Fate was not kind to Minnie Riperton: her debut album Come To My Garden was overflowing with pomp, soul and pop, the critics loved it – and yet it still flopped. In the aftermath, the US artist continued to enrich culture for decades with this 1970 record. It is one of those albums which other musicians pick numerous set pieces from today as samples in their tracks. But Minnie Riperton had nothing from it: she died at the age of 31, just nine years after the album’s release.
Masterpiece of soul
The orchestral arrangements on this record still impress today, as does the amazing range of Riperton’s voice. As early as in Les Fleurs at the start, this all harmonises incredibly and lends drama and dynamics to the piece. The album continues in the same vein with few breaks. In Expecting, Minnie Riperton proves that she has a flawless command of the high notes. A crazy moment on an otherwise so perfectly arranged and stirring soul record. The fact that Riperton was denied great success with this album is more astonishing every time you play it. This is because Come To My Garden keeps pace with all the masterpieces of soul. And not only from this period.
Come To My Garden by Minnie Riperton is available from May 13 through Soulgramma and exclusively as a Green Vinyl Edition limited to 100 copies on yours truly HHV Records.