Minnie Riperton (253660)

The late Minnie Riperton, the angelic voiced singer-songwriter, best known for her 1975 hit ballad, “Lovin’ You,” has had her iconic album, “Perfect Angel,” reissued in celebration of her 70th birthday. Released Dec. 1, the deluxe version of the 1974 album includes a 2-CD set, with 11 bonus tracks, along with a duet version of “Take a Little Trip” with Stevie Wonder.

This set brings home the fact that, although not known at the time for contractual reasons, the original album is essentially a collaboration with Wonder, who co-produced the album with Riperton’s husband, Richard Rudolph; arranged the tracks with his band, Wonderlove; played keyboards, harmonica and drums; and wrote two songs, according to californiarocker.com.

Wonder spoke of his collaboration on the album. “Minnie was my dear friend,” he said. “She was an extraordinary, vibrant person with an extra-special voice. I was a big fan of hers before we met, and it was my honor to produce the album with Minnie and her husband Richard. Minnie had a positive energy that radiated throughout these sessions and throughout the rest of her life. When Minnie lived, she lived. She continues to live through this release.”

It has also been reported that “Perfect Angel: Deluxe Edition” will come with a 24-page booklet with rare photos and extensive liner notes by Rudolph, telling the story of the album-making experience. Rudolph also reveals the story behind the album’s “ice cream and coveralls” cover shot by Barry Feinstein, who was known for, among others, his Bob Dylan images and the covers for Janis Joplin’s “Pearl,” Eric Clapton’s solo debut in 1970 and George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass.”

Rudolph said of creating the album, “The whole experience was a total surreal experience and a pure joy from start to finish. Working with Stevie Wonder in that intimate setting really was more than just a dream come true. And you can feel the ‘wonder’ throughout the entire album,”

Rudolph added, “Minnie would be overjoyed to know that her music continues to touch people’s lives.”

Riperton died from breast cancer at the age of 31 in 1979. She is the mother of famed comedian and former SNL star, Maya Rudolph.