DENIECE WILLIAMS: Free – The Columbia / Arc Recordings 1976-1988, 8CD Box Set (SoulMusic Records)

Deniece Williams Box Set

SoulMusic Records is very proud to present a deluxe box set of the 11 Columbia and ARC albums by award-winning icon Deniece Williams released between 1976-1988. A constant presence on the contemporary music scene as a soul, pop and gospel best-selling artist and distinguished songwriter, ‘Niecy’ (as she’s been known since her early ‘70s tenure with Stevie Wonder’s female background vocalists Wonderlove) has racked up over 25 charted hits, all of which can be found on the eight discs that comprise this first-of-its-kind full showcase of Deniece’s distinctive and influential music.

Produced by SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan, “Free: The Columbia/ARC Recordings” includes an outstanding in-depth essay by distinguished US writer Justin Kantor, with 2021 direct comments from Deniece herself along with interview quotes from the legendary Johnny Mathis as well as an array of producers, songwriters and collaborators involved with some of Niecy’s albums, such as Nathan East, Bill Neale, Greg Mathieson, Monte Moir, Michael Jeffries, Diane Warren, and Michele Val Jean specifically for this project. With stunning artwork by Roger Williams and first class mastering by Nick Robbins, this beautifully-packaged set boasts 115 tracks that display Denice Williams’ soulful artistry as a pre-eminent hitmaker and creative mainstay with a global audience.

• Disc 1: Combining her 1976 gold-certified debut solo LP, NIECY with the follow-up SONG BIRD (1977) – the former produced by the late Maurice White (of EW&F fame) and the late Charles Stepney, the latter produced by White – the 15 tracks include the timeless classic ‘Free’ and Niecy’s long-time show closer ‘God Is Amazing’.

• Disc 2: An expanded edition of THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR, 1978’s international best-selling LP of duets with the iconic Johnny Mathis and three bonus tracks, the across-the-board global No. 1 ‘Too Much, Too Little, Too Late’ as well as versions of The Bee Gees-penned ‘Emotion’ and a 1984 rendition of Major Harris’ ‘Love Won’t Let Me Wait’.

• Disc 3: WHEN LOVE COMES CALLING (1979) with production by Ray Parker Jr. and David Foster includes the R&B/dance hit ‘I’ve Got The Next Dance’; and 1981’s MY MELODY teams Deniece with legendary Philly soul producer/songwriter Thom Bell resulting in charted singles, ‘Silly’ and ‘It’s Your Conscience’.

• Disc 4: Deniece and Thom Bell followed up with 1982’s NIECY included one of her biggest hits, a cover of The Royalettes’ ‘It’s Gonna Take A Miracle’; while the 1983 set I’M SO PROUD marked the beginning of Niecy’s work with late musical maestro George Duke on several tracks such as the title cut, a revival of the Curtis Mayfield-penned classic.

• Disc 5: LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY (1984) – title track produced by George Duke – brought Deniece her biggest global smash as well as the classic ‘Black Butterfly’ while she began producing herself (with Greg Mathieson) for a number of cuts for the LP as well as the follow up album, 1986’s HOT ON THE TRAIL.

• Disc 6: Standalone reissue of 1987’S WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE, produced by Steve Levine (known for his work with Culture Club and many others), features US R&B charted singles ‘I Confess’ and ‘Never Say Never’.

• Disc 7: 1988’s AS GOOD AS IT GETS completed Niecy’s Columbia tenure, with production by Monte Moir (Of The Time), Brad Westering and George Duke and includes the Michael Jackson-co-penned ‘We Are Here To Change The World’ and Top 10 US R&B hit ‘I Can’t Wait’.

• Disc 8 comprises 15 tracks with a selection of single edits including the Verdine White co-penned ‘Baby, Baby My Love’s All For You’ (1977) and ‘Do What You Feel’ (1983) as well as 12” disco mixes of ‘I Found Love’ (1979), the 12” version of ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’ (1984) and 12” extended versions of ‘Wiser And Weaker’(1986) and ‘Never Say Never’ (1987).

