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Red Hot & Blue: Cole Porter Tribute

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Audio CD, September 25, 1990
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Red Hot & Blue: Cole Porter Tribute + Night and Day: The Cole Porter Songbook
Price for both: $17.78

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: October 30, 1990
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000008JUM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,042 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I've Got You Under My Skin - Neneh Cherry
2. In The Still Of The Night - Neville Brothers
3. You Do Something To Me - Sinead O Connor
4. Begin The Beguine - Salif Keita
5. Love For Sale - Fine Young Cannibals
6. Well, Did you Evah! - Debbie Harry/Iggy Pop
7. Miss Otis Regrets/Just One Of Those Things - Kirsty Maccoll/The Pogues
8. Don't Fence Me In - David Byrne
9. It's All Right With Me - Tom Waits
10. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye - Annie Lennox
11. Night And Day - U2
12. I Love Paris - Les Negresses Vertes
13. So In Love - K.D. Lang
14. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - The Thompson Twins
15. Too Darn Hot - Erasure
16. I Get A Kick Out Of You - The Jungle Brothers
17. Down In The Depths - Lisa Stansfield
18. From This Momment On - Jimmy Somerville
19. After You - Jody Watley
20. Do I Love You? - Aztec Camera

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


There's a long tradition of artists banding together for a noble cause, but--needless to say--good intentions are no guarantee of good art. Fortunately, the twain do meet and the project even succeeds with creative flair in this compilation. It kicked off the Red Hot AIDS Benefit series back in 1990 and in fact launched its own sort of minigenre, including theme albums devoted to George Gershwin and Duke Ellington. In fact, this eclectic mix of Cole Porter covers interpreted by a wide swath of contemporary artists unfurls a pretty ambitious agenda in addition to its message of AIDS awareness and compassion. Here, the legacy of this ultra-sophisticated, closeted master of the popular song from the era of the "lost generation" is presented as a source of rejuvenating inspiration. Porter's craft seems validated by the very flexibility of the original songs as they get retrofitted to encompass styles ranging from U2 and Tom Waits to Jungle Brothers. There's an occasional miscalculation (Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop's didactic "updating" of Porter's bon vivant wit doesn't compare well with the original), but moments of stunning fusion abound (Sinéad O'Connor and Annie Lenox contribute especially memorable gems). Instead of getting lost in translation, Red Hot + Blue adds a whole new dimension to the art of swellegance. --Thomas May

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By M. Elizabeth Pietrzak on January 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A tribute album of Cole Porter tunes as performed by some of the best musicians to come out of the 1980s. David Byrne of the Talking Heads, the Pogues, Tom Waits, U2, The Fine Young Cannibals, Annie Lennox, Jimmy Somerville of Bronski Beat, The Thompson Twins, Sinead O'Connor. There are three fantastic reasons to purchase this album: 1) It's 20 Cole Porter standards, 2) The album was produced in 1990 to benefit AIDS research, 3) The incomparable lineup of the musicians, mentioned above, plus Neneh Cherry, the Neville Brothers, Debbie Harry of Blondie and Iggy Pop, KD Lang, Erasure, Jody Watley, Aztec Camera and more.

Any one of these three reasons should be reason enough to buy this album, and if you score with all three on your list, then you will be overwhelmingly pleased. If you are simply a Cole Porter fan, have never heard of these bands and don't care to support AIDS research, then you will likely be unhappy with this album. But if you are even a fan of just one or two of these artists, the rest of the album will surprise and seduce you.

Perhaps the best track on the whole album is The Neville Brothers' "In the Still of the Night." Simply enchanting. David Byrne shines with the best of the best work from the Talking Heads era, African drumming and rhythms, on "Don't Fence Me In." Kirsty MacColl sings with the Pogues in a medley of "Miss Otis Regrets" and "Just One of Those Things," and for this long-time Pogues fan, it was surprising to find this musically rich track a full decade after the Pogues had split up. Wish I had known about this album in 1990 rather than finding it in 2004. Tom Waits takes some heat with other reviewers with his cover of "It's All Right With Me," but those reviewers obviously wouldn't like ANY Tom Waits tunes.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Misty Jones on October 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's a challenge to find a cover album these days that lives up to the legend it's attempting to celebrate. "Red Hot And Blue," the first out of the "Red Hot" series, is by far the best out of the series, and one of the best collections of cover tunes ever assembled.
Yes, it's a tribute to the late Cole Porter and his timeless classics, and yes, producers donated their royalties to AIDS charities. But even putting the cause aside, this is an absolutely fabulous record.
Highlights include U2's alluring, almost eerie version of "Night And Day," and a tear-jerker version of "Everytime We Say Goodbye" by Annie Lennox.
David Byrne of Talking Heads does a down-home version of "Don't Fence Me In" which is quite laugh-inducing, along with the scary duo of Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop giving their take on "Well Did you Evah."
We could keep listing big names here - Sinead O Connor, Thompson Twins, Tom Waits - a wide spectrum of genre and style which serves up success.
Others in the series have been hit-and-miss, but this record is a definite must.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Cole Porter (1891-1964) was among the closeted gay artists of his era--and the idea of collecting modern versions of his work for release as an AIDS fundraiser was truly inspired. But the hard truth is that few singers have the vocal skills that a Porter song demands, and the resulting RED HOT + BLUE is an extremely inconsistent mix of the truly sublime and the truly dire.

On the sublime side, the Neville Brothers offer a truly elegant reworking of the seldom performed but incredibly beautiful "In The Still of the Night," infusing the delicate melody with their own unique multicultural sound to tremendous effect. Fine Young Cannibals also do a remarkable version--and one that would have been sure to bring a wicked grin to Porter's face--of the often censored "Love for Sale."

Many other selections are equally effective. Although U2's version of "Night and Day" takes some getting used to, it is worth the effort and becomes unexpectedly haunting. Sinead O'Connor and K.D. Lang score memorably with "You Do Something To Me" and "So In Love;" and Annie Lennox offers the single finest version of "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" I have ever heard.

But the rest of the thing ranges from the merely "interesting" to the flat out awful. Neneh Cherry is one of the few rap artist I actually like--but she would have done better to take fewer liberties with "I've Got You Under My Skin," and frankly both Tom Waits and Salif Keita should have stayed in bed on the days they were scheduled to record their versions of "It's Alright With Me" and "Begin the Beguine." Indeed, Keita's "Begin the Beguine" is easily the single most awful version of any Porter song by any artist that I've ever heard.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "missanya" on January 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Frankly, I don't understand how a music lover could NOT like this album! This is the 4th time I've had to buy it because I either wear the CD's or tapes out or lend it out & never got it back. I love the classic Cole Porter renditions - that's what I was familiar with. As soon as I heard this album, though, I fell in love! I love playing Dinah Washington's version of "I've got you under my skin" and then playing Nenah Cherry's rendition. O.K., Dinah win's out for me on that one, but I still like to hear what Miss Cherry does to the song. The same goes for Betty Carter's "Every time we say goodbye". Personally, I ADORE what Annie Lennox brings to that piece. I makes me cry too! Give this one a chance and keep your mind open!!
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