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Dr. Joseph Lee (Toronto, Canada)
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Shout! Comp Decca Recordings
Shout! Comp Decca Recordings
Price: CDN$ 25.82
19 used & new from CDN$ 12.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Lulu: Shout! Complete Decca Recordings (2CDs): complete comprehensive coverage of the earliest Lulu on Decca; great sound!, Sept. 6 2014
INTRODUCTION:

Lulu was born Marie Lawrie on November 3, 1948 in Glasgow, Scotland. Her current official title is Lulu Kennedy-Cairns, OBE. She was married to Maurice Gibb (of the Bee Gees) from 1969 - 1973. She also appeared in the 1967 movie To Sir With Love, singing the famous title song. She also hosted her own UK TV show in 1968.

If you just looked at her charting career, you will be easily misled in the number of charting singles: UK (27 singles from 1964 to 2002) and US (15 singles from 1964 to 1982). I have painstakingly done a Complete Singles Discography on Lulu, and to my amazement, she has a total of 61 singles (from 1964 to 2002)! Her recording labels can be divided into the following: (1) Decca (UK)/Parrot (US)(1964 - 1966), (2) Columbia (UK)/Epic (US)(1967 - 1969), (3) Atco (1969 - 1972), (4) Chelsea (1973 - 1975), (5) GTO/Rocket (1978 - 1979), (6) Alfa (1981 - 1982), (7) Lifestyle/Jive/Mercury (1984 - 1990), (8) Dome (1993 - 1994), and (9) Mercury/Polydor (1999 - 2002).

CONTENT:

This 2 CD set, by RPM label, contains 42 songs.

SINGLES: All her 11 singles (charted and uncharted, English or German) are included (with a-side in capital letters):

01 SHOUT (Decca F 11884)(UK 7/1964)(US 94/1964)*disc 1
02 Forget Me Baby (b-side)(Decca F 11884)(UK b-side, 1964)*disc 1
03 CAN'T HEAR YOU NO MORE (Decca F 1196)(uncharted UK a-side, 1964)*disc 1
04 I Am In Love (b-side)(Decca F 11965)(UK b-side, 1964)*disc 1
05 HERE COMES THE NIGHT (Decca F 12017)(UK 50/1964)*disc 1
06 That's Really Some Good (b-side)(Decca F 12017)(UK b-side, 1964)* disc 1
07 I'LL COME RUNNING (Parrot 9714)(US 105/1964)*disc 2
08 Here Comes The Night (b-side)(Parrot 9714)(US b-side, 1964)*disc 1
09 SATISFIED (Decca F 12128)(uncharted UK a-side, 1965)*disc 1
10 Surprise, Surprise (b-side)(Decca F 12128)(UK b-side, 1965)*disc 1
11 LEAVE A LITTLE LOVE (Decca F 12169)(UK 8/1965)*disc 1
12 He Don't Want Your Love Anymore (b-side)(Decca F 12169)(UK b-side, 1965)*disc 1
13 TRY TO UNDERSTAND (Decca F 12214)(UK 25/1965)*disc 1
14 Not In This Whole World (b-side)(Decca F 12214)(UK b-side, 1965) *disc 1
15 TELL ME LIKE IT IS (Decca F 12254)(uncharted a-side, 1965)*disc 2
16 Stop Fooling Around (b-side)(Decca F 12254)(UK b-side, 1965)*disc 2
17 CALL ME (Decca F 12326)(uncharted a-side, 1966)*disc 2
18 After You (b-side)(Decca F 12326)(UK b-side, 1966)*disc 2
19 WHAT A WONDERFUL FEELING (Decca F 12491)(uncharted a-side, 1966)*disc 2
20 Tossin' And Turnin' (b-side)(Decca F 12491)(UK b-side, 1966)*disc 2
21 WENN DU DA BIST (Decca D 19760)(German single, 1966)*disc 2
22 So Fing Es An (b-side)(Decca D 19760)(German b-side, 1966)*disc 2

EP Lulu (Decca DFE 8597)(1964)*rare gems: 4 songs

LP Something To Shout About (Decca 4719)(1965)
LP Lulu (Ace Of Clubs 1232)(1967)

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 This set represents the most complete, comprehensive coverage of Lulu's recordings on Decca.
2 As noted above, all the singles (a and b-sides, charted and uncharted) are included, plus rare EP and two complete albums.
3 The sound is very well remastered, clean with no hiss.
4 There is a 12-page booklet, containing an informative essay by John Reed, plus beautiful colourful album covers, EP covers and 45 single picture sleeves...priceless!
5 The price is reasonable, especially from sellers.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 There are no chart positions.
2 The songs are not arranged chronologically.

COMPLETE SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY:

In compiling my Complete Singles Discography on Lulu with 61 singles, I am glad to report that I am only still missing 5 songs. To get all her singles, you need the following CDs:

1 DECCA ERA: Shout! The Complete Decca Recordings (current set)
2 COLUMBIA ERA: To Sir With Love! The Complete Mickie Most Recordings (2CDs)(EMI, 2005)*my review elsewhere
3 ATCO ERA: The Atco Sessions (2CDs)(Real Gone Music, 2014)*my review elsewhere
4 CHELSEA ERA: The Man Who Sold The World (Sequel, 1999)* collector's item now; quite expensive; I just bought from Amazon.co.uk for £24.28!*I shall review it when I receive it.
5 GTO/ROCKET ERA: not available on CD.
6 ALFA ERA: not available on CD.
7 DOME ERA: I'M BACK FOR MORE (2CDs)(Dome, 1999)
8 MERCURY/POLYDOR ERA: Back On Track (Mercury, 2004); Together (Mercury 2002).

