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4.6 out of 5 stars
Teena Marie: Ultimate Collection
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Teena Marie's tenure with Motown Records (where she had the distinction of being it's most successful white singer) and her later affiliation with Epic (where she arguably reached her artistic maturity) both offer differing but important glimpses into Marie's gifts as an artist. Marie's Motown recordings showcased her youth, her exhuberance, and the live instrumentation and snazzy, jazzy horn section made for some great dance floor hits: among them, "Square Biz" (one of the first songs to incoporate a rap--and by a white woman, no less!), and "It Must Be Magic." At Motown, Teena Marie also began exploring the epic, grand-passion ballads that would grow into her strength on Epic Records. Her Motown affiliation does, however, offer some fine ballads: among them "Portuguese Love," an impassioned and long torch song featuring an ad lib by Rick James, her onetime producer and recently-confirmed onetime lover. When Teena Marie moved to Epic Records in 1982 and released the album "Robbery," she let loose on the ballads and released some memorable love songs; unfortunately, they are not to be found in this not-quite "Ultimate Collection." It is nice to see the exotic "Latin Lullaby," a song she wrote and performed on saxaphone goddess' Pamela Williams debut album, "Saxtress." Also of interest is the jazzy number "Work It," one of Marie's most danceable tracks, from her 1988 album "Naked To The World." "The Ultimate Collection" would have lived up to it's title had it included some of the showstopping ballads Marie released at both Motown and Epic, such as "Yes Indeed," "Where's California," "We've Got To Stop Meeting Like This," "Out On A Limb," "Dear Lover" and "Shadowboxing." The novelty in this release is that it contains both Marie's Motown and Epic affiliations, and that is commendable. But in order to get the true scope of Teena Marie's talents, check out "Lovergirl: The Teena Marie Story" for her Epic-related work and "Greatest Hits: IMPORT" for her Motown work.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This cd is put together pretty well. Anyone who is being introduced to Teena Marie's music for the very first time should have this cd. Her R&B ballads are composed very well, and it's a wonder to listen to the extended versions of her songs, such as "Portuguese Love", "If I Were a Bell", and "Deja Vu" (the last two are NOT on this compilation, btw). However, for those who have heard her before, this compilation falls short. Some songs such as "Alladin's Lamp", "Shadow Boxing", and "Cassanova Brown" are noticeably absent. (A Best of Teena Marie contains "Alladin's Lamp", although the album is nowhere near an honest representation). There are other Lady T releases that warrant more attention, such as "Lovergirl: The Teena Marie Story"; "I Need Your Lovin': The Very Best of Teena Marie" (which contains "Deja Vu") and, in my personal opinion, "Irons in the Fire". "Irons" is one of her best, but underrated, releases with songs such as "Tune In Tomorrow", a song which mixes jazz and r&b flavor, as well as the equally underrated "You Make Love Like Springtime", and the equally enjoyable "Young Love". That cd is more than worth the price. As far as Ultimate, however, it's good, but not a true testament of Lady T's influence on the R&B world. Definately purchase any or all of the three aforementioned CDs, which have all of her songs in the extended versions, to truly experience her impact in the music industry.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Teena Marie just happens to be one of the very few white female artist that has done R&B along with pop quite well.

Her success has allowed her to cross boundaries that many other artist dream about. Her timeless voice gives her the ability to sing just about anything. Even thou I have yet to hear her sing any gospel or reggae flavored songs, she probably would do great in that area too.

I actually hesitated on buying this cd, but then I thought, buy it and see what it has to offer. Good choice I made. Even thou she has several Collections and Greatest Hits cds on the market, they all seem to be missing some of her hits or some of her awesome songs that didn't even make it off of the albums at all.

I found this cd to be filled with a little bit of everything from Funk & Pop songs like Square Biz and Sucker For Your Love. The R&B cuts like, If I were a Bell and the all time great song with Rick James, Fire & Desire. This is probably the song that really sent her on her way and put her on the map even thou her identity was kept a secret. What a marketing move that was!

Her Love Songs, Latin Lullaby, If I Were A Bell and Now That I have You should have been released as singles in her hey day. My favorite, Irons In the Fire is a melodic song that makes you wonder if she is talking about herself. She puts so much of herself in her love songs and that Spanish Flavor that she adds to her songs (not just in this cd but other ones also) in this cd is so sensual.

Even thou, I did not list all of the songs on the cd, overall, the cd is a must have for any Teena Marie Fan.

Despite the many Greatest Hits cds out there on her, this is one that I would recommend to any Teena Marie Fan. I suggest that if you can't find all the songs that you like by her on any one cd, do like I did, buy them and then create your own personal Teena Marie cd with your favorite songs for your own listening pleasure. I can listen to my favorite songs by her when I'm in a Teena Marie mood.

Here we are in a new millenium and Teena is still singing, producing, performing, and writing music on her terms and she still sounds great!

