Say what you will about the many incarnations of Diana Ross - Motown Chanteuse, Auteur, Mannequin, Jacko Muse or (Nora) Desmond Diva - it is almost impossible to deny her enduring influence on popular culture over the past forty years. Whether in group, or sans Supremes this collection is a career-spanning tour de force that leaves little argument that her presence not only continues to loom large but is timeless.
Considering the ancient recording technology that supported the original masters, Number 1's is as clean and pristine as any contemporary release could hope to be. However, the unintended consequence of brilliance and transparency is perhaps, the excavation of too much information best left buried beneath the pop and static of the original "stereophonic" recordings - the underlying shrillness that sometimes surfaces in recordings that have been scrubbed too clean - like watching The Twilight Zone in HD and being able to discern make-up lines and prop fakery that were never apparent in the lower resolution broadcasts.
Under digital magnification Ross's sometimes thin and reedy vocals are occassionally exposed - but no matter - as the epic quality of the material itself more than compensates when her range is stretched beyond the limits of human hearing.
Also, for some reason, Universal Music seems obsessed about making a great deal of the "eco-friendly" biodegradable packaging. I suspect it will be a great comfort to my descendents that the landfill half-life of Ms. Ross is now 500 years instead of 1,000. Frankly, I would have much preferred a jewel case replete with liner-notes and other biographical material. Note to UM - lose the pc inspired, minimalist nonsense and give Ross and the Supremes the respect and presentation they deserve. Regardless, note for note this is an almost perfect collection and is very highly recommended.
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Michael Neiss (NJExit34)
Jun 25, 2009
Jun 10, 2011 01:38 PM UTC
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The Number 1's series is a brand-new line of CDs featuring #1 radio hits from the biggest names in music. This collection includes decade compilations as well as individual artist CDs and is being released by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) in its ground-breaking, environmentally-friendly packaging format. A first for the music industry, the standard package (both sleeve and tray) will be completely paper-recyclable, continuing the company's long-standing commitment to being "green."
To further reduce the amount of paper in the Eco-Pack, the CD booklet will no longer be offered.UMe is the first North American music company to replace the traditional jewel case with recycled paperboard sleeves and the plastic tray with trays made from PaperFoamÂ®, a new packaging technology from Shorewood Packaging, a business of International Paper, that is paper-recyclable and biodegradable. Shorewood Packaging is the first North American packaging supplier to produce disc trays from PaperFoamÂ®.