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This 2 CD set truly represents Lulu's Complete Decca Recordings, as the CD title implies. From these earliest recordings, you can hear her raw feisty voice, full of pubescent energy whose patent enthusiasm for American soul and R&B simply just exploded. Her two years stint with Decca proved a struggle in terms of establishing a consistent hit rate. For collectors and completest, this set is recommended.

Complete Ode Recordings
Complete Ode Recordings
Price: CDN$ 17.37
27 used & new from CDN$ 13.81

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peggy Lipton: The Complete Ode Recordings: Rare release of Peggy Lipton’s complete recordings; great sound; pretty pictures!, Sept. 5 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Complete Ode Recordings (Audio CD)
INTRODUCTION:

Peggy Lipton was born on August 30, 1946 in Manhattan, New York. She was both an actress and singer. Her most famous role was as Julie Barnes on TV’s The Mod Squad. She was married to Quincy Jones from 1974 to 1990, and mother to Rashida Jones. She has released only one album, with songs composed by herself, plus Carole King and her hero Laura Nyro. Her singles release was rather brief: 5 singles from 1968 to 1970.

CONTENT:

This very special release by Real Gone Music, a reputable reissue label from UK, contains 19 songs. Since Amazon.ca did not provide a song listing, I have compiled a more detailed song listing (including album label & number, singles label & number plus chart position):

LP PEGGY LIPTON (Ode 44006)(1968)
01 Let Me Pass By (CBS 80100)(uncharted a-side, 1970)( Ode 124 (b-side, 1970)
02 A Natural Woman
03 Memories Of A Golden Weekend
04 San Francisco Glide (Ode 114)(b-side, 1968)
05 Stoney End (Ode 114)(121/1968)*later popularized by Barbra Streisand
06 Who Needs It
07 Hands Off The Man (Flim Flam Man)( CBS 80100)(b-side, 1970)
08 It Might As Well Rain Until September
09 Wasn’t It You
10 Lady of the Lake
11 Honey Won’t Let Me (Ode 66001)(b-side, 1970)
BONUS TRACKS:
12 Red Clay County Line (Ode 118)(uncharted a-side, 1969)
13 Just A Little Lovin’ (Early In The Morning)( Ode 118)(b-side, 1969)
14 Lu (Ode 124)(102/1970)
15 Wear Your Love Like Heaven (Ode 66001)(108/1970)
16 I Know Where I’m Going*(not final mix; pulled from a 7.5 ips tape source)
17 Wanting Things*(not final mix; pulled from a 7.5 ips tape source)
18 I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times
19 Now That Everything’s Been Said*(not final mix; pulled from a 7.5 ips tape source)

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 This is the first time that Peggy Lipton’s recordings, either album or singles, are available on CD. Thank you, Real Gone Music.
2 As noted above, all the singles (a and b-sides), her complete album, plus unreleased materials are included in this set.
3 The sound is very well remastered, clean with no hiss.
4 There is a 12-page booklet, containing an informative essay by Joe Marchese, plus the original album front cover, and three beautiful colour pictures of Peggy Lipton. Two single labels are included. The icing on the cake is the colourful centerfold picture occupying two pages…priceless. Label and number are included.
5 The price is reasonable, especially from sellers.

NEGATIVE POINT:

1 No chart positions are included.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Finally, the recordings by Peggy Lipton are available on CDs with great sound. I always treated her as the “Marianne Faithful of the 70s”. She was a multi-talented lady, composing her own songs. She was also credited for Frank Sinatra’s L.A. is My Lady, co-written with Quincy Jones and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Jones also credited his then-wife’s lingerie with inspiring the song “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” on Michael Jackson’s 1983 blockbuster Thriller. This Complete Ode Recordings really reflects the endless musical possibilities of the era in which it was recorded. This ornately crafted, extraordinarily graceful hybrid of folk, pop and rock is a testament to the talented singer-songwriter at its heart. This set is recommended.

Hard To Find 45s On CD, Vol. 11: Sugar pop classics
Hard To Find 45s On CD, Vol. 11: Sugar pop classics
Price: CDN$ 20.45
25 used & new from CDN$ 8.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Find 45s on CD Volume 11: 19 songs with many rare gems, original single versions in stereo; perfect sound!, Sept. 5 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

Eric Records is a very reputable reissue label. I still have 45 rpm singles on Eric Records. The 1st volume of Hard to Find 45s on CD was first released in 1996. If you have purchased that CD, congratulations! That CD is out of print, and currently selling at the Eric Records website for $95.00, plus you have to order at least 10 other CDs at the same time! Wow! Speaking of Hard To Get!

CONTENT:

This Volume 11 set contains 19 pop songs from the 60s and 70s, with quite a few rare gems. You will instantly recognize the song once it is played. You may say that “wow, haven’t heard this oldie for a long time.” Since Amazon.ca has already provided a decent song listing, it will not be repeated here.