One Luv
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I am a big Teena Marie fan, and one of my biggest gripes has been that there is no single comprehensive greatest hits collection available. Understandable, since the bulk of her material was on two different labels: from 1977-82 she was on Motown, and from 1983-91 she was on Epic (her single independent release was 1994's PASSION PLAY).
This collection spans both those labels, but it is really far from "Ultimate". I'm happy to see some of my favorites here (especially PORTUGUESE LOVE- one of, if not the greatest song she ever recorded), but the are some omissions that I just cannot get past. Where is OUT ON A LIMB? Where is CASANOVA BROWN (it wasnt a single, but it is a perennial fan favorite)? And most unforgivable of all....where is her only, I repeat, ONLY #1 R&B hit, OOH LA LA LA????? How on Earth can this be considered Ultimate????
Oh well. There are many good songs here, so if you MUST only buy one CD, this would be it. But in the meantime, I guess I was best off with both a Motown Greatest Hits and an Epic Greatest Hits (and both labels have released multiple collections of her respective works there)...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I'm 18, but I am a fan of Ms. Teena. My mother played Teena Marie all the time when I was younger. I fell in love with her voice and as I got older, I stole some of her tapes and played them in my room. This girl is B-A-D! "My Dear Mr. Gaye" is an excellent tribute to the late Marvin Gaye, and "Fire and Desire" shows just how in love her and Rick were. But why isn't "Out on a Limb" on here? She threw down on that song, the same as "Lovergirl". I love Teena all around, she has so much talent. And like many, I was shocked to find out she was white, but it's all good, because it didn't stop her from selling albums. I'm young and I do listen to more recent, music, but I always came back to Teena. I could sit here all day and tell you my favorite songs from her. (And I can't say that about most of these artists today) For all old school junkies, this woman is really someone you should listen to. You'll be hooked!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
If you are new to Teena Marie, then this is the must-own compilation. Old-school devotees of our "Lady T" already know what is up with this CD.....it's "Nirvana" or "Meca" for the Teena Marie fan.

Lady T's power is timeless, full of emotion, soul and groove. Teena Marie is prolific in her writings and stylings. Her creativity shows through in writing, arrangement and vocal styling. She is unique. No other artist can bring to the table what she does. If you listen to her 80's hits, you will hear early hip-hop. She offends noone with her musical selections, and includes everyone. Whether you prefer rythmn and blues, latin soul, classic soul ballads, or tricked-out funk guitar, you are invited to the party. Required listening is "Portugese Love". If your hips don't start to rocking, and your love doesn't start to rise up in your throat, then you are in a coma. Passion and desire are unbridled in this gorgeous track. If you pine for a lost love, I don't suggest you listen to this cd, because you will only intensify your pain. She speaks your pain in every note, because she has felt its intensity herself. Lady T is colorless. Although she said on American Bandstand in the 80's that she was the "White Queen of Soul", I beg to differ. I like to call her "Angel of Soul", because she rises above and beyond this world with her ethereal voice and emotion. While Aretha Franklin is grounded in rock steady solid emotion, Teena Marie takes you to flight with her expressions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I completely discovered Teena by accident and I must say, it is not an accident I regret! Years after "stumbling" onto Teena's music, I consider myself a die-hard fan. While some of the essentials, such as "Deja Vu," "You Make Love Like Springtime" and "Casanova Brown" are missing, this truly is the Ultimate Collection. There is no other soul-filled, sensual voice as Teena's, who gives her very best on each and every song she sings. With her music full of funk and soul, this is an album you do not want to pass up.
Who would have thought that this little "white munchkin girl," as Rick James called her would find her place among the ranks of other fabulous funk, soul and quiet storm artists? Listening to this CD straight through will put you into Teena's trance! All of Teena's songs after her first album were written, produced and arranged by Teena, so what you hear here is PURE talent.
Teena is a pioneer to many today, paving the way for other artists to cross all barriers. It was once difficult for a white artist to crossover into "black" music and vice-versa, but Teena had to crossover to "white" music! Teena proved that skin color is not and should not be an issue. Pay attention to "Square Biz" and you'll hear Teena rap long before any other female artists did! You will not be disappointed spending your money on this fabulous CD!
Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent CD! Spanning Teena's years at Motown and later at Epic, this is the first CD that offers music from both periods of her recording career. Additionally, this CD is also one of very few Teena collections to include her duet with Rick James, "Fire & Desire". There are a number of songs shockingly left out: "Ooo La La", "Out On A Limb", and "Dear Lover", among others, but anything short of a complete boxed set will have to omit some songs. This album includes many of my favorites, though: "If I Were A Bell", "Portugese Love", "Irons In The Fire", "Young Love", and "It Must Be Magic". This collection offers a great mix of Teena's slow jams as well as her upbeat material. Overall, this is a great album for fans old and new, and an even better reminder of a woman who wrote, produced, and arranged most of her own music at a time when things just didn't work that way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I realize that Teena Marie has recorded for several different record companies over the last two decades, but, by my count, 11 different hits collections have been released in the past fifteen years. She hasn't even recorded 11 albums of new material! And, the title of this collection notwithstanding, there has yet to be a fully comprehensive collection to date. So long as a Teena Marie retrospective does not include "Lips to Find You", one of her catchiest singles, released in her "Lovergirl" period, no collection is complete. You would think that, at least, three of her record companies could get together to put out the truly "ultimate" Teena Marie package.
(They did it for Peggy Lee, and that was 35 years worth of material.)
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Teena Marie obviously wasn't the first white artist to sing r&b, but she's among the very few who can pull it off respectably and with conviction. A rare and original talent, the artist otherwise known as Lady T writes and produces much of her own material, and many of her singles are bonafide classics. As a child of the 1980s, I grew up with the music of Teena Marie, and it was hard to discuss her without mentioning her mentors: Berry Gordy and the late Rick James. "The Ultimate Collection" is a disc featuring 15 of her biggest hits, and although a double CD would have been ideal, it still does the job very well. Of course, it has her crossover hit "Lovergirl," but r&b fans know that there's much more to her than that one top 40 pop hit. The blazing duet with Rick James "Fire and Desire," the timeless "Portuguese Love," "Square Biz," and her debut single "I'm a Sucker for Your Love" are some of Teena's most important hits because they helped cement her reputation as a legit r&b artist and not a pop star riding the soul bandwagon. Until we get a more comprehensive collection of her work, "The Ultimate Collection" is a wise choice for those who have to get one disc by Teena Marie.
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