A handful of compilations of Sylvia's recordings for All-Platinum and Sugar Hill have been released over the years, while a number of her '50s sides appear on compilations chronicling that era. The best of the bunch is Deep Beats' 1997 set, Pillow Talk: The Best of Sylvia, which includes all the hits, as well as the aforementioned "Distant Lover" and "Alfredo." Also of note is Sylvia's own compilation, The Greatest Hits, which includes her 1977 rendition of "Love Is Strange" and "Fingers Do the Walking," an obscure jam from the 1978 concept LP, Brand New Funk.
Sylvia's four-decades-plus-long career was occasionally rocked by controversies over business practices, with respect to artist royalties. But what always remained constant was quality songs, production, playing, and vocalizing. Just listen to her expertly mellow delivery on "Gimme a Little Action" from the Pillow Talk LP, the celestial phrasing and arrangements found on 1976's "L.A. Sunshine," or even the dynamic range present on her 1978 cover version of Dee D. Jackson's disco romp "Automatic Lover." It's clear throughout the spectrum of her work that Sylvia took each session as a meaningful piece of work, not merely a product to be tossed out into the marketplace for profit. Her name may not often be mentioned among the R&B greats, but perhaps that's because she had so many irons in the fire: label owner, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and finally, vocalist.
Surely, it must not have been easy to be the "Queen of Sugar Hill." But thanks to Sylvia's efforts in that role, many promising artists became established hitmakers to be reckoned with — something that may not have happened otherwise. And before, during, and after her reign, she contributed a wealth of her own performances with the kind of raw energy, enthusiasm, and sophistication for which many artists strive.
Thank you, Sylvia Robinson, for your multi-faceted legacy, and the joy it has brought this listener and so many others. Be sure you keep the music alive and "Shake Some More" in heaven. We'll surely be enjoying the fruits of your labor "Forever and a Day."