Southern gal Candi Staton has been making music for more than 30 years. In that time, she's successfully tackled R&B, soul, disco, house music, and gospel. Her fans are many, and they include Aret

Southern gal Candi Staton has been making music for more than 30 years. In that time, she's successfully tackled R&B, soul, disco, house music, and gospel. Her fans are many, and they include Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, and Cyndi Lauper. In Billboard's Nov. 9 issue, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders hailed Staton as an inspiration. This digitally remastered "2 classic albums on 1 CD" collection finds Staton in her disco heyday. Originally released on Warner Bros. in the summer of 1976, the Dave Crawford-helmed Young Hearts Run Free delivered a handful of dancefloor/ crossover hits, including "Run to Me," "Destiny," and the title track—all of which prominently featured Staton's raw, soul-drenched vocals in the spotlight. "What a Feeling" is delicious Southern soul, while the Donna Summer-inflected "Summer Time With You" finds Staton brimming with sensuality. Two years later, Staton's House of Love, unlike 1977's Music Speaks Louder Than Words, found the artist re-teaming with Crawford. The album's crowning glory remains "Victim," a sterling disco affair replete with Staton's emotion-packed delivery, lively instrumentation, and '50s-inspired doo-wops. Other highlights include "Honest I Do Love You" and the traditional gospel classic "Take My Hand, Precious Lord." Two albums for the history books.—MP

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