Such was, and is, the power of Roberta Flack and "First Take." Everything that has been written here is accurate; but, strangely, no one mentioned the one track that, for my money, is the most powerful, "Ballad of the Sad Young Men," which has only become more poignant with the added tragedy of AIDS. If ever there was an album that defines musical excellence, it would have to be the one that got its name when it was recorded on its "First Take." But when you do it right the first time, one take is all you need, isn't it?

- Steven B. Williams, Los Angeles
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Eric V. Moye on March 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Like one other reviewer, Roberta Flack is my all time favorite vocalist. Her voice is nothing short of magical. It can be soft and gentle and powerful. On this album, she shows both ends of her spectrum.
I saw her in concert, now some twenty five years ago. It was like no other concert I have ever seen in life, before or since. She was magical, from the very first moment she came out onto the stage with one word: "Hello". From that moment, she had the audience in the palm of her hands.
Clint Eastwood may not have discovered her, but he sure gave her a wider audience by including her signature song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" in his dark movie, "Play Misty For Me". It was a classic, and propetic; the first time ever I heard her voice I knew that I was hearing something unlike anything I had ever heard before.
Along with that wonderful piece, this album includes "That's No Way To Say Goodbye", and "Tryin' Times". These works sure make this album worth having. Her voice is a gem, to be treasured.
The rumor was, back in the day, that Roberta Flack could make good music when she was happy, but could only make great music when she was unhappy. I am ashamed to say it, but if this is true, an awful lot of her fans sure got a lot of pleasure as a result of her pain. For her sacrifice, we owe her a great debt, and hopes for her happiness.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
"First Take" is Roberta Flack's best album. Listening to it, you can see why she created a real stir in her early days. Intelligence, artistry, a jazz AND folk sensibility, deeply held passion, and spirituality are just a few words to describe what that amazing brand new voice was bringing to the table. It must've been amazing to hear her in a small club in those days before she hit it big and got somewhat swallowed up by that great big pop maw. "Compared To What" is a fine opener to an album that keeps a very organic and sustained tone throughout, but the real payoff here is "I Told Jesus". Absolutely mind-blowing, it will take you someplace that will send shivers up and down your spine. Listen to it in a darkened room alone with your - and her - thoughts.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"First Take" is literally just that. Roberta Flack's debut album captured in one single take that should rank among the great albums of the 60s like "Dusty In Memphis" but unfortunately isn't so widely acknowledged as such outside a small circle of music fans and critics. It's about time due recognition was given to this truly classic album by black music's most underated diva. For a start, "First Take" has lost none of its spontaneity and magic more than 30 years after its release. The liner notes by Les McCann says it all. There are only eight tracks on the album, all of them exceptional and incandescent. From the live sounding opening jazz number ("Compared To What") to the closing gay anthem ("Ballad Of The Sad Young Men"), Roberta has us under her spell with some of the most spinetingling and inspired singing ever to have been captured on record. Everybody loves or is at least familiar with "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (the #1 hit featured in the movie "Play Misty For Me") but few appreciate just how much better it sounds in the context of the album. On route to it, you would have experienced some of the most passionate and honest music ever made, as evident in the awesome majesty of "Angelitos Negros", the heartfelt beauty of "Our Ages Or Our Hearts" and the deep deep spirituality of "I Told Jesus". Roberta's take on the bluesy lament "Trying Times" is just great and truly definitive, rendering any subsequent attempts at covering it superfluous. In the same way, many artistes have recorded "Ballad Of The Sad Young Men" but none has gotten this close to the heart of the song. Finally, "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye" shows what transforming powers a great artiste with the right sensibilities can have over any kind of material. If you have a problem with the hissiness (particularly conspicuous on "I Told Jesus") which even Rhino's remastering couldn't eliminate, think of "First Take" as a live take and maybe your problem will go away. A classic 60s album.
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