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Transformation: Best of

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 12, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Nona Hendryx ~ Transformation: Best Of

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Bustin' Out
  2. Why Should I Cry?
  3. Rock This House
  4. Baby Go-Go
  5. Transformation
  6. Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
  7. Keep It Confidential
  8. I Sweat (Going Through The Motions)
  9. I Need Love
  10. B-Boys
  11. Tax Exile
  12. If Looks Could Kill
  13. Skindiver
  14. Design For Living
  15. Winds Of Change (Mandela To Mandela)
  16. A Man In A Trenchcoat (Voodoo)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 12, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • ASIN: B00000GUZL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,083 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Mitchell on March 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
So sad this comphrehensive overview of Nona's entire career is now OOP on CD only after a few years after being released by Razor & Tie - ALL of Nona's strongest tracks are here - so many fine moments to choose from, but a few of my own favorites are from Nona's self-titled NYC art-funk album from '83 produced by the Bill Laswell/Material gang. I got this LP at a radio station giveaway and have kept it close my in collection for over two decades! If you don't think TRANSFORMATION or B-BOYS are funky (esp the rare Jellybean remix edit!), you don't have a pulse. Possibly my favorite tracks are either KEEP IT CONFIDENTIAL (the vocal run at the end, the uplifting neo-gospel vibe!) or prime Jam & Lewis 80s shuffler WHY SHOULD I CRY? - a take-no-prisoners should-have-been-hit, and would have been had it been sung by Janet, etc. Even ARTHUR BAKER-helmed "D.O.A." had the goods, but stalled at the gate at Top 40 - WHY?! Nona has the looks, the songwriting chops, the stance, and and the sheer ground-breaking attitude to pull it off, but sadly the public at retail & radio wouldn't let her, due to her unwillingness to dilute or "dumb down" her potent mix of rock and R&B that transcended borders and broke down barriers. And that VOICE - a strong, clear siren song that cuts glass or caresses when it needs to get the job done - I once saw Nona do a cover of "Bennie & the Jets" in full S&M regalia at an AIDS benefit in the LA in the early 90s - among a hit of heavy-hitters, she easily stole the show. If you see this CD on the bins or online, GRAB IT PRONTO! It's just a pity her original labels didn't see fit to release the ORIGINAL FULL LPs on CD!
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Format: Audio CD
Nona Hendryx began her career with Patti LaBelle And The Bluebells in the early 60's. When they changed their name to Labelle in the early 70's, Hendryx became the main songwriter. Her voice was the anchor. We only got a little taste of her singing ability back then, and what an ability it is! After the breakup of LaBelle, Nona released one hard rock album in 77 and gravitated toward the New York Art rock scene, where became an extended member of Talking Heads and worked with Bill Laswell's avante garde rock outfit, Material. In 83, she released "Nona", co-produced and backed primarily by Material. It was a critical success and fared very well in markets with progressive formats, but the problem with it was that R&B stations felt it was too much Rock for them and Rock stations were a bit put off by the soul aspect. When Tina Turner broke through in 84 with "Private Dancer", I thought for sure that this would open the door for Hendryx. Rolling Stone once stated that she could out shout Tina from 50 feet away. Unfortunately, Turner's success didn't open that door and this collection was all that remained of her catalog, and is now unavailable after only being out for all of two years. She had all the ingrdients for superstardom (voice, writing ability, stage presence and stunning good looks) and it just didn't quite click.

To describe her voice, I'd say that Gladys Knight comes to mind, though her voice is a bit higher and has far more range.
This collection offers a fine overview of her carreer, though I'd really like to see her whole catalog reinstated. Personal favorites of mine here "Transformation" which really makes Grace Jones sound like an amatuer.
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By A Customer on January 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you're looking to try something different in the vein of something that's simply of high quality and highly original without feeling like you just don't get 'it', then I absolutely recommend this Nona Hendryx CD. Mostly everything on this compilation is intriguing without being presumptious. In fact, the only thing here that makes me yawn is "Baby Go-Go", which is semi-passable Prince funk that sounds too hit-aspired to be sincere--something Nona otherwise never has any trouble coming across as. Her voice lets her listener hear no boundary if it has any, her material is never tiring, her point of view always refreshing even with ordinary topics like love. She rocks like she's giving lessons how to and she's soulful like it's her backbone. "Busting Out" is really the only anthem of its subject matter that is really needed. Until her catalog is completely re-issued (I'm keeping optimistic) this a perfect starting point. Two interesting notes: 1) Some tracks were remixed for original single release and these are intsances that it has actually enhanced rather than neutered a songs' punch; those versions are included here. 2) This CD ends with an edited version of a LaBelle song that smartly leaves you needing to investigate that other aspect of her career. Cameleon, the original album that this song comes from, is tremendous and Nona wrote 99% of it. Please, travel every avenue of Nona's career. It's quite an inspiring and scenic route.
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Format: Audio CD
...the uncompromisingly progressive and experimental Nona Hendryx.
This is a compendium of some of Nona's greatest solo hits, which includes "Transformation" (drums by Sly Dunbar and percussion by Steve Scales giving it that Sadkin Island sound), the top 20 dance tune "I Sweat (Goin' thru the Motions)", "Keep It Confidential" and a Labelle/Hendryx favorite "Man in a Trenchcoat". As mentioned by one of the reviewers below, she was the poetress/songwriter-in-residence for the vocal group Labelle and part of the New York-East Coast Art Scene/Bill Laswell/Material/Talking Heads studio innovators of the 80's. And she's sung background vocals on almost everybody's recordings, the list is as long as the Manhattan phone book.
Alas, like the reviewer below indicated, urban listeners are unkind to anything which smacks of being rock'n'roll which is harder than extended electric guitar solos on some of their favorite ol skool dance tunes. And she is urbane, aware, sophisticated and smart, and regardless of whether her voice is churchy, southern and bluesy, ya can't come off as being too, too, too smart as she is...which is one of those je ne sais quas that sells (among other things) records to black audiences. (Which is why, in my opinion, Gil Scott Heron made plenty of awesome, well thought out brilliant tunes about Apartheid and social and political oppression, but no one from the 'hood listened that much to him until "In the Bottle"...and mostly since then the only thing that comes close to his kinda political awareness songs that are accepted by the 'hood was Public Enemy's "Fight the Power"...which is also why Angela Bassett, a brilliant thespian and quite a smart lady, will find it difficult to get her due when there's folks like Lil Kim taking acting roles.
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