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Track Listing:

DISC ONE: THIS IS NIECY / SONG BIRD

1. IT’S IMPORTANT TO ME
2. THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
3. HOW’D I KNOW THAT LOVE WOULD SLIP AWAY
4. CAUSE YOU LOVE ME BABY
5. FREE
6. WATCHING OVER
7. IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE
8. TIME
9. THE BOY I LEFT BEHIND
10. WE HAVE LOVE FOR YOU
11. GOD IS AMAZING
12. BABY, BABY MY LOVE’S ALL FOR YOU
13. SEASON
14. BE GOOD TO ME
15. THE PAPER

DISC TWO: JOHNNY MATHIS & DENIECE WILLIAMS: THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR (EXPANDED EDITION)

1. YOU’RE ALL I NEED TO GET BY
2. UNTIL YOU COME BACK TO ME (THAT’S WHAT I’M GONNA DO)
3. YOU’RE A SPECIAL PART OF MY LIFE
4. READY OR NOT
5. ME FOR YOU, YOU FOR ME
6. YOUR PRECIOUS LOVE
7. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE
8. THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
9. I JUST CAN’T GET OVER YOU
10. TOUCHING ME WITH LOVE
BONUS TRACKS
11. TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
12. EMOTION
13. LOVE WON’T LET ME WAIT

DISC THREE: WHEN LOVE COMES CALLING / MY MELODY

1. I FOUND LOVE
2. ARE YOU THINKING?
3. MY PRAYER
4. I’VE GOT THE NEXT DANCE
5. TOUCH ME AGAIN
6. WHEN LOVE COMES CALLING
7. GOD KNOWS
8. LIKE MAGIC
9. TURN AROUND
10. WHY CAN’T WE FALL IN LOVE?
11. MY MELODY
12. IT’S YOUR CONSCIENCE
13. SILLY
14. STRANGERS
15. WHAT TWO CAN DO
16. YOU’RE ALL THAT MATTERS
17. SUSPICIOUS
18. SWEET SURRENDER

DISC FOUR: NIECY / I’M SO PROUD

1. WAITING BY THE HOTLINE
2. IT’S GONNA TAKE A MIRACLE
3. LOVE NOTES
4. I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES
5. HOW DOES IT FEEL
6. WAITING
7. NOW IS THE TIME FOR LOVE
8. A PART OF LOVE
9. DO WHAT YOU FEEL
10. I’M SO PROUD
11. SO DEEP IN LOVE
12. I’M GLAD IT’S YOU
13. HEAVEN IN YOUR EYES
14. THEY SAY
15. LOVE, PEACE AND UNITY
16. IT’S OKAY

DISC FIVE: LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY / HOT ON THE TRAIL

1. LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY
2. I WANT YOU
3. PICKING UP THE PIECES
4. BLACK BUTTERFLY
5. NEXT LOVE
6. HAUNTING ME
7. DON’T TELL ME WE HAVE NOTHING
8. BLIND DATING
9. WRAPPED UP
10. WHITER THAN SNOW
11. WISER AND WEAKER
12. HOT ON THE TRAIL
13. HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT
14. VIDEO
15. I FEEL THE NIGHT
16. WE’RE TOGETHER
17. STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART
18. HEALING

DISC SIX: WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE

1. I CONFESS
2. NEVER SAY NEVER
3. WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE
4. LOVE FINDS YOU
5. NOT BY CHANCE
6. ONE LESS LONELY HEART
7. I BELIEVE IN YOU
8. SOMEONE FOR SOMEONE
9. BABY THIS IS LOVE
10. DON’T BLAME IT ON MY HEART

DISC SEVEN: AS GOOD AS IT GETS

1. I CAN’T WAIT
2. THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS
3. WE ARE HERE TO CHANGE THE WORLD
4. ALL I NEED
5. MEMORIES
6. THERE’S NO OTHER
7. I AM SURE
8. IT’S YOU I’M AFTER
9. DON’T STOP THE LOVE
10. HOLD ME TIGHT

DISC EIGHT:  BONUS TRACKS

1. FREE (LONG SINGLE VERSION)
2. BABY BABY MY LOVE’S ALL FOR YOU
(PROMOTIONAL SINGLE VERSION)
3. SILLY (SINGLE VERSION)
4. IT’S YOUR CONSCIENCE (SINGLE VERSION)
5. IT’S GONNA TAKE A MIRACLE (SINGLE VERSION)
6. DO WHAT YOU FEEL (SINGLE VERSION)
7. IT’S OKAY (SINGLE VERSION)
8. I FOUND LOVE (12″ DISCO MIX)
9. I’VE GOT THE NEXT DANCE (12″ DISCO MIX)
10. LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY (12″ VERSION)
11. NEXT LOVE (12″ VERSION)
12. THE WISER GETS WEAKER (12″ EXTENDED VERSION)
13. NEVER SAY NEVER (12″ EXTENDED VERSION)
14. I CONFESS (12″ DANCE MIX)
15. I CAN’T WAIT (12″ VERSION)

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