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Songbird CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 933 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, May 19, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Five years after her death at age 33, Eva Cassidy is an international star. Songbird, a platinum-selling smash, reached #1 in England, Ireland, and the U.S. A recent Nightline profile about Eva generated more emails than almost any other program in its history. When you hear this album, you'll know why the Washington Post raved that "she could sing anything...and make it sound like it was the only music that mattered." (43 minutes)

Songbird cherry-picks tracks from the three locally released albums of Eva Cassidy, whose hauntingly beautiful vocals went virtually unheard outside her native Washington, D.C., during her short 33 years with us. Lost to melanoma in 1996, Cassidy sang with an unaffected purity and an astonishing ability to make both classic and contemporary songs sound like they were written just for her. Sting's "Fields of Gold" finally lives up to its title through the alchemy of Cassidy's transcendent rendition, while other tracks on this anthology showcase her ease in the realms of pop (Christine McVie's "Songbird"), soul ("People Get Ready"), gospel ("Wade on the Water"), and traditional standards ("Autumn Leaves" and "Over the Rainbow"). Framed by understated jazz and pop arrangements, Cassidy's clear, soulful voice and exquisite phrasing make her that rarest of vocalists whose interpretations are a complement to any song. A fine introduction to a true talent. --Billy Grenier

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Fields Of Gold
  2. Wade In The Water
  3. Autumn Leaves
  4. Wayfaring Stranger
  5. Songbird
  6. Time Is A Healer
  7. I Know You By Heart
  8. People Get Ready
  9. Oh, I Had A Golden Thread
  10. Over The Rainbow

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Blix Street
  • ASIN: B000006AKD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (933 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,153 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Simply put, this CD has changed my life. "Over the Rainbow" stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it, bringing tears to my eyes. I've listened to it at least 50 times in the last few days, and it still moves me like no other piece of music ever has. "Autumn Leaves" and "Fields of Gold" are equally brilliant and have also set new standards for their interpretations. Then in the blink of an eye, Eva turns into a soulful,sultry, bluesy wailer on "Wade in the Water", "Wayfaring Stranger", and "People Get Ready". The range of expression and depth of phrasing in her songs are second to none.
The most amazing thing about her singing, however is that no matter what type of music she sang, whether pop, soul, R&B, folk, jazz, or standards, she outsings the best of the masters in each area and does it effortlessly, simply and with no pretense. Are you listening out there, all of you graduates of the "Sam Harris(of Star Search infamy)/Mariah Carey School of Pyrotechnical Caterwauling"? Just sing from the heart, like Eva did!
Eva Cassidy has raised the bar by which vocal performance will be measured from now on. And she did it on her own terms, singing what she wanted to sing, the way she wanted to sing it. After trying to work out a deal with record execs and refusing to be pigeonholed into a certain style of music, she said "I just wanna sing. I like to do a little of everything". Eva, I just wanna listen!
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Format: Audio CD
Like the briefest, brightest shooting star, Eva Cassidy was here, then she wasn't. Perhaps God wanted his angel back.
During a lifetime of playing and listening to all styles of music, I have heard most of the great popular and operatic singers whose work survives in recordings: Caruso, Armstrong, Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Van Morrison, just to name a few. But I was not prepared when a friend gave me this precious album last November.
From the first bars of the first song, "Fields of Gold," you are struck by the pure natural beauty of Eva's voice, the perfect pitch, intonation, vibrato, inflection. It seems to be exactly what a woman should sound like when she sings. Your sense of awe will only build as she sings over appropriately spare arrangements (including her understated but perfect guitar and keyboard work) of pop, soul, gospel, folk, and blues standards. Impossibly, each one of her performances (some of which were live) becomes definitive.
Just for good measure, she even takes on the song of the century, "Over the Rainbow," and eclipses Judy Garland's version--doesn't just eclipse it--blows it completely away in an anthemic performance which is, believe it or not, understated. I have never heard anything like it. Listening to it never fails to bring tears. Even trying to describe it to friends who haven't heard it brings tears.
Happiest when she was on her bicycle, Eva was a shy little waif-like blonde who never thought too highly of her awesome vocal instrument. But she possessed buckets and buckets of soul without overdoing it, without oversinging (as Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and others are known to do). I concur in all the rapturous reviews above and below.
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Format: Audio CD
Forget the calculated pop garbage of Mariah Carey. Forget the over-produced muck of Celine Dion. If you want to truly hear a beautiful voice that doesn't require over-the-top arrangements and lots of hair spray, you MUST hear Eva Cassidy.
If you first glance at the song list on the "Songbird" CD, some of the titles seem, to put it frankly, totally avoidable. "Over the Rainbow." "Wade in the Water." Songs that have been remade and remade until you may think nothing new could be added to them. Eva Cassidy was able to take these songs and turn them into something new and worthwhile. Her rendition of "Over the Rainbow" is absolutely breathtaking....moving, perfectly sung, emotional, understated. Her version of this tune perfectly captures what she was capable of...taking a song and totally making it her own.
The song choices range from traditional tunes like "Oh, I Had a Golden Thread" to contemporary numbers like Christine McVie's "Songbird." But Eva Cassidy was able to take this variety and work it to her advantage; despite the fact that "Songbird" is actually a collection of songs from three previously released albums, the performances are amazingly seamless and this makes the album as a whole a million times better than the overdone, poser pop that invades U.S. radio.
The most amazing performance here is her achingly beautiful version of Sting's "Fields of Gold." The song is made all the more poignant byt the fact that Eva Cassidy lost her battle with melanoma in 1996 at the age of when she sings "you'll remember me/when the west wind moves/among the fields of barley," it will easily bring a tear to the eye. Simply amazing.
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Format: Audio CD
A few days ago, my daughter gave me a CD of Eva Cassidy songs. Since then I've been unable to stop listening to it. I went to the local library, checked out every one of Eva's sadly few CDs (she died at 33 before she even had a record contract), found that all were spectacular, and then bought my own copies on Amazon. Here's this mostly classical listener's verdict: Eva Cassidy is one of the finest singers I've ever heard, without regard to genre. Her voice is lyrical, her clarity on a par with that of Ella Fitgerald or Elly Ameling, her diction as perfect as Sinatra's. She has the soft sound of a popular favorite but the control and sustained power of a Lied veteran. She's also a musician of the first rank--a great arranger and a wonderful guitarist. As if that weren't enough, she has a staggering breadth, handling pop, folk, gospel, and blues with equal finesse.

If you're looking to try out just a disc or two, I recommend Songbird, Time after Time, and Imagine, in that order. Among the many beauties you'll find on Eva's discs are some that come as close as anything I've ever heard to definitive: Fields of Gold (Songbird), I Know You by Heart (Songbird), Kathy's Song (Time after Time, and yes it tops the version of the great Paul Simon himself), It Doesn't Matter Any More (Imagine), Early Morning Rain (Imagine), and Danny Boy (Imagine). Her Stormy Monday (Live at Blues Alley) is superb. To confirm my sense of just how good, I went to the iTunes store and sampled all of the nearly 120 renditions of this famous song. Couldn't find one I liked better. Topping them all is Over the Rainbow (Songbird). Judy Garland set the standard; Eva set a new one. If this doesn't reduce you to tears, see a psychologist.
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