Teena Marie: Ultimate Collection
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All-Music Guide writer Alex Henderson put it best: "No White artist has sung R&B more convincingly than Teena Marie." This tempest is a teacup, or "little munchkin White girl," as mentor Rick James once referred to her, belted out some of the most robust, authentic R&B of the late-'70s.
From the get-go, her identity was shrouded in secrecy. To prolong the ruse, her debut album on Gordy featured no photos of her, only a soft-focus image of the sea and sky. The ploy worked: Her first single, "I'm a Sucker for Your Love," a duet with Rick James, reached #8 R&B. When the truth was learned and the jig was up, it was too late: an R&B hitmaker was let lose, and there was no stopping her. Between '79 and '91, she had 23 R&B hits; of those Seven were Top 10.
For the First Time, her finest fire from both her Gordy/Motown and Epic years is captured on a single CD, including "I Need Your Lovin'"; "Suqare Biz"; "Lovergirl"; her two duets with Rick James, "I'm a Sucker for Your Love" and "Fire & Desire"; and her tribute to fellow Motown-to-Sony defector, Marvin Gaye, "My Dear Mr. Gaye."