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Lisa Stansfield – The Collection 1989 – 2003 album review

The soul icon re-releases her back catalogue.

Lisa Stansfield

Lisa Stansfield released her first album of new material in a decade earlier this year and following its recent re-release, the songstress has another treat up her sleeve for fans. Demon Music Group has reissued the five albums that Lisa recorded for the Arista label and released a 3CD remix collection just in time for the festive season.

Released as individual editions and as boxset The Collection 1989 – 2003. Each of the albums is packaged in a hardback CD book format and contains 3 discs (2 CDs and 1 DVD) featuring the original albums remastered, bonus tracks, unreleased and rare tracks, remixes, music videos and live performances. Each album also features a booklet containing the lyrics, plenty of photographs and new sleeve notes.

The albums included in this boxset are Affection, Real Love, So Natural, Lisa Stansfield, and Face Up. There’s a sixth album included which is People Hold On…The Remix Anthology. That’s a total of 13 CDs and 5 DVDs for you to wade through, explore and enjoy.

If we were to go through every album individually this review would be epically long so instead we’ll take you through some of the highlights. Of the rare tracks our favourites include the gorgeous emotive Tenderly (Real Love), the funky beat-driven Breathtaking (Lisa Stansfield), the super smooth Gonna Try It Anyway (So Natural), and the garage beats of More Than Sex (Face Up).

These reissues are jam-packed with alternate mixes of Stansfield’s songs, particularly So Natural which features the US remixes of So Natural and I Give You Everything, and the soundtrack version of the sexy In All The Right Places which featured on the Indecent Proposal soundtrack.

Affection, released in 1989, is still one of our favourite albums from Stansfield. The album still sounds fantastic today with classics such as People Hold On, This Is The Right Time and of course All Around The World sitting on the tracklist. This new edition features 7 additional rare tracks and 11 remixes over the two discs. The third disc features all the music videos for the album’s singles and a concert performance recorded in Birmingham in 1990.

People Hold On…The Remix Anthology is the real gem in the boxset. The album holds 33 previously unheard full-length mixes from across Stansfield’s career. Highlights across the discs include the Sunship Mix of Time To Make You Mine, the American Club Mix of All Around The World, and the 12” Remix of The Love In Me.

In terms of the DVD content the 2002 live at Ronnie Scott’s performance packaged with Face Up is pretty special. Stansfield performs her biggest hits as well as songs from Face Up. It’s Stansfield at her best and she’s always made the biggest impression in the live arena.

Whether or not you have the original versions of Stansfield’s back catalogue, you should definitely invest in The Collection 1989 – 2003. It’s the definitive collection of Stansfield’s career and it’s packed with hours worth of fantastic music. For some fans this will be a timely opportunity to revisit some classic songs but for other fans it will be a chance to hear a variety of songs that haven’t been readily available for a number of years. The Collection is a fantastic release and we can’t get enough of it.

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