Mona Records in Japan are taking another look at the 45s of Minneapolis Soul legend Alexander O’Neal with a new two-CD set, Complete Single Collection…
This is a 33-track double-disc package that does a creditable job of collecting all the singles from O’Neal’s five albums recorded for Clarence Avant’s Tabu Records, namely Alexander O’Neal, Hearsay, My Gift To You, All True Man and Love Makes No Sense.
Things are kept interesting with a focus on single versions and the odd remix or rarity thrown in for good measure. So the 45 edit/remix of second single If You Were Here Tonight, is followed by the excellent ‘Soft Version’, which loses the drums and adds acoustic guitar for an effective ‘ambient’ vibe. Similarly the A Cappella version of Cherrelle duet Never Knew Love Like This is included, with the Japanese label claiming ‘first time on CD’. This appears to be almost true. It’s certainly rare, although was issued on a three-inch Austrian CD single back in the day and also found its way onto a US promo CD at the time. This variant hasn’t been issued in the UK on CD though, and wasn’t on any of Demon Music’s releases back in 2013.
Complete Single Collection includes this ‘Soft Version’ of If You Were Here Tonight
This set also includes Saturday Love (which was actually a Cherrelle single ‘with’ Alexander O’Neal) and 1989’s Hit Mix (The Official Bootleg Megamix) which was a mash-up of Fake, Hearsay, Criticize and Innocent.
Although O’Neal is rather over-compiled, the attractive design, thoughtful track selection and general Japanese care-and-attention make this worthy of consideration. There is however, no confirmation about remastering or masters used at this point.
Complete Single Collection is out now, or due next week depending on where you order.
UPDATE 5/1/16: For contractual reasons this release is being withdrawn.
02. ARE YOU THE ONE?
03. A BROKEN HEART CAN MEND
04. DO YOU WANNA LIKE I DO
05. IF YOU WERE HERE TONIGHT [REMIX]*
06. IF YOU WERE HERE TONIGHT [SOFT VERSION]
07. WHAT’S MISSING*
08. ARE YOU THE ONE ?*
09. YOU WERE MEANT TO BE MY LADY (NOT MY GIRL)
10. FAKE [PATTY MIX]*
11. CRITICIZE [CRITICAL EDIT]*
12. NEVER KNEW LOVE LIKE THIS◆*
13. NEVER KNEW LOVE LIKE THIS [A CAPPELLA]◆* (first time on CD in Japan/UK)
14. THE LOVERS*
15. (WHAT CAN I SAY) TO MAKE YOU LOVE ME
16. THE CHRISTMAS SONG
(CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE)
17. THANK YOU FOR A GOOD YEAR
01. HEARSAY ’89*
03. THE YOKE (G.U.O.T.R.)*
04. ALL TRUE MAN*
05. HANG ON
06. WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE?*
08. SHAME ON ME
09. LOOK AT US NOW
11. LOVE MAKES NO SENSE*
12. IN THE MIDDLE*
13. ALL THAT MATTERS TO ME*
14. SATURDAY LOVE◆*
15. WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
16. HIT MIX (THE OFFICIAL BOOTLEG MEGAMIX)
FAKE～ HEARSAY～ CRITICIZE～ INNOCENT
◆ ft. Cherrelle