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on April 5, 2000
If you've never listened to Gino Vannelli's music before, there's no better way to discover his genius than through the "Ultimate Collection".
My first introduction to Gino was through "I Just Wanna Stop". I listened to the B-side cut called "The Surest Things Can Change" and I was hooked! The lady my Grandfather was seeing at the time was a huge Gino Vannelli fan, she had three of his albums. I listened to all of them that evening. I was blown away by Gino's different styles of music and his great voice.
Gino Vannelli's sound isn't just slow love songs (though he tears those up like nobody's business) you'll find progressive rock tunes like "Appaloosa" , "The River Must Flow", and "Brother To Brother". Some of you might remember seeing "Black Cars" and "Wild Horses" videos on MTV. You will also find great songs like "One Night With You" and "Love Me Now" - somehow the folks at A&M Records couldn't/wouldn't make the extra effort to put a song with intellect on the airwaves.
These songs are special, they're not your average bubble gum, golly gee whiz type songs. Gino Vannelli is a master at his craft. I suppose (if he wanted to) he could've sold his soul to the musical Satan out there and had monster hits. Because he didn't, I can write you this heartfelt review of his music that I find myself listening to quite often. Thanks Gino for not "selling out", many of us are very grateful!
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on July 12, 2005
This is probably the most complete compilation of all the "best of" collections of Vannelli songs released up to now.

Vannelli's career can be sliced in three pieces. The first era goes from his debut record Crazy life to his mega seller Brother to brother. It is the better known one, where he was releasing an album every year (6 from 73 to 78), hitting the charts and being considered as a sex-symbol by many ladies. "Felicia", "Love of my life", and mostly "I just wanna stop" are in fact still played every now and then on the radio.

Slice number 2 goes from Nightwalker to Unconsolable man, a period where there is more time space between each release, where Gino has problems with record labels (he wanted to release his stuff and the companies wanted to get more juice out of the Vanelli product after the success of Brother to Brother), and where he goes into an introspective phase. Even with the poppy Black cars, there is a clear musical shift.

Phase number three includes three albums in ten years : Yonder tree (a jazz album), Slow love (almost all ballads) and Canto (opera oriented, with songs in Spanish, French and Italian, and not featured on this collection). Vannelli now makes music the way he wants it, for a minority (by that meaning a reduced and specific audience), and he is practically retired from public life (last time I saw him in concert was in 95).

All that being said, this triple cd contains all the songs mentioned above, practically distributed in the three periods described (one per cd). The sound is sensational. Even the "old" Crazy Life is completely revamped (the original recording sounded so outdated...) making it a terrific journey, even for people like me who have almost everything he released (I kept out of my collection Big dreamers never sleep, despite the songs "Wild horses" and "Persona non grata"). Note that you get an extended version of "Black cars" and several cuts from his Live in Montreal cd. The only song unfairly left out is "Put the weight on my shoulders".

