A new four-disc anthology titled Donny Hathaway: Never My Love will celebrate the life and work of the soul legend when it is released Tuesday (November 11th). Collecting essential solo material, his timeless duets with Roberta Flack and two full discs of previously unreleased studio and concert recordings, the set features stellar rarities, two of which Rolling Stone premieres here.
The first, “Don’t Turn Away,” is a horn-fueled, beat-sturdy studio track from 1968 that confirms Hathaway’s post as one of American soul’s great expressive voices. The second, a live take on Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” from a 1971 performance at New York’s Bitter End, is a strong R&B interpretation of a number he recorded with Flack.
Other highlights from the set include “I Thank You Baby,” Hathaway’s first single, which he wrote with Curtis Mayfield and recorded with June Conquest as the duo June & Donnie. Elsewhere, selections from three of Hathaway’s acclaimed early Seventies studio albums – including hits like “Giving Up,” his take on Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” and his last hit, “You Were Meant For Me” – are represented. In addition to an expanded version of his 1972 album Live, 13 unreleased studio tracks dating from 1968 to 1978 round out the collection.