Happy Birthday: Roberta Flack

Monday, February 10, 2020
Roberta Flack FIRST TAKE Cover

Today we celebrate the birthday of the great Roberta Flack, whose two biggest hits earned her a Grammy Award achievement that has yet to be matched in the 47 years since she achieved it. 

First of all, let’s not pretend that you don’t know Ms. Flack’s biggest hits, because everybody knows them: 

•    “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972
•    “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973

Mind you, as we noted, the achievement we’re discussing has nothing to do with them being chart-toppers. It’s merely a happy coincidence. What these two songs also have in common, however, is the fact that each of them won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and Flack won those awards in consecutive years. It’s never happened before, and it hasn’t happened since. That’s not to say that it’ll never happen – because, y’know, never say never – but if it hasn’t happened in 47 years, it’s going to be a staggeringly big deal if it ever does!

While we wait, however, we wanted to offer up some additional Flack-centric information: to commemorate the occasion of Roberta’s upcoming Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in April, SoulMusic.com and Run Out Groove – with a little help from Rhino/Atlantic – will be releasing FIRST TAKE: 50TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION, a 2-CD, 1-LP set which includes a newly-remastered version of the album on CD and vinyl, along with single edits, B-sides, Flack’s guest appearance on Les McCann’s LESS IS MORE album, and 12 unreleased tracks from the archives. 

You can order a copy by clicking right here, but in case you feel like you need to see the full track listing before you make that purchase, we can make that happen.


CD 1 / LP: FIRST TAKE remastered (album originally released as Atlantic LP SD-8230, 1969)
1.    Compared To What
2.    Angelitos Negros
3.    Our Ages Or Our Hearts
4.    I Told Jesus
5.    Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
6.    The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
7.    Tryin’ Times
8.    Ballad of the Sad Young Men
9.    Compared To What (single edit) (bonus track)
10.    The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (single edit) (bonus track)
11.    Trade Winds (B-side) (bonus track)
(Track 9 originally released as B-side to “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye,” Atlantic single 45-2665, 1969; Tracks 10 and 11 originally released on Atlantic single 45-2864, 1972)

CD 2: bonus tracks
* denotes previously unreleased demo
1.    All The Way (live)
2.    This Could Be The Start Of Something *
3.    Groove Me *
4.    Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out *
5.    Hush-A-Bye *
6.    Afro Blue *
7.    It’s Way Past Suppertime *
8.    Frankie And Johnny *
9.    On The Street Where You Live *
10.    The House Song *
11.    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough *
12.    The Song Is Love *
13.    To Sir With Love *

(Track 1 released on Les McCann, Les Is More Night Records LP, VNLP-4, 1991)

For more information, click the buttons below: