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  • Billie Holiday: The Complete Decca Recordings
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Billie Holiday: The Complete Decca Recordings


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Audio CD, October 1, 1991
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be) (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. No More (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. No MoreBillie Holiday 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. That Ole Devil Called Love (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Don't ExplainBillie Holiday 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Big StuffBillie Holiday 2:29$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Don't Explain (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Big StuffBillie Holiday 3:00$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen  9. You Better Go Now (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. What Is This Thing Called Love (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Good Morning HeartacheBillie Holiday 3:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. No Good ManBillie Holiday 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. No Good Man (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Big StuffBillie Holiday0:22$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen15. Big Stuff (1991 Box Set Version)Billie Holiday 2:47$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen16. Big StuffBillie Holiday 2:32$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen17. Baby, I Don't Cry Over YouBillie Holiday 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Baby, I Don't Cry Over You (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. I'll Look AroundBillie Holiday 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. I'll Look Around (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. The Blues Are Brewin' (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. GuiltyBillie Holiday 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. GuiltyBillie Holiday 1:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. GuiltyBillie Holiday 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Deep Song (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. There Is No Greater Love (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Easy Living (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. SolitudeBillie Holiday 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Solitude (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Weep No More (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Girls Were Made To Take Care Of Boys (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Loves You Porgy (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. My Man (Mon Homme)Billie Holiday 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. My Man (Mon Homme) (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do (Alternate Version)Billie Holiday 3:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Baby Get Lost (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Keeps On A Rainin' (Papa He Can't Make No Time) (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Them There Eyes (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Do Your Duty (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. You Can't Lose A Broken Heart (Single Version)Louis Armstrong 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. My Sweet Hunk O' Trash (Single Version) [feat. Louis Armstrong]Billie Holiday 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Now Or Never (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. You're My Thrill (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Crazy He Calls Me (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen21. Please Tell Me Now (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Somebody's On My Mind (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. God Bless The Child (Single Version)Billie Holiday 3:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen24. This Is Heaven To Me (Single Version)Billie Holiday 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B000003N36
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,627 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

These famous recordings, dating from 1944-1950 and produced by Milt Gabler, represent the full ripening of Billie's prodigious talent. This 2-CD set-her entire output for Decca-includes 10 unreleased tracks, a collectable booklet and such Lady Day standards as God Bless the Child and Lover Man .

Amazon.com

Holiday recorded for Decca between 1944 and 1950, a period in which she was at the heights of both her popularity and her vocal powers. The music is less jazz-oriented in its backing than were the earlier Columbia and Commodore or later Verve recordings, but these are superb vocal performances, including matchless renderings of "Lover Man," "Don't Explain," and "Solitude." Holiday achieved the highest level that torch singing has ever known, creating consummately expressive, almost etched renditions that are richly nuanced, often enhanced by tasteful string arrangements. Holiday's deepest musical sources are strongly evident in songs associated with Bessie Smith, including the earthy "Gimme a Pigfoot (and a Bottle of Beer)," and two spirited duets with Louis Armstrong. --Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
24
4 star
2
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 28 customer reviews
I was happy to replace this CD Set in my collection.
Mary Shelly
The original recordings are wonderful and they don't use modern sound technology to clean up the recordings to the point they sound stale and sanitized.
A Customer
I find this a much more satisfying way to experience this great music.
Billy Bear