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 All the songs are the original 45 rpm single versions.
2 There are many rare gems. One special mention is that Rhapsody In The Rain in this set is the original uncensored version, containing the original lyrics: “We were makin’ out in the rain” instead of “ We fell in love in the rain” and “In this car we went too far” instead of “Our love came like a falling star.”
3 All the songs are in true stereo (with two exceptions: Rhapsody in the Rain and Girl Watcher).
4 The source is from original master tapes for the most accurate sound.
5 The remastering at Eric Records by Tom Daly and Mark Mathews is simply first class: vibrant, clean with no hiss. All the songs in this set have become my new reference standards.
6 There is an excellent 12-page booklet with an informative essay by the very knowledgeable Fred Bronson. Chart positions are provided.
7 The price is reasonable, especially when you buy from sellers.

NEGATIVE POINT:

1 There are only 55 minutes in this CD. Adding 25 more minutes of songs will increase the value.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I am listening to the disc as I am typing this review. The entire set is totally enjoyable. Every song was a charted hit. You may not have many of the songs because to get them, you may have to buy the entire album of that artist. The sound is superb! What a wonderful collection. After you have listened to all 19 sugar-sweet vocals, there is no need to check your sugar levels. You have already improved your health by upping your happiness quotient, because you can’t help but feel more joyful and content. These tunes from the ‘60s and ‘70s are just as memorable and have stood the test of time because there will always be room for the rain, the park and other things and a spoonful of sugar will always help the music go down. All the songs surely brought back many happy memories of days gone by. This set is very highly recommended.

R&B No. 1s of the 50s
R&B No. 1s of the 50s
Price: CDN$ 30.75
16 used & new from CDN$ 22.95

5.0 out of 5 stars R&B No.1s Of ‘50s (6CDs): 159 All the No. 1 songs on the R&B chart (1950 - 1959); wonderful collection! Many rare gems!, Sept. 4 2014
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This review is from: R&B No. 1s of the 50s (Audio CD)
HISTORY OF R&B CHART IN US:

Billboard magazine introduced a ‘Harlem Hit Parade’ in 1942 to cover sales of records of this kind, which in a slightly revised form was re-named the ‘Race Records’ chart in 1945, initially just based on juke box plays but from 1948 also covering retail sales. From 1949, it was called the Rhythm & Blues chart, a nomenclature that lasted until 1969. The chart subsequently went through further changes of name, becoming the ‘Soul’ chart in 1969, then ‘Black’ in 1982, before reverting to the ‘R&B’ chart in 1990. In 1999, the name changed to Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks until now.

CONTENT:

Acrobat, a reputable reissue label from UK, renown for their thoroughness and completeness, and also responsible for releases like British Hit Parade series covering every charted song for that year in the UK singles chart, later with another set including b-sides only…a collector’s dream come true. Here we have 6 CDs with 159 fabulous tracks covering every Number 1 song on the R&B chart in the entire 1950s.

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 I have checked my Joey Whitburn’s Billboard Hot R&B Songs book, and indeed this set has every single Number 1 song, arranged chronologically for the entire 1950s. This is the most complete and comprehensive coverage of the number 1 songs on the R&B chart in the entire 1950s.
2 Even though all these songs were Number 1 hits, many of them are truly rare gems, especially those in the early 50s, many making their CD debut…a real collector’s dream come true.
3 The sound is very well remastered, clean with no hiss.
4 All the songs are original versions, no re-recorded versions.
5 The 44-page booklet contains an informative essay plus facts and trivia about each song. Most important of all, the label & number, date when the song reached #1, plus number of weeks at No. 1, are included…priceless. Save me a lot of time looking things up in my Billboard books.
6 Considering this is a 6-CD set, the price is reasonable, especially from seller. (Please note that a similar set on Country No. 1s of the 1950s is NOT available on Amazon.ca, and I have to order from Amazon.co.uk).

NEGATIVE POINT:

1 None.

INTERESTING TRIVIA:

Just for fun, I have listed the Number 1 R&B songs of each year for the entire 1950s:

01 1950 PINK CHAMPAGNE – Joe Liggins (No. 1 for 13 weeks)
02 1951 SIXTY-MINUTE MAN – The Dominoes (No. 1 for 14 weeks)
03 1952 HAVE MERCY BABY – The Dominoes (No. 1 for 10 weeks)
04 1953 MONEY HONEY – Clyde McPhatter (No. 1 for 11 weeks)
05 1954 THE THINGS THAT I USED TO DO – Guitar Slim (No. 1 for 14 weeks
06 1955 AIN’T THAT A SHAME – Fats Domino (No. 1 for 11 weeks)
07 1956 HONKY TONK (PARTS 1 & 2) – Bill Doggett (No. 1 for 13 weeks)
08 1957 SEARCHIN’ – The Coasters (No. 1 for 12 weeks)
09 1958 LONELY TEARDROPS – Jackie Wilson (No. 1 for 7 weeks)
10 1959 IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME – Brook Benton (No. 1 for 9 weeks)

Another interesting phenomena in the 1950s is that one gets to hear the original versions of songs first made popular by black artists, but later turned into pop hits by white artists. Examples include:

