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 25 All Time Greatest Hits by Maxine Brown

25 All Time Greatest Hits by Maxine Brown

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There was more than one Maxine Brown greatest-hits collection prior to this 2002 release, and no doubt there will be others in the future. On its own merits, though, it does a good job of assembling her best-known material, focusing on her mid-'60s recordings for Wand, which yielded the bulk of her best and highest-selling sides. One small advantage this does have over prior collections, such as Kent's fine Oh No Not My Baby: The Best of Maxine Brown, is that it does include her two key pre-Wand hits released on Nomar in 1961, in their original versions: "All in My Mind" and "Funny" (the versions on Oh No Not My Baby are later re-recordings). Otherwise, it's mostly top of the line mid-'60s pop-soul, including her biggest and best singles of the era: "Oh No Not My Baby," "Ask Me," "One Step at a Time," and "It's Gonna Be Alright," as well as good non-hits like "One in a Million," "Gotta Find a Way," "Put Yourself in My Place," and "Since I Found You." There aren't any of her recordings with Chuck Jackson, which might miff some fans, as some of those singles charted. But really, those duets weren't up to the standard of her best solo work, so it's not a significant flaw in focus. It's not a major gaffe, but two songs identified as previously unissued -- "Baby Cakes" and "Slipping Through My Fingers," both bearing the songwriting credit of Otis Redding -- have in fact shown up on previous Brown compilations, the first on Oh No Not My Baby, the second on Tomato's Maxine Brown's Greatest Hits.
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