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 - Donny Hathaway ‎

  • Donny Hathaway

    Donny Hathaway ‎ LP (1971)

    ATCO Records

Ranked #98 in the Soul Strut 200

Donny Hathaway is touted as one of the most underrated soul singers of our time.  He is rarely mentioned in the same conversation with MJ or Smokey probably because his career was cut short and/or he never enjoyed mainstream success.

While his debut Everything is Everything was a fantastic voyage thorough his brand of gospel, soul, and funk, his sophomore self-titled album was much more honest and introspective. Although the album is almost all covers, it does not stop him from embracing the material adding his own authentic R&B flavor.

1971's Donny Hathaway begins with the emotional tear jerker ”Giving Up”.  It is quite simply one of the most emotional songs put on wax. If it does not give you goosebumps, you might want to check your pulse. Leon Russel's "A Song for You" and George Clinton's "She is My Lady" will put you in emotional shambles. The only upbeat track is "Magnificent Sanctuary Band" peppered with funky drums and Hathaway’s adorable gospel phrasing.  It's debatable whether or not this is his "best" album.  His 1972 Live album is another classic.  One thing that can be said is this album has a vibe that was never replicated.  Unfortunately, Hathaway had a history of mental illness and committed suicide in 1979.  Who knows what the future had in store for him.  An 80s Blockbuster Movie electro soul smash maybe?  RIP.

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