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Billie Holiday - Greatest Hits (Sony) Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, November 17, 1998
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$30.05 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by CAC Media and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Billie Holiday - Greatest Hits (Sony) + Ultimate Collection + The Best of Billie Holiday: 20th Century Masters (Millennium Collection)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Curiously, yet not surprisingly given the enormity of his sway, Billie Holiday's greatest vocal influence was "Pops"--Louis Armstrong, whose trumpet was his first signature (though he's often credited with being the first great jazz singer as well). One hears Armstrong in Holiday's sense of phrasing, timing, and the warmth she invests in a lyric. This package, containing such touchstone Holiday renderings as "I Cried for You," "Body and Soul," and "When a Woman Loves a Man" (poetic, given the fact that Billie was notoriously unlucky at love), also boasts her signature song, "God Bless the Child." Her accompanists are a hall-of-fame lot, including trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Buck Clayton; saxmen Lester Young (with whom she had a close relationship), Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, and Harry Carney; drummers Cozy Cole and Jo Jones; bassists John Kirby and Walter Page; and her frequent pianist, Teddy Wilson. --Willard Jenkins

1. Miss Brown To You - Billie Holiday
2. What A Little Moonlight Can Do - Billie Holiday
3. I Cried For You - Billie Holiday
4. Billie's Blues (I Love My Man) - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
5. A Sailboat In The Moonlight - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
6. I Can't Get Started - Billie Holiday
7. When A Woman Loves A Man - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
8. Some Other Spring - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
9. Solitude - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
10. God Bless The Child - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
11. Gloomy Sunday - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
12. The Very Thought Of You - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
13. Body And Soul - Billie Holiday

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 17, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000FC7M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,969 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By cortney on December 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I really enjoyed this particular selection of Holiday's work. I looked everywhere for a compiliation CD that included "The Very Thought of You" (my copy of Lady's Decca Days didn't) and this one had it, along with other songs that weren't included on Decca Days either. Short of purchasing a wildy expensive boxed set of her work, I would reccomend this for anyone even remotely interested in the talent of Billie Holiday: the sound quality is excellent and the choice of songs is great, as well. Even the liner notes are an welcome addition---they include an informative bio about Billie as well as her rise to fame and anecdotes from some of the people she worked with.
As a side note, the only song I would have added to this collection is "Strange Fruit," one of the most haunting and politically-charged Holiday songs to date. If you get a chance to hear that, you'll be doing yourself a favor. Otherwise, this album is a great choice.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on March 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Almost everything Billie Holiday recorded, and maybe everything Billie recorded before 1941, like these sides, was great. Certainly, this collection doesn't have any of the very important work Billie Did during WWII for Commodore, nor does it have some of th exciting Jazzy recordings Billie did for Verve in the late 1940s and 1950s. Nor are any of the outstanding live performances by Billie for Jazz at the Philharmonic or in her Carneige Hall concerts on this CD.

With Billie who recorded for about 30 years on a lot of labels, the tendency was, particularly back in the days of LPs, for every owner of some Billie material to put out whatever they could crip together as Billie's greatest hits.

I have to say that I was introduced to Billie's greatest work, that in the 1930s, by owning this collection on Vinyl. This is nice fun and engaging music. On some of the great standards, she really makes it. Like all of her recordings for Columba and its ancestors back then, John Hammond Sr, gathers together some of the masters of Black and white swing Jazz to join her. Very shortly after she started recording, the greatest names in Jazz would flock to her sessions and play on her recordings for litte because of the innovation and creativity Billie showed as a jazz creator in her own right.

One special treat here is "I can't get started" with the Count Basie Orchestra. Billie was the first female singer with Count Basie's band, but because she was booked to Columbia and the Count had been shanghied by Decca, there were no studio recordings of Billie singing with the Basie Orchestra. This is an enormous loss to human culture. "I can't get started" is one of the two air checks (recordings made off of radio broadcasts) we have of Billie with the Baseities.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Peter on September 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
To many, Billie Holiday is tragically linked to drugs and alcohol, including the rapid decline of her unique voice after the 1940s. But as this set demonstrates, her voice was still in peak form in the 1930s and early 40s, the eras from which this set culls the songs. For this greatest hits, Sony-Columbia picks mostly slow tempo songs despite the fact that Billie swings fast tempo songs aplenty back then. The only fast one here is "What A Little Moonlight Can Do", otherwise the rest are ballads and slow burners. I wish Columbia had included more "swingers" in their remastered hits package. No doubt this will NOT be the last Billie Holiday reissue or hits compilation we'll see from Sony-Columbia. There will be more to come---just put more "fast ones" on the next one. For that shortcoming, I rate this package 4 stars instead of 5. But the singing here is still inspiring and enjoyable as any Lady Day CD from the 1930s.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By I. Sondel VINE VOICE on April 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I heard this CD while I was walking around Borders and just had to have it. These are early recordings - the music is fresh and joyous - the vocals are superb. I especially love the recordings of "Miss Brown To You," "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" (a treat), "Some Other Spring" and my very favorite, "I Can't Get Started." I have other Holiday recordings. However, this is the one I play again and again. I only wish that it had "Good Morning Heartache" on it. Oh, well.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Samurai on October 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
...Fortunately, this CD contains recordings made in her early years (1930's) when her voice had not yet been affected and when her phrasing was innovative and inspired.
I enjoyed the first half of the CD more so than the second half mainly because the last 6 tracks are quite melancholy. ... This is real blues music from a woman who experienced nothing but the blues.
I enjoyed the opening, peppy teaser "Miss Brown to You", including a more somber "Some Other Spring". But I would have to say my favorite track is the unabashedly romantic "Sailboat in the Moonlight".
I was surprised at the lyricism of the songs. This is more like poetry set to jazz and blues chords. ..
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Format: Audio CD
Billie Holiday could sing jazz and the blues unlike any other singer. Ever. Her voice was the ultimate instrument which could convey all the sorrows of her personal life as she sang about life, love and the pain of being discriminated against because she was African-American. We will never see another quite like Billie; this CD of thirteen of Billie's greatest hits from Sony doesn't even begin to scrape the surface of what this remarkably talented lady could do.

The CD track set begins with a number that's actually sassy as well as jazzy; Billie sings of how Emily Brown's "comin' to town;" but it's "Miss Brown to you." Listen for Benny Goodman on clarinet and Roy Eldridge on trumpet. Teddy Wilson does a great job on piano, too. Even though Billie was only 20 when this was recorded, she was already working with the best!

"What A Little Moonlight Can Do" gets a breakneck pace and a jazzy interpretation that would make any jazz artist green with envy. Billie's voice is light and clear as a bell; yet she imparts all the right emotions to her audience. Once again, Billie recorded this with The Teddy Wilson Orchestra. Teddy plays piano; Benny Goodman plays clarinet and Roy Eldridge plays trumpet. And ooh, how they jam!

"I Cried For You" gives Billie the chance to sing of how she cried for a man who left her--but she no longer cares for him and she won't waste one minute more worrying about that loser. The musicians work wonders before Billie even comes in; but when Billie comes in the number soars and Billie takes flight! Billie imparts the sense of all the pain in her past and how she's happy to have found a new man who loves her more. Teddy Wilson again plays piano; and listen for Harry Carney on both the clarinet and the baritone saxophone. Excellent!
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