01 I ALMOST LOST MY MIND – Ivory Joe Hunter (R&B 1/1950); Pat Boone (Pop 1/1956)
02 LAWDY MISS CLAWDY – Lloyd Price (R&B 1/1952); Elvis Presley (1958)
03 HOUND DOG – Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton (R&B 1/1953); Elvis Presley (Pop 1/1956)
04 CRYING IN THE CHAPEL – The Orioles (R&B 1/1953); Elvis Presley (Pop 3/1965)
05 MONEY HONEY – Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters (R&B 1/1953); Elvis Presley (Pop 76/1956)
06 YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE – Roy Hamilton (R&B 1/1954); Gerry & The Pacemakers (Pop 48/1965)
07 SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL – Big Joe Turner (R&B 1/1954); Bill Haley & His Comets (Pop 7/1954)
08 HEARTS OF STONE – The Charms (R&B 1/1954); Fontaine Sisters (Pop 1/1955)
09 EARTH ANGEL – The Penguins (R&B 1/1955); Crew-Cuts (Pop 3/1955)
10 SINCERELY – The Moonglows (R&B 1/1955); McGuire Sisters (Pop 1/1955)
11 UNCHAINED MELODY – Roy Hamilton (R&B 1/1955); Righteous Brothers (Pop 4/1965)
12 FEVER – Little Willie John (R&B 1/1956); Peggy Lee (Pop 8/1958)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This wonderful 6-CD set gave me an opportunity to travel back in time to experience the changing landscape of songs in the R&B chart, first mostly done by black artists, and slowly taken over by mainstream artists, white or black. This collection is a veritable feast of fantastic music and it provides an absorbing and fascinating wander through the changing landscape of the decade. This set is highly recommended.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD] (Bilingual)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Andrew Garfield
Price: CDN$ 19.49
9 used & new from CDN$ 18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (3D & 2D, blu-ray): very impressive video (3D + 2D) & audio; great storyline; amazing CGI effects!, Sept. 2 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
VIDEO (2D):

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 flies onto blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The video was shot on film, which gave it a very rich, cinematic look. The transfer was pristine, being mastered in 4K. Details are robust and crisp. Facial and clothing textures enjoy precision detailing, right down to fine makeup lines and stitches. Colours are robust, with deep blacks. This is another brilliant transfer from Sony. (5/5).

VIDEO (3D):

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 flies onto blu-ray with MPEG-4 MVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The greatness of the 3D element begins immediately. As Sony's logo gradually appears through the darkness via backlighting, the colourful prism of lens flares beam through the foreground with brilliant defined clarity, extending from the back into the close foreground. Once we dive into the actual movie, the strength of the deep and unfailingly natural 3D effects continue. The depth and layering is consistent and smooth. There are several moments when visuals appear to extend beyond the screen. Raindrops appear to fall on the 3D glasses in one upward-looking rainy shot early on, and various blasts of electricity later in the film look like they are trying to reach the viewing audience. Debris -- particularly in slowed-down shots -- has the feel of floating in open space. An unexpected scene when Gwen was talking on the phone, she almost appears to pop out of the screen. A thoroughly enjoyable 3D experience. (5/5)

AUDIO:

Originally mixed for Dolby Atmos in the theaters, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 presented us with DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio tracks. This 5.1 mix is so well-produced and perfectly prioritized that it creates an all-encompassing listening environment. The rear channels feature a ton of action. Both Spidey vs. Electro fights send all sorts of action to the rear channels. As they fly around the screen beating each other up, the sound flies with them without missing a beat. The transitions from speaker to speaker are flawless. Dialogue is clear. The choice of songs in this soundtrack is great, like Phillip Phillips’ Gone Gone Gone, which simply sounded great! This audio is a totally satisfying and immersive experience. (5/5)

MOVIE:

What's appealing about Director Marc Webb's superhero vision is how willingly he puts aside the geekier aspects of the comic book world and sets out to focus more on the characters instead. Here, we see Peter’s delicate human balancing act between himself and Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone), after he promised her father not to see her, plus her relationship with Aunt May (Sally Field) and best friend Harry Osborn (Dane Dehaan). Mixing these human plots with CGI mayhem give this sequel a more satisfying experience. (4/5)

TRIVIA:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has an estimated budget of $200 million, but has a worldwide gross of $708 million. Interestingly, it made most of its money overseas (78%). Amazing Spider-Man 1 had a slightly higher gross at $758 million.

PACKAGING:

Instead having its own flipcase, the 3D disc is stacked on top of the 2D disc. Sony, you can do better than that! (Unlike I Frankenstein where 3D and 2D are in ONE disc, at least we have two separate BD-50 discs).

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I was very impressed with the way Director Marc Webb treated the characters, tip-toeing through their relationships, and he was not afraid to change up what was perceived as comfortable, thus creating a satisfying unknown, something that was sorely missing in the Disney/Marvel 'Avengers' storyline. With demo-worthy audio and video – including a wonderfully consistent, deep and always-impressive 3D transfer – and a truckload of special features, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is highly recommended.

