Minnie Riperton, Reasons (1974)
A five-octave vocal range, the mother of Maya Rudolph, punchline of an early South Park episode (thanks to Lovin’ You – included on this album), Minnie Riperton is trivia-gold. Sad story too, dead at 31. Breast cancer. She was a real talent too, freakishly good and this album would be worth it for her efforts alone, but add to the mix one Stevie Wonder on various instruments, writing some of the songs and co-writing. Apparently he wasn’t busy enough making legendary albums back-to-back from 1971-1976. Not only did he also have time to make sweet (and then bitter-sweet) music with and for his wife (and then ex-wife) Syreeta he was also at the helm of this fantastic record (his playing credited to/as El Toro Negro). But he doesn’t quite steal the scene here. Not possible with a singer like Riperton. Killer band too. But it’s her show. Her second album. Her best. A small handful of records followed. On the tour to promote this she was diagnosed with cancer. She battled on. Became a spokesperson, a celebrity open and public about the disease while it was killing her. She had a young family to raise too. And then before the end of this decade she was gone. Sad story. Incredible talent.
Sample Track: Reasons
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