After kicking around on various labels for half a dozen years and developing a reputation as a stellar sideman, Billy Preston finally broke through to mass success as a recording artist with the instrumental "Outa-Space" on A&M Records in 1972, and he had a string of other hits over the next several years, including the chart-toppers "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "Nothing From Nothing." This discount-priced best-of features all of his Top 20 pop and R&B hits, including the 1979 duet with Syreeta, "With You I'm Born Again," a Top Five hit on the Motown subsidiary Tamla that now resides in the Universal vaults along with the A&M catalog.
This disc brings together recordings made in the 1980's as part of a reduction of three original discs down to two. At the same time, the original fine recordings have been remastered to good effect with added depth and space. This makes a particularly important improvement to the Coronation Anthems which previously came over as sonically lacking ideal breadth, depth and recorded weight in Zadok. The ears adjusted after that.
Simon Preston's recordings of the complete set of Handel's organ concertos with Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert was the first to use the latest musicological research by Anthony Hicks. These recordings remain unsurpassed from a scholarly point of view, and the performances themselves remained a benchmark for at least a decade. They may not be the best versions available now but still have a lot to offer. Preston's performances are alert and still sound very vibrant and strong, yet it must be confessed that the rather harsh sound of Preston's instrument in Opus 7 verges on becoming joyless at times.