Forces Sweetheart Ultimate Collection
Forces Sweetheart Ultimate Collection
Offered by Mega Media CA
Price: CDN$ 14.50
18 used & new from CDN$ 6.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Vera Lynn Forces' Sweetheart (3CDs): 75 songs (1953 -1962), great sound, great value!, Sept. 2 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

Dame Vera Lynn, DBE (born Vera Margaret Welch on 20 March 1917), widely known as "The Forces' Sweetheart" is an English singer, songwriter and actress whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during the Second World War. Her charting career is extensive, from 1935 to 1984, more than any female artist in UK. Her hit "Auf Wiederseh'n, Sweetheart" was the first British single ever to top the charts simultaneously in both the UK and USA! In 2009 she became the oldest living artist to make it to No. 1 on the British album chart, at the age of 92 with the album "We'll Meet Again: The Very Best Of Vera Lynn".

Although her charting career in UK and US consisted of only 9 singles, I have updated my Complete Singles Discography on Vera Lynn, and to my amazement, she has 210 singles (420 songs, a and b-sides) in her illustrious recording career from 1935 to 1984. She started with Crown and Rex (1935 - 1936). Her main label was Decca in UK (1937 - 1960), then MGM (1960 - 1961), HMV (1962 - 1967), Columbia (1969 - 1973), EMI (1974 - 1977), Pye and Private Stock PRT (1978 - 1981), and State (1982). Fittingly, her final single release was on EMI label in 1984 with her new rendition of The White Cliffs of Dover.

CONTENT:

This 3-CD set from One Day Music, famous for releasing songs under different records labels (over 90 now), contains 75 songs.

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 Of the 75 songs, according to my latest Complete Singles Discography, there are 58 songs that were released as singles, dating from her earliest single, It's A Sin To Tell A Lie (Crown H 242, uncharted, 1936) to Travellin' Home (Decca F 11249, uncharted, 1960). Of course, all her famous singles are included:
(1) The White Cliffs of Dover (Decca F 8110)(UK 1/1942)
(2) Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart (Decca F 9927)(UK 10/1952)(US 1(9)/1952)
(3) We'll Meet Again (Decca F 7268)(UK 1/1940)(US 29/1954)
(4) The Faithful Hussar (Don't Cry My Love)(Decca F 10846)(UK 29/1957)(US 55/1957)
(5) Forget-Me-Not (Decca F 9985)(UK 5/1952)
(6) My Son My Son (Decca F 10372)(UK 1/1954)(US 28/1954)
2 The sound is very well remastered, clean with no hiss.
3 All the songs are original versions, no re-recorded versions.
4 The price for a 3-CD set is dirt cheap ($5.76 at the time of review) when you purchase from seller.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 Like most of reissue labels in UK (Ace and Real Gone Music excepted), the coverage was only up to 1962. (probably due to copyright issues and Public Domain law)
2 There are no label & number, chart positions. There is no booklet. (Note: One Day Music typically has a one page essay on their other releases).

VERA LYNN SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY:

This has been a labour of love, to be able to document song titles with label & number, plus year and chart positions, covering her entire recording singles career with 420 songs (many b-side titles are still missing). I have to dig through various websites, plus ebay, to note down the titles and label & number on 78s. One interesting note is the number of titles with "waltz" in it, like Anniversary Waltz (1942), The Twilight Waltz (1942), The Silver Wedding Waltz (1948), Goodnight Waltz (1949), The Homing Waltz (1952), The Windsor Waltz (1953), The Lambeth Waltz (1953), and The Homecoming Waltz (1954).

If you are interested in collecting as many songs by Vera Lynn as you can, I would recommend the current set, plus Vera Lynn National Treasure (2 CDs on Decca)(my review elsewhere), Gold: 100 Songs From A Life in Music (5CDs on Spectrum), my original reference Vera Lynn The Decca Years (2CDs on Decca, 2000), Vera Lynn Forces' Sweethearts (2CDs)(my review elsewhere), Yours, Sincerely Yours and Come Back to Me (on Vocalion). But if you want her singles on MGM and HMV, the best coverage belongs to the Singles Collection, which I shall review on receiving this recent purchase. If you want her last recordings on Pye and PRT, I would recommend Thank You For Your Music.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

On 20 March 2014, her 97th birthday, Lynn announced that she was releasing National Treasure, which was on June 2, to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which occurred four days later. Thanks, Dame Vera for all your great work towards the veterans. This current set has great sound and of immense value, and is of course highly recommended. All I can say is "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart"...you won't regret it!

Joy Of Living: A Riddle Of Contrasts (2CD)
Joy Of Living: A Riddle Of Contrasts (2CD)
Price: CDN$ 23.37
9 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nelson Riddle: The Joy of Living, A Riddle of Contrasts (2CDs): 58 songs; many rare singles; many featured artists; good sound!, Aug. 31 2014
INTRODUCTION:

Nelson Riddle was born on June 1, 1921 in Oradell, New Jersey. He started as trombonist/arranger with Charlie Spivak and Tommy Dorsey in the 1940s. He was one of the most in-demand of all arranger/conductors for many top artists, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Linda Ronstadt. In television, he was the musical director for shows like A Man And His Music (Frank Sinatra), Rosemary Clooney Show and Julie Andrews Show. As composers, he scored for various television shows, like the Untouchables, Route 66, Naked City and Batman TV series. As composers for films, his film work included Lisbon (1956), Li’l Abner (1959), Lolita (1962), Batman (1966), El Dorado (1966) and the Great Gatsby, (which repopularized Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do" and earned Riddle a 1974 Academy Award).