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I heard my first Billie Holiday recording in college in the 60s. It was a double LP called "The Billie Holiday Story" on the Decca label, in "enhanced stereo". I fell in love with her voice and bought the album, which I proceeded to play so often that the grooves wore down. So it was with extreme pleasure and anticipation that I read of this CD set, which contains all of the tracks from the LPs, as well as all of Billie's other recordings for Decca. The digital remastering is superb, and to hear the songs in their original monaural sound instead of the "re-channeled" stereo of the LPs is a revelation.
At first, I was tempted to program around the numerous alternate tracks, but as time went on, I was very glad that the producers included everything. Listen to the alternate of "No More", rescued from the MCA Japan vaults; despite substandard sound, the power of Billie's voice comes through, with nuances which make it quite different from the recording which was released. It's fascinating to hear the four takes of "Big Stuff", a show tune by Leonard Bernstein, as Billie finally manages to make it her own.
And of course all her truly great recordings from this era are here: "Lover Man," "Solitude", "My Man", and more. The package includes extensive notes and recording information. This is an outstanding and loving tribute to one of the greatest singers of the 20th century.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
No arguments here with any of the other reviewers. I give this set 5 stars because they don't have 6.
This box set truly captures Billie Holliday at the peak of her craft. Her voice never sounds better. Secondly, the arrangements are fantastic and rarely have I heard musical accompaniment that so masterfully compliments and highlights a singer's voice. Finally, the tracks are impeccably mastered and recorded. The original recordings are wonderful and they don't use modern sound technology to clean up the recordings to the point they sound stale and sanitized. The sound quality is rich and truthful; yet no annoying hiss or other imperfections.
I believe Billie was at the height of her popularity during the Decca era and she never gets better musicians to work with or a better selection of songs to "interpret." This is after the "tin pan alley" era and before Billie gets strung out and jazzed out with sparse arrangements and accompaniments.
Simply put, this is the best music ever recorded, by one of the 20th Century's greatest artists.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gilly Bean on November 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful 2cd box set which does exactly what box sets should do. There is a wealth of alternate takes and previously unreleased songs. We even get to hear the great Louis Armstrong duet "My sweet hunk o' trash", in which he sings the "f" word, as in "F... 'em, baby". It was later withdrawn and "sanitized", but we get to hear the original. Also we get some breakdowns and studio chatter, always a curiosity for true fans of any artist, as it makes them seem more human. The 40 page booklet is great, and includes loads of photos, and 2 essays, one by Milt Gabler (Billie's Decca producer), and the other by Steve Lasker, the producer of this set. Also there are interesting comments on the source materials and a Bibliography. This is one box set that no fan of Billie's should be without.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By "bobida" on March 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I agree during this period (1940s) Billie Holiday was at her vocal peak. I feel critics have overrated this collection mostly due to the fact Billie Holiday's voice was still in good shape and the effects of her drug addiction hadn't yet taken effect. When she switched labels, the folks over at Decca were trying to mold and shape her into the next Peggy Lee or Doris Day, making her into a more mainstream model than what she had been in the 1930s. The arrangements (full size orchestras, syrupy strings, background vocals, etc.) don't always work. Sometimes they clash w/ Billie's delicate voice. Billie is still best suited by a trio combo or just a piano. At least the new label was going for a different sound and approach than what she was getting at Columbia. It just didn't work for her. Fortunately for Billie, she overcomes the arrangements w/ wondrous phrasing and choice of great songs, some of them indeliby linked w/ her--God Bless the Child, Good Morning Heartache, Loverman, Ain't Nobody's Business, That Ol Devil Called Love.....
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Todd Bartholomew TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is Lady Day at her peak and is probably the definitive collection showcasing how phenomenal a talent she was as a vocalist. As the title implies these are pretty much all her surviving tracks cut for the Decca label from 1944 to 1950 when she was in her peak vocal form and the songs here are a white-knuckle rollercoaster ride of emotions. There weren't many other vocalists anywhere near Billie's prowess at this time and her delivery runs the gamut of emotions from wistful sadness, to savage beauty, to a warm embrace. Many of her signature songs are here: "Lover Man," "Don't Explain," "'Taint Nobody's Business If I Do," "God Bless The Child," and "Good Morning Heartache." Some have complained that it is not a truly "complete" recordings package, but many of the original recordings were lost or destroyed years ago. If I had to chose a starting point for Billie Holiday you'd be hard pressed to pick a better choice than this set.
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