So, as often said in these cases, this release is what you need if you don't have anything from Vannelli and want most of his best cuts, OR if some pieces are missing in your collection, OR if you are a big fan of Gino Vanelli. Once you get this, despite the price, I would recommend you to get A pauper in paradise; side "B" (the album was first released in vinyl format, 1977) is played with the London Philarmonic and that is worth the ticket by itself.
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on July 9, 2003
"The Ultimate Collection" truly captures the very best from Canadian pop crooner Gino Vannelli. His greatest success happened during the 1970's with a string of hit albums and some excellent singles. Since then, Vannelli has had only the occasional hit here and there but he is still out there performing for his many fans 30 years after the release of his debut album "Crazy Life".
This CD collects Gino's biggest hits from the '70s including the pre-disco stomper "People Gotta Move", "Love Of My Life", "Fly Into This Night" and "One Night With You". Of course, no Vannelli collection would be complete without his two biggest hits which are now signature ballads, 1978's "I Just Wanna Stop" and 1981's "Living Inside Myself". For good measure, three hits from Gino's comeback in the mid-'80s are included. The most successful of these was 1985's "Black Cars" which got extensive airplay on MTV when it was first released.
All in all, "The Ultimate Collection" does a fantastic job of showcasing Gino Vannelli at his very best. His voice as well as the musical arrangements (courtesy of Gino and brother Joe Vannelli) are knockouts. This CD serves as a great introduction to Gino Vannelli's music. You get 18 killer tracks with absolutely no filler. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up Gino Vannelli's "Ultimate Collection" and move to the groove.
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on July 9, 2006
This is a great CD for the true Gino Vannelli aficionado. It hits many of the highlights of his musical career from 1973 to 1998. For me it is a nostalgic walk through the decades highlighted by his music. I'm very pleased that it has so many tracks from his early 70's albums (Powerful People & Gist of the Gemini) AND that it also includes tracks from the 90's albums (Yonder Tree & Slow Love) as well because so many people think Gino's music ended after Black Cars in the 80's. At some point it will need to be updated again to include the albums from this decade as well.
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on April 7, 2003
collected Gino albums since 1970s and to really really see his (and brothers) phenomenallly unique style and RANGE you should listen to London Philharmonic collaboration album "Pauper in Paradise" ..."Gist of the Gemini" included my alltime favorite song for Gino's voice.... Omens of Love...if you want to hear him sing a ballad to his full potential...NOTHING COMES CLOSE. "Black and Blue", a classic jazz ballad also capitalized on his range and power. WHEW! The man's voice on these songs and Put the Weight on my Shoulders melted this woman for decades! For my opinion, Brother to Brother can't be touched in terms of intricate rhythms.... never get tired of it. I can go on and on, but to me...the earlier Gino, the best..up thru Nightwalker ...because he was foreshadowing sounds to come before the world had ever heard what sythnesizers could do. Thanks GINO!
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on February 16, 2000
After years of waiting, Gino's fans have gotten the CD they wanted. This great collection covers the beginnings and stardom of the 70's, the career challenge of the early 80's with the one "released" Arista album, and the return to major play in the mid and late 80's. While Gino has continued to evolve as an artist into the 90's, and today with more of a jazz feel, this CD covers his most popular work date. A must CD for all music fans who thinks great lyric writing is as important as as the music.
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on May 8, 2000
THIS is the CD we've all been waiting for! The creme de la creme of Gino! Every song is a gem, indeed! Some of my personal favorites included on this incredible CD: 'Fly Into This Night', 'Nightwalker', 'People Gotta Move', 'Crazy Life', 'Powerful People', & particularly 'Love Me Now'! There is SO MUCH 'Classic Gino' - that this could have easily been made into a double CD! For example, there are still PLENTY of gems on 'A Pauper in Paradise' & 'The Gist of the Gemini' that you should get as well that are not included on this CD. But who knows what the future may hold - perhaps a Gino Vannelli Anthology with never-before-released tracks? Now, THAT would be a wonderful treat for his millions of fans the world over! But for now, we can most DEFINITELY love every minute of this CD! And then wait for his next incredible CD!
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on February 22, 2000
This selective collection of memory-filled songs showcases Gino's genius and artistry over the last 27 years. He is a rare talent; his wellspring runs deep; he continues to teach and inspire us. We devoted fans know what a "force" he is, and he is in no way unappreciated by those of us with vision. We are kindred spirits. I am looking forward to what Gino is going to share with us in the future, but for now I will just replay my new CD. Ah-h-h, sing for me, Gino...
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on August 24, 2004
By far this has to be the best compilation of Gino Vanelli's work to date. Two CD's filled with the hits and some nice tracks that should have been hits and a bonus third CD with a cool danceable version of "Black Cars" included . Why is it that the Japanese and the Dutch can release the best compilations while the US puts out crap usually filler songs and rarely the original version of the song. I for one do not like remakes of a song once I hear it unless it is a live performance.
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on January 3, 2001
This collection cover's most of Gino Vannelli's most poular tunes. These 18 tracks span the years 1973-1987. There is not 1 mediocre song on here! I personally could have added a few more like If I Should Lose This Love from 1990. There are also other hits this International artist does not have included like L'Amour Est Loi (Wheels Of Life remake), his duet with Martin St. Claire, Keep On Walking and The Longer You Wait (a rare charting hit single unavailable on any LP or CD!). It does include his top 10 hit Living Inside Myself, his comeback dance hit Black Cars and the classic I Just Want To Stop. Other hot tracks include Appaloosa, Hurts To Be In Love, Crazy Life, Love Of My Life and Wild Horses. From his first top 40 hit People Gotta Move to his awesome siren hit Nightwalker, there is pure energy! Packaging is also noteworthy. Lots of rare pictures and info. This is a must have for any collector who wants to learn about the father of Synthesized pop/rock. He puts soul in his rock!
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