Title - 'Black Butterfly: The Essential Niecy'
Artist - Deniece Williams
For those not in the know, the uber talented Deniece Williams is an American singer–songwriter and record producer. Best known for hits such as "Free" (1976), "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" (1978), "Silly" (1981), "It's Gonna Take a Miracle" (1982), "Let's Hear It for the Boy" (1984), and for her duets with Johnny Mathis, the lady known simply as Niecy now has her complete career retrospective Black Butterfly album released as a wonderful 40th Anniversary 2CD Collection.
This wondrous, and first ever 2CD complete career retrospective of Deniece Williams is chock full of all her chart hit singles from 1976-1989, and is just the most perfect introduction or indeed late night flashback to one of the genre's most beloved singers.
2. Baby Baby My Love's All for You (Single Version)
3. What Two Can Do
4. I Found Love
5. It's Gonna Take a Miracle
6. Too Much, Too Little, Too Late (Duet with Johnny Mathis)
7. Waiting By the Hotline
8. It's Your Conscience (Single Version)
9. Waiting (Single Version)
11. If You Don't Believe
12. God Is Amazing
13. You're All I Need to Get By (Duet with Johnny Mathis)
14. That's What Friends Are For
15. The Boy I Left Behind
16. I've Got the Next Dance (12" Version)
17. 'Cause You Love Me Baby
18. When Love Comes Calling
We first get the beautifully-sung (but then again, weren't they all) "Free", which is a great way to hear the crystal clear vocal tones of Niecy. The slight pop bounce of "Baby Baby My Love's All for You (Single Version)" is next, and that's backed by "What Two Can Do", a track that upped the stakes in the music that backed her. This time we get horns, keys and even some contorted funk beats, all which back Neicy's vocals perfectly. The brilliant disco pop of "I Found Love" is next, and is followed by both the smooth R&B of "It's Gonna Take A Miracle" and then the brilliant duet with Johnny Mathis, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late".
Up next is the jagged R&B soul of "Waiting By the Hotline", a track that shows how open Neicy was to trying something a little different with her sound. It actually reached #29 on the R&B chart in 1982 and was well received everywhere it was heard. Then comes the flowing "It's Your Conscience (Single Version)", a song that brings forth Niecy's heavenly soprano perfectly. Under the guidance of producer Thom Bell, she had someone at the helm who always got the best out of her.
Next up is "Waiting (Single Version)", as lush a ballad as you'll ever hear, and that's followed by the soulfulness of "Silly", the stillness of "If You Don't Believe", the uplifting Gospel side of her on "God Is Amazing", and then the glorious, worldwide hit duet with Johnny Mathis, "You're All I Need To Get By". Just look at the cover of that single and see the love for their song beaming directly from their eyes alone. I love that front cover of the 7" Single, I honestly do. Always have done, always will do. Next up is "That's What Friends Are For", a cut that oozes her soul on every word, and wow, just listen to the instrumental run at the end. Wonderful.
The R&B funky horns and delicate keys of "The Boy I Left Behind" is next, and that's followed by an incredible "I've Got the Next Dance (12" Version)" which just pumps up the disco dancefloor amps on this first disc to the max. At over six minutes in length, it's a massive highlight of the entire collection, trust me! The disc then rounds out with both the mid-tempo ballad "Cause You Love Me" and the sped-up dance moves of "When Love Comes Calling".
1. Let's Hear It for the Boy (12" Version)
2. Do What You Feel (Single Version)
3. Without Us - Theme from "Family Ties" (Duet with Johnny Mathis)
4. I Can't Wait (Single Version)
5. I'm So Proud
6. Black Butterfly
7. Next Love
8. Never Say Never (12" Version)
9. Wiser and Weaker
10. I Confess (Single Version)
11. All I Need
13. Every Moment (Single Remix)
14. This Is As Good As It Gets
15. You're All That Matters
16. Love Won't Let Me Wait (Duet with Johnny Mathis)
17. Why Can't We Fall in Love
The second disc, which is veritably bursting at the seams with musical greatness, kicks off in FINE style with her massive '80s hits, "Let's Hear It for the Boy (12" Version)" - and, in truth, if ever you wanted to hear the song again, it had to be the 12 Single Version, we all know that - and that's backed by both the poppy "Do What You Feel (Single Version)" and yet another duet with Johnny Mathis, her slow jam for the Theme from 'Family Ties', "Without Us". Then comes the upbeat, Katrina & The Wavesesque "I Can't Wait (Single Version)", which is in turn backed by the slow ballad "I'm So Proud".
The collection album title, "Black Butterfly" is stunning, and showcases Niecy's vocal range, once more, and that's followed by the slow-building-to-funky "Next Love". The gentle pop bounce of "Never Say Never (12" Version)" is next and another of the top quality highlights on this new set, and that's backed by both the electro dance pop of "Wiser and Weaker" and then the saxophone-led "I Confess (Single Version)". The smooth R&B of "All I Need" is backed by a lovely song of faith and worship, "Healing", and that is followed by the static guitar-led pop of "Every Moment (Single Remix)" and then the piano ballad "This Is As Good As It Gets".
This quite insanely exquisite 2CD collection comes to a close with the quietly expansive, beautiful "You're All That Matters" which in turn is followed by both her last duet with Johnny Mathis, "Love Won't Let Me Wait", and then closes with the stunning, simply stunning softy sung ballad "Why Can't We Fall in Love".
This wondrous, and first ever 2CD complete career retrospective of Deniece Williams, which includes all of her chart hit singles from 1976-1989, is newly-remastered with rare single mixes and presented in a deluxe digipak complete with a 24-page booklet and detailed liner notes.
'Black Butterfly: The Essential Niecy' CD Purchase Link