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  • Hard to Get: Best of Gisele Mackenzie on Rca
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Hard to Get: Best of Gisele Mackenzie on Rca


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Audio CD, April 21, 1998
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 21, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Collector's Choice
  • ASIN: B00000395R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,010 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hard To Get
2. The Boston Fancy
3. Unchained Melody
4. Two Hearts, Two Kisses (Make One Love)
5. Play Me Hearts And Flowers (I Wanna Cry)
6. Beyond The Sea
7. The Star You Wished Upon Last Night
8. Dinner For One Please, James
9. The River Seine
10. Ebb Tide
11. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White
12. This I Know
13. Song From Moulin Rouge
14. Too Young
15. Tell Me That You Love Me
16. Answer Me, My Love
17. Learnin' The Blues
18. Slowpoke
19. Hey There
20. Pepper Hot Baby

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
80%
4 star
10%
3 star
10%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 10 customer reviews
The sound quality is excellent and the artwork is tastefully done.
Matthew G. Sherwin
They both loved her singing and we always watched her when she was on Ed Sullivan or Lawrence Welk.
LYNNE WIES
This Hard to Get compilation, as great as it is, is only the tip of the ice berg.
PaulP

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By James R. Stewar on June 23, 1998
Format: Audio CD
50's & 60's TV Favorite, Gisele MacKenzie, has finally been represented on CD in the U.S. "Hard to Get...The Best of Gisele MacKenzie" is a fine collection of the tunes Miss MacKenzie cut for RCA and its numberous subdivisions from the mid to late 50's. Always showcased with the BEST arrangers and conductors, Gisele's backup on this disc is represented by Neil Hefti, Richard Maltby, Axel Stordahl, George Siravo, etc. "Hard to Get" remains Gisele's biggest hit to date, and still ranks in the top 200 hits of the rock era, beating out many of the hits by the likes of The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Recorded for RCA's label "X" the song was featured on a TV drama starring Gisele and became an immediate hit. In fact, Gisele is THE only star of the famous radio and TV show "Your Hit Parade" to ever get to sing his/her own charting hit while starring on the show. An impressive record, considering Hit Parade stars have included Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, The Andrews Sisters, etc. The selections on this disc represent a wide variety of Gisele's efforts housed in the RCA vaults. From the blues oriented title tune to the rock oriented "Pepper Hot Baby" and "Two Hearts, Two Kisses" to the dramatic ballad "This I Know," Gisele handles each tune with her engagingly pure contralto voice..and a gift of perfect pitch. Gisele's French-Canadian connection is presented with french language versions of "The River Sein" and "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White." The producer of the CD wisely selected the Living Stereo mixes of tunes like "Learnin' the Blues," "Slowpoke," and "Hey There.Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By PaulP on November 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Hats off to Collector's Choice for releasing this Gisele MacKenzie compilation of RCA's VIK and label X material. Now if only Capitol Records and Polygram (Mercury)would follow suit and release Gisele's pre and post RCA material...that would be too cool! As Peggy Lee, Kay Starr, Jo Stafford and Rose Mary Clooney, Gisele defined the genre of jazz oriented pop vocals of the 1950's. This Hard to Get compilation, as great as it is, is only the tip of the ice berg. Gisele's 1957 RCA Christmas LP is awesome. She was and still is a musician's musician!....Master of her craft. The 1962-63 LP on Mercury, Loser's Lullabies is the ultimate...unfortunately, it is not yet on CD however the Japanese and European labels are miles ahead of the USA on great jazz-vocal releases and as all of Gisele's RCA material is available in those countries....we keep hoping for an import release of Loser's Lullabies on Mercury. But for now, this CD is a sight for sore eyes (and ears)!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce R. Gilson on June 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Usually an album invited "The Best of..." contains a collection of the top charting hits of some particular artist. For Gisele MacKenzie, this is not really practical, as she had only one big hit ("Hard to Get") and a couple of minor charted songs. All of these, and the B-side of her biggest hit, are on here. But the best thing about this collection is the large selection of other songs which were popular in the 50s (and some older ones) done in Gisele's own style, and I would say all beautifully.
In some cases (such Nat King Cole's "Answer Me, My Love," Al Hibbler's "Unchained Melody," and above all Percy Faith & Felicia Sanders' "Song from Moulin Rouge") I know and love the originals, but still enjoyed Gisele's rendition. In others, (Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," especially) I don't much care for the original, but thought Gisele's version was much prettier. (She does that one in French, by the way, as does she a few others in this collection, in keeping with her French-Canadian background. Surprisingly, "Beyond the Sea," a song originally in French, she sings mostly in English, with only one chorus in French.)
One song she does surprisingly well is Pat Boone's "Two Hearts, Two Kisses (Make One Love)." This song has been the ruination of many traditional pop singers. (Doris Day, my absolute FAVORITE singer, made a terrible version of this song, just about the ONLY thing I've ever heard Doris do that I didn't like!) But Gisele doesn't try to be a rock'n'roll singer on this one, and sings it in her own style, and it works very nicely.
All in all, I enjoyed just about every track on this CD.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 1999
Format: Audio CD
What more can I say about this CD which was so nicely reviewed in the first listener's comments. I would like to point out a track which I feel to be one of Giselle's best-Dinner For One Please, James--although never a hit here in the USA, this is probably one of my favs by this lovely talented lady !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AvidOldiesCollector TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 11, 2011
Format: Audio Cassette
.... but, despite saying in the one page of scant liner notes (by Robert W. Rice) that the collection "draws from Gisele's mid to late '50s recordings for the 'X' and Vik labels," they somehow contrive to leave out one hit single (her last, in fact) and one B-side. Considering she only had 3 such hits with those labels, and that a Pop Top 100 entry was the goal of any singer/band in those days. this is more than disconcerting to a "collector." This is, after all, Collectors' Choice Music we're talking about.

Her first hit for those labels (all backed by The Richard Maltby Orchestra) came in the summer of 1955 when Hard To Get, first introduced by Gisele in an episode of the NBC-TV drama series Justice in May, soared to # 4 b/w The Boston Fancy on 'X' 0137. The follow-up Pepper Hot Baby b/w That's The Chance You Have To Take on 'X' 0172 didn't fare nearly as well, stalling at # 60 in November and losing out to the Jaye P. Morgan rendition (# 14). That's the B-side left out of this compilation. After several failed singles, her next charter came also exactly a year later when The Star You Wished Upon Last Night just missed the Top 40 at # 42 in November 1956 b/w It's Delightful To Be Married on Vik 0233. Neither side is included in what they claim to be "The Best Of Gisele MacKenzie."

For that, the lack of a proper discography, and the scant liner notes, I simply could not go higher than 3 stars. However, for anyone just wanting to sample the art of this chanteuse from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, it's at least a 4-star gathering, if not 5, with excellent sound.

Now, as another reviewer notes, how about a compilation covering her hit Capitol years where she had 5 in 1952/53? Where are you Ace Of London, or Jasmine, or Acrobat or any of those fine European outlets. Show BMG how it's done.
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