As far as music is concerned, his main record label was Capitol. Although he only charted 6 singles on the Billboard singles chart, I have just done a Complete Singles Discography on Nelson Riddle, and have compiled a total of 29 singles (58 sides) from 1954 to 1974. He died on October 6, 1985 at age 64.

CONTENT:

This 2-CD set by Jasmine Records, a reputable reissue label from UK, has 58 songs.

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 There are 17 songs that were singles (a or b-sides, charted or uncharted), which are not readily available elsewhere (with a-sides in capital letters):

01 DRIVE IN (Capitol CL 14124)(uncharted a-side, 1954) disc 2
02 The Deep Blue Sea (b-side)(Capitol CL 14124)(1954) disc 1
03 VERA CRUZ (Capitol CL 14241)(uncharted a-side, 1955) disc 2
04 BROTHER JOHN (Capitol CL 14262)(23/1954) disc 1
05 The Pendulum Song (b-side)(Capitol CL 14262)(1954) disc 2
06 RUN FOR COVER (Capitol CL 14305)(uncharted a-side, 1955) disc 1
07 Midnight Blues (b-side)( Capitol CL 14569)(1956) disc 1
08 MATINEE (Capitol CL 14802)(uncharted a-side, 1958) disc 2*rare gem
09 Siesta In Sevilla (b-side)(Capitol CL 14905)(1958) disc 1
10 BIRDS OF PARADISE (Capitol CL 14970)(uncharted a-side, 1958) disc 1
11 Uma Casa Portuguesa (b-side)(Capitol CL 14970)(1958) disc 2
12 DE GUELLO (NO QUARTER)(Capitol CL 15016)(uncharted a-side, 1958) disc 1*stereo
13 Blue Safari (b-side)(Capitol CL 15016)(1958) disc 2
14 TING-A-LAY-O (Capitol CL 15092)(uncharted a-side, 1959) disc 1
15 The Markham Theme (b-side)(Capitol CL 15092)(1959) disc 1
16 ZIGANETTE (Capitol CL 15229)(uncharted a-side, 1959) disc 2
17 Bon Sir Liston (b-side)(Capitol CL 15229)(1959) disc 1

2 The sound is very well remastered, clean with no hiss.
3 There is a 6-page booklet, containing an informative essay Robert Nickora. Featured artists, like Betty Hutton, Nat King Cole, Andrews Sisters, are clearly stated. The names of movies from which the songs came from are listed.
4 The price is reasonable, especially from sellers.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 This collection stops at 1962 (probably for reason of Public Domain and copyright issues). The current trend of many reissue labels only go up to 1962 (like Acrobat, Real Gone Music, One Day Music, etc).
2 There are many singles not included, notably You Won’t Forget Me and The Song from Kings Go Forth. Interestingly, the remaining singles are found here are located in Jasmine’s other release: Let’s Face The Music (my review elsewhere).
3 No label & number, chart positions are included.
4 The songs seemed to be haphazardly listed.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I really underestimated the value of this set when I first bought it. Now after I have done my Complete Singles Discography, then, I realized that there are many singles (a and b-sides, charted and uncharted, not readily available elsewhere) which are located in this set. Many of them are rare gems. Then these singles are complemented and balanced by album tracks and other featured artists, such as Nat King Cole, Margaret Whiting, Andrews Sisters, when he was the orchestra conductor/arranger. As the CD title correctly stated, the music is A Riddle of Contrasts. The sound is very good. The entire set is enjoyable, and is recommended to all music lovers.

Lets Face the Music
Lets Face the Music
Offered by Rarewaves-CA
Price: CDN$ 11.66
12 used & new from CDN$ 11.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Nelson Riddle Let’s Face The Music (2CDs): 56 songs, 19 singles (a & b-sides), plus many other featured artists; good sound!, Aug. 31 2014
This review is from: Lets Face the Music (Audio CD)
INTRODUCTION:

Nelson Riddle was born on June 1, 1921 in Oradell, New Jersey. He started as trombonist/arranger with Charlie Spivak and Tommy Dorsey in the 1940s. He was one of the most in-demand of all arranger/conductors for many top artists, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Linda Ronstadt. In television, he was the musical director for shows like A Man And His Music (Frank Sinatra), Rosemary Clooney Show and Julie Andrews Show. As composers, he scored for various television shows, like the Untouchables, Route 66, Naked City and Batman TV series. As composers for films, his film work included Lisbon (1956), Li’l Abner (1959), Lolita (1962), Batman (1966), El Dorado (1966) and the Great Gatsby, (which repopularized Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do" and earned Riddle a 1974 Academy Award).

As far as music is concerned, his main record label was Capitol. Although he only charted 6 singles on the Billboard singles chart, I have just done a Complete Singles Discography on Nelson Riddle, and have compiled a total of 29 singles (58 sides) from 1954 to 1974. He died on October 6, 1985 at age 64.

CONTENT:

This 2-CD set by Jasmine Records, a reputable reissue label from UK, has 56 songs.

