Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

by: Natalie Cole

In 1988 Natalie Cole was enjoying great success with her recording career. Her comeback album, Everlasting, proved to be a smash, and had provided her with several big hits. Among those was her version of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac." The third single from the album, it was revamped into a powerful dance song -- much improved from the original, lackluster album version. It was that dance mix which propelled the song into the Top Five, making it the biggest hit of her career. Imagine the disappointment when, upon hearing her 2000 collection Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, one realizes the version on this album is the original album mix, not the version which became a hit! This long-awaited greatest-hits album, released to coincide with a television movie and a biography, has 19 tracks. In the U.S., Natalie Cole scored 18 Hot 100 pop hits up to the time of the album's release, so an all-inclusive album of her chart hits would have been a realistic possibility. As it goes, many of her bigger hits -- "Jump Start," "Sophisticated Lady," "Someone That I Used to Love" -- are not on this album. Her earlier hits, among them "Mr. Melody" and "Our Love," are included as live recordings. Also, there is heavy emphasis on selections from her 1999 album Snowfall on the Sahara. All this leads one to hope that any complimentary volume to this one will include the studio versions of her hits. As an additional note, this collection boasts two new songs, "Angel on My Shoulder" and "Livin' for Love," plus the soundtrack-only single "A Smile Like Yours." True, the songs are good and the album is a pleasure to the ear. One only wishes that the extra step would have been taken to assemble the correct versions of her hits, and that a second volume will follow. ~ Jose F. Promis

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