‘Old Friend: The Deluxe Collection’ of Phyllis Hyman | Nine Albums + Bonus Tracks
Now, some 26 years since her passing, a majority of her studio recordings, plus several bonus tracks, have been compiled for the nine-CD set “Old Friend: The Deluxe Collection 1976-1998,” available August 6th via Soul Music Records/Cherry Red Records.
“Old Friend: The Deluxe Collection 1976-1998,” is the most extensive collection yet of Phyllis Hyman‘s body of work to date that includes nine studio albums and several bonus tracks showcasing her range from R&B, jazz, pop, and more. Some fan favorites include “You Know How To Love Me,” “Can’t We Fall In Love Again?,” “Betcha By Golly Wow,” “Meet Me On The Moon,” “Somewhere In My Lifetime,” “Living All Alone,” “Loving You, Losing You,” “I Refuse To Be Lonely,” and more.
The customized boxed set includes personal tributes by Glenda Gracia, longtime manager, and executrix of the singer’s estate; music journalist and former Billboardeditor Janine Coveney, and music archivist and curator Michael Lewis; also featured are never-before-seen studio and candid photographs.
It’s a little known fact that throughout her career Phyllis went out of her way to partner and enlist people of color in every aspect of her business. She believed to “fight the power,” one must keep the dollars within their community, and was very vocal in her business dealings and standards. Her former business associates confirm that the singer never went back on her word. In full command of every aspect of her career, Phyllis embodied the incipient spirit that we now know as “Black Girl Magic” over 20 years ago; truly ahead of her time.
• Disc 1: PHYLLIS HYMAN (BUDDAH) marked Phyllis’ official album debut and includes the US R&B/dance charted single, ‘Loving You, Losing You’, co-penned by Philly soul maestro Thom Bell who also co-wrote ‘Betcha By Golly Wow’, which Phyllis recorded with jazz drummer Norman Connors in 1976 along with a duet with Michael Henderson (‘We Both Need Each Other’), resulting in her first exposure to a wider audience. Also on this expanded edition, both sides of Phyllis’ 1976 single for Desert Moon Records.
• Disc 2: SOMEWHERE IN MY LIFETIME marked Phyllis’ addition to the Arista Records’ roster when Buddah Records was acquired by the Clive Davis-helmed label. The title cut was co-produced by Barry Manilow; six tracks were included from Phyllis’ 2nd Buddah LP, “Sing A Song” which only gained release outside the US in 1978; expanded edition features bonus tracks from “Sing A Song” and a guest appearance with saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, ‘As You Are’ as well as 12” single versions of ‘Kiss You All Over’ and ‘So Strange’.
• Disc 3: YOU KNOW HOW TO LOVE ME teamed Phyllis with James Mtume & Reggie Lucas, hitmakers for Stephanie Mills; the result was Phyllis’ biggest R&B/dance hit with the now-classic title track; expanded edition includes the Thom Bell-produced ‘Magic Mona’, three tracks on which Phyllis guested with jazz pianist McCoy Tyner; and ‘In A Sentimental Mood’ from the Duke Ellington Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies, in which Phyllis starred and was nominated for a Tony award.
• Disc 4: 1981’s CAN’T WE FALL IN LOVE AGAIN featured Phyllis’ highest-charting R&B hit, the title track a duet with Michael Henderson. Other tracks included production by Norman Connors and Natalie Cole’s co-producer Chuck Jackson; this expanded edition features three tracks not on the original LP.
• Disc 5: GODDESS OF LOVE was Phyllis’ final LP for Arista with production from Narada Michael Walden (the R&B/dance hit ‘Riding The Tiger’) and Thom Bell, with a bonus track from the Bell sessions, ‘I’m Not Asking You To Stay’ on this expanded edition.
• Disc 6: LIVING ALL ALONE marks Phyllis’ 1986 pacting with Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records’ label and resulted in immediate success with two Top 20 R&B hits, the title track and the perennial ‘Old Friend’, which remained a staple of Phyllis’ live shows; expanded edition features guest appearances with Barry Manilow and Grover Washington Jr.
• Disc 7: 1991’s PRIME OF MY LIFE brought Phyllis her 1st R&B chart-topping single, ‘Don’t Wanna Change The World’ (with the rare non-rap version included on this expanded edition) and included notable tracks ‘Living In Confusion’ and ‘Meet Me On The Moon’. Additional bonus track, ‘Hottest Love Around’ was only previously available on a CD single.
• Disc 8: I REFUSE TO BE LONELY, with primary production by Nick Martinelli (who had worked on Phyllis’ 1991 CD) was released after her passing in June, 1995 and features five tracks co-written by Phyllis including the title track and standout ‘It’s Not About You (It’s About Me’).
• Disc 9: FOREVER WITH YOU consists of a collection of previously-unreleased recordings that Phyllis had recorded for Philadelphia International Records, including four she co-wrote, notably ‘The Strength Of A Woman’, as well as a memorable version of ‘Hurry Up This Way Again’, a 1980 R&B hit for The Stylistics.