on December 30, 2004
I just purchased this CD last evening. I was tentative about buying it, even though I adore Jane. My hesitation was based on the fact that I already owned these songs on her other recordings, none of them were particular favorites of mine, and some of the Amazon reviews mentioning the somewhat lackadaisical remastering.
First of all, I consider myself quite picky about sound quality, and these versions are VASTLY improved over the older discs. Jane's voice is right in the forefront, as though she were right in the room with you, against a pristine musical background, with all the previous bad fade-outs corrected quite nicely. Have someone blindfold you and play any one of the numbers on "Best of Jane" back to back with one of the earlier versions, and you will instantly recognize the difference. Keep in mind this isn't a Super Audio CD, just a remaster.
Surely there's enough great J.O. material in the Columbia vaults to create at least a double CD. My dream collection would certainly contain "My First Night Alone Without You", "One More Ride On the Merry-Go-Round", "Lelena", "The French Waltz" and "Golden Pony". But even though the songs on this collection are more generic-pop, they sound so good, I actually dig them for the first time!
The photos of Jane included are worth the price alone. Gorgeous, never-before-seen shots from years ago that never saw the light of day until now.
Let's hope Jane has a deal to make some dinero $$$ off this reissue from the record label.
on June 24, 2004
Granted this is the first US remastered Best Of for Jane Olivor, as the only other "Best Of" type recordings were her "Enchanted Evening" LP issued in Australia (with the best album sleeve photos), and the budget-line CD "So Fine". This collection would've had 5 Stars from me if it weren't all the same songs previously released on the Columbia LPs/CDs from 1976-82. There are a couple of rarities that could've been included, and gratefully, one that was.
First of all, "Some Enchanted Evening" was issued as a single close to the release of Jane's second album "Chasing Rainbows". When I purchased that album in 1977, a bonus one-sided while label 45 single was included of a different version of "Some Enchanted Evening" vs. the album version from "First Night". A regular 45 single was also issued with that same single version, which is mostly piano background. The next rarity is the single version of "He's So Fine from "Stay The Night". The single version has a different inflection on the lyric in the middle of the song. Using these two versions over the overly released album versions would have made this collection a "must" for all Jane fans. The saving light is the inclusion for the first time on any Jane collection/album of the wonderful duet with Johnny Mathis of "The Last Time I Felt Like This".
With Jane's resurgance to the concert arena and a devoted following, I hope that all 5 original Columbia albums will go through a superb remaster & add these other rare tracks as bonuses, in addition to expanding the Jane Olivor In Concert CD to include more of or the entire concert vs. the tracks that were only placed on vinyl, with one track "We Go Where There Is Love" possibly being a studio insert. Columbia/Legacy really needs to do some digging & give Jane's releases the polishing and release they deserve. This "Best of" is a start, with a great set of photos.
on November 6, 2004
due, especially the addition of 'The Last Time I Felt Like This' duet with Johnny Mathis. One of music's best pairings. If you've ever witnessed the poetic beauty and primal dance of two birds mating, their uninhibited and excited fluttering, synchronized in a symphonic diving and swirling mid-flight, then you have an idea what their voices did so easily together on this pairing.
When I lived in Chicago I saw Jane perform live several times. I always brought a new group of friends along. Never was anyone disappointed. Jane did have an uneasiness on stage, but it kind of made her more vulnerable and human, an asset to me.
This is Jane's best work, even with 'Beautiful Sadness' not being included (which is as sensitive, intelligent and poetic as 'Vincent').
The violin intro to 'Vincent' made it her song. Her interpretation not only speaks about Vincent van Gogh, but invades his emotional creativity, resurrecting his bloodied and battered spirit. One of the best written songs of my generation.
Jane's version of 'Come In From The Rain' is as beautiful and poignant as Manchester's original version (another one of those perfect songs written).
Jane's 'Some Enchanted Evening' is the best version recorded, or at least that I've heard. That blue bird was me one long ago enchanted evening (and we're still together).
'Solitaire' is one of the few Sedaka that I can listen to years later. I don't know if her version is better than Karen Carpenters. If it's not better, it's at least as good. And so goes the rest of this collection. This collection is for those who can appreciate Streisand with an European flavor.
on July 3, 2007
I bought all of Jane's albums when they were albums, back in the late 70's, early 80's. I love her voice and I played them all the time. However, when I got a cd player, I didn't replace the albums with cds because the songs made me go back to that time, and I was in love and it was unrequited and my heart was broken. So I was browsing Amazon and found this cd and decided to order it.
It's absolutely beautiful. It doesn't hurt to listen to it anymore, I've been able to get past the painful memories and just listen to the music.
I remember seeing Jane in concert in the early 80's. She sat on steps and gathered us around her on the floor and it was so beautiful and intimate. I remember shaking her hand, she was so tiny and obviously nervous. It was one of the most beautiful concerts I've ever been to.
