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  • Lady Sings The Blues - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
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Lady Sings The Blues - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Import

57 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import
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Editorial Reviews

Original motion picture sound track released by Motown. Made in Japan. Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, O.O.P.

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Original Release Date: 1972
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • ASIN: B000CDBR7U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #407,022 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter on October 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I just heard this CD again this week after a long time. I must say this CD still stands the test of time, even after 30 years. Diana Ross is to be commended for her superb interpretations of these Billie Holiday standards -- all classics. It must have seem daunting for Diana Ross to tackle the role of Billie Holiday in "Lady Sings the Blues". True, the movie took many knocks for sensationalizing the seedier aspects of Billie's drug use and promiscuity, but no one can knock Diana's performance in that movie. I still don't understand how Diana Ross lost the Best Actress Oscar to Liza Minnelli for "Cabaret" that year. Perhaps Hollywood was not yet ready to bestow an Oscar for Leading Actress to a black woman. That's the only reason. It took Halle Berry to finally win one almost 30 years later for "Monster's Ball", which paled in comparison to Ms. Ross's performance in "Lady Sings the Blues", but that's another story.

My only quibble with this soundtrack is that Berry Gordy decided to instill snippets from the movie's dialogue into the soundtrack, which seems jarring when listening to the entire CD. But this is a soundtrack CD after all, so I guess Berry Gordy and Motown wanted it to be as authentic as it could.

All the songs are standouts, but Ms. Ross really shines in "Good Morning Heartache" (Motown released this as a single back in 1972) and probably her finest track "God Bless the Child". This is no mean feat since those songs are forever identified with Lady Day, but Diana manages to instill her own character into the song without robbing its essence. Certainly very, very praiseworthy.

Ms. Ross also was in great voice during this period as a recording artist.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ianphillips@uk.dreamcast.com on April 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
As soon as it was announced that Diana Ross was to portray the late 1940's/50's jazz and blues singer, Billie Holiday, sneering critics doubted almost immediatley that she could really carry this challenging task off. It is true to say that there certainly were many differences between Billie Holiday and Diana Ross vocally. Firstly Billie Holiday had a deep, husky, hoarse sounding voice which suited the material she worked with perfectly whilst Diana Ross had a smooth but soulful voice that could at times sound very sugary sweet on the slower material she worked with whilst high pitched on an up tempo number. This defintley was Dianas most challenging tak to carry off to this point in her career. It was only a few years into her solo career by then but this film helped propell her into the world class mega stardom that she now enjoys to this day. She was most certainly an accomplished soul/r&b/pop vocalist but had never really ventured into the field of jazz and blues before.
However by the end of her work on Lady Sings The Blues, critics really began to sit up and recognise her as the renowned vocalist she still is today. the soundtrack was recorded under the strict supervision of Gil Askey. She totally avoided doing any Supreme type numbers and sang these songs in a refreshingly unique style that manages to capture the mood and spirit of the origanal recordings perfectly. The real beauty and soul comes out on these numbers as she sings them with such passion and feeling. She does an absolutley fantastic job on Strange Fruit - a very deep, meaningful song which is all about the horrors of racial abuse that occured back then and how Billie first saw a black man being hung which explains the descriptive notion of "strange fruit".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Of all of the Motown acts Diana Ross (With and without the Supremes) was always given the room to explore various settings including Pop, Standards, Disney Favorites, Show Tunes, and the list goes on and on. On this Soundtrack not only was she given the opportunity to record Billie Holiday blues & jazz favorites but she (Diana Ross) also got her first major starring role in movie "Lady Sings The Blues". Both Movie & Soundtrack were runaway smashes. As a result of the Top 20 hit single from the Soundtrack "Good Morning Heartaches", a new interest in Billie Holiday recordings took off. Be forwarned none of these recordings on this Soundtrack have the more familiar Motown Sound of the 70's, but well orchestrated blues, jazz & pop chestnuts arranged by the one and only Gil Askey.

These are the type of recordings where you'll want to get your favorite drink and enjoy such jewels as "Mean To Me", "Fine And Mellow", "You've Changed", "Don't Explain", "God Bless The Child" (And others)....Sit back and enjoy. The only down side is that it includes excerpts from the Movie spliced in throughout (Unless you've seen the movie, then it might make a slight difference). For the most part you'll get to explore one of Diana Ross' most successful attemps at blues & jazz. Since that time she revisted this Genre several times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric D. Harris on August 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've never been partial to the movie for many reasons despite Diana Ross' stunning motion picture debut and well-deserved Oscar nomination, my main reason is the highly fictionalised account of the "love story" between Billie and Louis McKay (and the character "Piano Man", played by Richard Pryor; who was he supposed to be anyway? How about including in the script the story of the friendship between Lady and Pres, the inimitable Lester Young? The recordings on which he played tenor sax for Lady are masterpieces). Anyone who knows anything about Lady Day's life and times knows that this was not the case. Suffice it to say that Louis McKay was not a very nice person, although he was the best (and that's REALLY stretching that word) out of the three of Lady's husbands, the first being Jimmie Monroe, who may or may not have introduced Lady to heroin, and Joe Guy, Lady's second husband, though it's been widely publicized that the pair were never legally married. The schmaltzy story that eventually did come out of Hollywood in 1972 made me cringe when I saw it because I read not only Lady's own account of her life ("Lady Sings The Blues", largely ghostwritten by William Dufty) but in later years several other excellent books about her as well, the best being "Wishing On The Moon" by Donald Clarke.
The critical drubbing of the movie itself aside, I must admit that the music is simply stunning; this unto itself is my only recommendation with regard to the movie at all. Gil Askey's orchestration and Michel LeGrand's arrangements are absolutely top-notch, particularly LeGrand's own "Love Theme", played in various forms throughout the entire movie and on the soundtrack itself.
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