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 There are 19 songs that were singles (a or b-sides, charted or uncharted), which are not readily available elsewhere (a-side in capital letters):
01 SHADOW WALTZ (Capitol CL 14073)(uncharted a-side, 1954) disc 1
02 In The Chapel Of Moonlight (b-side)(Capitol CL 14073)(1954) disc 1
03 VILIA (LEHAR)(Capitol CL 14158)(uncharted a-side, 1954) disc 2
04 I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me (b-side)(Capitol CL 14158)(1954) disc 2
05 Make Believe That You're In Love With Me (b-side)(Capitol CL 14305)(1955) disc 1
06 LISBON ANTIGUA (Capitol CL 14510)(1(4)/1955) disc 2
07 Robin Hood (b-side)(Capitol CL 14510)(1955) disc 2
08 PORT AU PRINCE (Capitol CL 14569)(20/1956) disc 1
09 THEME FROM 'THE PROUD ONES' (Capitol CL 14623)(39/1956) disc 1
10 The Love of Genevieve (b-side)(Capitol CL 14623)(1956) disc 1
11 HOLIDAY IN NAPLES (Capitol CL 14718)(uncharted a-side, 1957) disc 2
12 Accordian Willy (b-side)(Capitol CL 14718)(1957) disc 2
13 Rue Madeleine (b-side)(Capitol CL 14802)(1958) disc 2
14 THE GIRL MOST LIKELY (Capitol CL 14827)(uncharted a-side, 1958) disc 1
15 I'm Getting Sentimental Over You (b-side)(Capitol CL 14827)(1958) disc 2
16 BLAME IT ON PAREE (Capitol CL 14886)(uncharted a-side, 1958) disc 2
17 Love Theme From 'St. Louis Blues' (b-side)(Capitol CL 14886) (1958) disc 2
18 VOLARE (NEL BLU DIPINTO DI BLU)(Capitol CL 14911)(uncharted a-side, 1958) disc 2
19 Walkin' (b-side)(Capitol CL 14911)(1958) disc 2

2 The sound is very well remastered, clean with no hiss.
3 There is a 8-page booklet, containing an informative essay Robert Nickora. Featured artists, like Patty Andrews, Bing Crosby, are clearly stated. The names of movies from which the songs came from are listed.
4 The price is reasonable, especially from sellers.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 This collection stops at 1962 (probably for reason of Public Domain and copyright issues). The current trend of many reissue labels only go up to 1962 (like Acrobat, Real Gone Music, One Day Music, etc).
2 There are many singles not included, notably You Won’t Forget Me and The Song from Kings Go Forth. Interestingly, the remaining singles are found here are located in Jasmine’s other release: The Joy of Living: A Riddle Of Contrasts.
3 No label & number, chart positions are included. (recent Jasmine releases have improved on this part)
4 The songs seemed to be haphazardly listed.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I really underestimated the value of this set when I first bought it. Now after I have done my Complete Singles Discography, then, I realized that there are many singles (a and b-sides, charted and uncharted, not readily available elsewhere) which are located in this set. Then these singles are complemented and balanced by album tracks and other featured artists, such as Nat King Cole, Margaret Whiting, Bing Crosby, when he was the orchestra conductor/arranger. The sound is very good. The entire set is enjoyable, and is recommended to all music lovers.

Brilliant from Birth
Brilliant from Birth
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 36.09
15 used & new from CDN$ 21.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Bee Gees Brilliant From Birth (2CDs): 63 songs; all 3 albums; 19 rare tracks not found anywhere else; good sound!, Aug. 31 2014
This review is from: Brilliant from Birth (Audio CD)
INTRODUCTION:

Before their rise to stardom in UK, the Bee Gees released three albums in Australia: (1) BARRY GIBB & THE BEE GEES SING AND PLAY 14 BARRY GIBB SONGS (Leedon Records 31801) 1965. What was absolutely unique about the Bee Gees, right from the first album, was their total originality of repertoire in a period when Australian songwriting was all but non-existent. (2) SPICKS AND SPECKS (Spin Records 32031) 1966, and (3) TURN AROUND LOOK AT US (Festival Records) 1967.

CONTENT:

This 2-CD set contains 63 songs, released under Festival Records, in 1998. Since Amazon.ca has already done a song listing, it will not be repeated here.

