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Bill Withers, 'The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums'

Bill Withers, The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums
Courtesy of Sony

With his debut hit, 1971's "Ain't No Sunshine," Withers seemed to come from nowhere – a blue-collar job in the aerospace industry – fully formed, with a grainy, lyrical voice and earthy songwriting that was both folk and soul, warming yet emotionally direct. This nine-CD box has Withers' entire LP output. The 1971-75 albums are his best – a graceful grit, loaded with hits. By the time Withers left the business in the late Eighties, his records were a smoother, sweeter turmoil, another kind of quiet storm.

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