I highly recommend this cd, it's very romantic and beautiful.
on July 19, 2004
Well, let's start with the good news, namely that the remastering job is, well, masterful. These cuts off of Olivor's Columbia recordings are a revelation, even for those of you/us who are longtime fans. Words, sounds, etc. which were never clear before (either on LP or on CD) are finally present and fully realized. Whether you've heard all of these songs before or whether you're a new listener, these cuts are just jawdroppingly good. One can simply imagine the amazement of the people in the booth during the recording of "Some Enchanted Evening" as it's quite simply one of the finest recordings of the 20th or 21st century. Whether this CD is really the "Best" (even from a quasi-greatest hits stance) of Jane Olivor is debatable, but it's SO good and SO much better than the previous releases. So, everyone in the world should buy this CD, see caveats below.
On the other hand, I'd bet Olivor had nothing to do with this rerelease -- witness, in the liner notes, the use of her former name not once, but twice, a name she has long since distanced herself from, and probably a Sony jab at her. (Some other factual errors exist too in the liner notes as Jane had returned to performing by 1990, and was already doing big concert halls again by 1993).
The liner credits are pretty much a total mess. First off, does producer Jason Darrow have a longlost evil twin, "James Darrow" (listed as a producer on the back, on the inside and as specific producer for "Vincent" off of FIRST NIGHT)? (Does anyone proofread anything? Wouldn't someone say, "hmmmm, isn't it a bit weird there's a "James" AND a "Jason" Darrow producing on the same release? Apparently, not). Second, Michael Masser did NOT produce the cut "The Best Side of Goodbye" -- uh, Jason Darrow did (I'm guessing "James" was unavailable). Third, the unlisted Jack Gold produced "Last Time I Felt Like This." Fourth, NO one is given any producer credit for the cuts off STAY THE NIGHT; again, that would be Jason Darrow.
One can picture the meeting around the Sony/Legacy tables -- "look kids, this Olivor has released her SAFE RETURN concert CD/DVD, which has all of the good songs from her Columbia years, and she's getting royalties! Get some release out now to compete with that! Oh, and point out a couple of times she used to be Linda Cohen too!" Oh, and I really love the enormous FBI warning on the back of this CD about piracy and royalties -- especially since the battles between Olivor and Columbia have been well-publicized. Maybe she's finally, through this release, getting a nickel or two from the money she's earned them over the years, and I'd be pleased to hear that, but whether that's a reality.......
I certainly agree with the reviewer below: Columbia/Sony/Legacy needs to rerelease Olivor's full recordings, remastered, with bonus tracks, and with accurate, proofread liner notes. Her recordings for them are too important to be ignored, and there simply has to be more material in the vaults for release.
I have to mention another unsung hero, and that's the original engineer on the Jason Darrow produced cuts (including the Masser-attributed "Best Side of Goodbye") by the name of Michael DeLugg. DeLugg really knew how to place Jane's voice in the mix, and to give her voice some space around it; his engineering on Olivor's Columbia years served her extremely well.
I'd give this 5 stars, but Legacy's sloppiness is too rampant to warrant that. Why do they put people who know nothing about an artist in charge of a release like this?
on January 8, 2014
This artist has a rare and beautiful voice. It's a shame her personal life and love of family had to interrupt her career. I always thought that she would become a super star when I first heard her voice, Maybe she didn't have the right agent. I heard her on the Johnny Carson show and then a friend from CA gave me her "Stay the Night" album. I became a fan thirty plus years ago and still buy these CD to give to friends. Her's is a voice to share,
on January 16, 2013
I love Jane Oliver but for my own taste, was a little disappointed on the choice of songs that were put on this. I wish they would redo some of her other work. I did enjoy this however, as I'm a staunch fan of hers.
on November 23, 2015
I have no idea what has happened to Jane Olivor and her singing career, but I despair over what might-have been! Certainly a rising international superstar -- a new Piaff -- she withdrew; receded from sight. Nothing is forever, but my memory and continued enjoyment of her too few albums has lasted me -- in some cases carried me -- to the very cusp of my fifth score of years. Her choice of material and song styling have endured through love, tears, depression, and joy. Literally across uncertain frontiers and on to new horizons, her taped voice opened strange, otherwise unaccessible doors.
Do not stop with "The Best of Jane Olivor"; check all of her work.
You will not be disappointed.
It won't take long. Would that it were otherwise.
on January 20, 2014
After trusting the reviews previously posted on your site, I ordered "Best of Jane Olivor" and I am so glad I did! To hear her incredible voice with such clarity-----my ears are happy!! The quality of this CD and the number of songs seclected are a perfect combination for all Jane Olivor lovers out there, I highly recommend it!
on April 2, 2008
Like everyone, there are tracks on this CD that I like and others I would have replaced, but I just thought I'd throw my 10c into the ring.
The remastering is a revelation. The original 1980s CD pressings of all the albums sound flat and muddy by comparison. In fact, there is no comparison when you listen to this release and then the old versions.
What continues to beggar belief is that Sony Legacy have not given all the original albums this treatment. The market is there, but I fear they may hold on to the original masters and then flog them to a reissue label like Wounded Bird, where the remastering process will be bypassed.
Even if you don't absolutely love the 16 tracks selected for this CD, go and buy it for the ones you do love, as the sound is spectacular and maybe, just maybe Sony may take notice of the sales and grace us with all five Columbia albums in pristine sound like this. Either way it is good value.
Are you listening Sony ?