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 All the above 3 albums (38 songs) are included in this set (as in recent release FESTIVAL ALBUM COLLECTION 1965-67).
2 All the songs in recent release MORNING OF MY LIFE: THE BEST OF 1965 - 1966 (Festival Records) are included here.
3 19 Extra tracks are found in this set (NOT in the latest Festival Album Collection 1965-67):
01 The End (disc 1)
02 Hallelujah I Love Her So (disc 1)
03 I Love You Because (disc 1)
04 Somewhere (disc 1)
05 The Twelve Of Never (disc 1)
06 You're The Reason (disc 1)
07 You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You (disc 1)
08 Can't You See That She's Mine (disc 1)
09 From Me To You (disc 1)
10 Paperback Writer (disc 2)
11 I'll Know What To Do (disc 2)
12 Lonely Winter (disc 2)
13 Lum-De-Loo (disc 2)
14 Storm (disc 2)
15 Terrible Way To Treat Your Baby (disc 2)
16 Yesterday's Gone (disc 2)
17 You Won't See Me (disc 2)
18 Just One Look (disc 2)
19 Ticket To Ride (disc 2)
4 The remastered sound is very good, showing off the raw talents of the voices of the Gibbs.
5 There is a 12-page booklet, containing an informative essay by Glenn A. Baker.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 Unlike the Festival Album Collection where all 3 albums have their own miniature album cardboard casing, with songs arranged in their original listing, here the songs are haphazardly listed. It took me a long time to sort things out.
2 Expensive! However, the price of this set ($35.55) is a little cheaper than Festival Album Collection ($41.97). A little cheaper with sellers.
3 There are no label & number, no chart positions.
4 There are no front and back covers of individual albums.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Festival Records has recently released two different sets on recordings of the Bee Gees when they were still in Australia (1966 – 1967), namely the Festival Album Collection with 3 CDs (48 songs), each with their miniature cardboard cases, and songs listing correctly according to their original album listing, and slightly better remastering, and Morning of My Life: The Best of (1965-1966) with 24 songs (not cheap either, $29.02).

If you like the cute cardboard miniature album cases with correct song listing and slightly better remastering, then you choose the slightly more expensive Festival Album Collection. For my money, I would stick with this current set, mostly for the 19 additonal rare tracks, when the Bee Gees sounded like the Beatles or Chad & Jeremy depending on the songs. It is interesting to hear them performing before they developed into their own unique style.

I bought the above set many years ago, and finally decided to review it when the new sets come out. This set is highly recommended for all Bee Gees fans.

The Collection 1941-1962 (4 CD)
The Collection 1941-1962 (4 CD)
Price: CDN$ 25.82
24 used & new from CDN$ 20.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Nelson Riddle Collection 41-62: 106 songs 20 his own single sides, conductor for various singers, good sound, only up to 1962!, Aug. 30 2014
INTRODUCTION:

Nelson Riddle was born on June 1, 1921 in Oradell, New Jersey. He started as trombonist/arranger with Charlie Spivak and Tommy Dorsey in the 1940s. He was one of the most in-demand of all arranger/conductors for many top artists, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Linda Ronstadt. In television, he was the musical director for shows like A Man And His Music (Frank Sinatra), Rosemary Clooney Show and Julie Andrews Show. As composers, he scored for various television shows, like the Untouchables, Route 66, Naked City and Batman TV series. As composers for films, his film work included Lisbon (1956), Li’l Abner (1959), Lolita (1962), Batman (1966), El Dorado (1966) and the Great Gatsby, (which repopularized Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do" and earned Riddle a 1974 Academy Award).

As far as music is concerned, his main record label was Capitol. Although he only charted 6 singles on the Billboard singles chart, I have just done a Complete Singles Discography on Nelson Riddle, and have compiled a total of 29 singles (58 sides) from 1954 to 1974. He died on October 6, 1985 at age 64.

CONTENT:

This 4-CD set by Acrobat, a reputable reissue label from UK, renown for their thoroughness and completeness. There are 106 songs. This release attempts to cover the career of Nelson Riddle as musician, composer, arranger and conductor. Therefore, this is not a pure Nelson Riddle Greatest Hits collection.

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 Out of 106 songs, there are 37 Nelson Riddle’s own orchestra works, with 20 songs that were released as singles (charted and uncharted, a and b-sides). The rest was divided among various artists: Charlie Spivak (4), Tommy Dorsey (2), Nat King Cole (6), Billy Eckstine (4), Mel Torme (1), Ella Mae Morse (1), Dick Haymes (6), Al Martino (2), Patty Andrews (2), Louis Jordan (4), Bob Manny (1), Margaret Whiting (4), Frank Sinatra (5), Four Freshmen (2), Bobby Troup (2), Jane Russell (2), Judy Garland (3), Bing Crosby (2), Peggy Lee (4), Keely Smith (2), Sue Raney (1), Mavis Rivers (2), Dinah Shore (3), Rosemary Clooney (2) and Ella Fitzgerald (2).
2 The sound is very well remastered, clean with no hiss.
3 Contrary to some other reviewers’ findings, where the song sequences were not as stated on the cover, I find that all the sequence is exactly correct. No mistake here.
4 There is a 16-page booklet with informative essay by Geoff Wilding, written in April 2014.
5 The price is reasonable considering that this is a 4-CD set, especially from seller.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 This collection stops at 1962 (probably for reason of Public Domain and copyright issues). The current trend of many reissue labels only go up to 1962 (like Jasmine, Real Gone Music, One Day Music, etc).
2 There are many singles that are not included.
3 No label & number, chart positions are included.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Acrobat is doing a reasonably good job in presenting the various talents of Nelson Riddle. This is not as good as the similar Percy Faith Collection, but slightly better than the Billy May Collection. I personally would have preferred a PURE Complete Singles Collection, with all the a- and b-sides, charted and uncharted, arranged chronologically. However, all the charted singles on Capitol are included here. The sound is good. There is a lot of variety of music from various singers. If you are looking for Nelson Riddle music, I would recommend the two 2-CD sets by Jasmine Records: The Joy of Living and Let’s Face The Music. The above set is recommended for all music lovers.

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