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Collection Best of

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 17 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: EMI Europe Generic
  • ASIN: B00000GAX2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #101,755 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Happy Ever After (Rain Forrest Mix)
2. Where Does The Time Go? ('98 Version)
3. Manhattan Skyline
4. Lock And Key
5. Porcelain
6. Girlfriend
7. Falling Forward
8. I Can't Help Myself
9. I Thought It Was You
10. East West
11. Killing Me Slowly
12. Kid
13. It Was Nothing That You Said
14. (Love Moves In) Mysterious Ways
15. Happy Ever After

Product Description

Julia Fordham ~ The Julia Fordham Collection

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Julia Fordham's "Collection" spans her first ten years as a renowned singer, like many for whom subtlety is her greatest virtue, went all but unrecognized in America. When her first album was released in 1988, critics clamored over its honesty and purity, and many compared her voice favorably to Annie Lennox and Anita Baker. The song "Happy Ever After" became an international hit and the video established Julia in America as a singer songwriter to watch.
Her second (and best) album, "Porcelain," continued in that vein, including another near hit in "Manhattan Skyline." It was during this tour that I saw her twice, one of those a showcase at the top of the World Trade Center where the audience included such admirers as Sting. Her vocal and expressive talents on stage won over a signifigant following, but despite some heavy muscle on behalf of her record company, the album only sold a modest amount. When the third album was being prepared, Julia recorded her first outside song, "Love Moves In Mysterious Ways." A great ballad written by Tom Snow and Dean Pitchford of "Footloose" fame and produced by Peter Asher (then riding high as a producer of Joe Jackson and 10,000 Maniacs), it was attached to the movie "The Fisherman's Wife." It was supposed to be the song that would lift Julia's "Swept" off the launch pad and make her an American Star. But when "Fisherman's Wife" failed to lure in movie goers and the song disappeared, it also seemed like Julia's record company lost interest.
That left the very good "Falling Forward" and introspective "East West" albums to fend for themselves. As the songs here from those two discs suggest, both are worthy albums.
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Format: Audio CD
Before this CD, I had never heard of Fordham's music. However, I accidentally came across this CD and I was immediately entralled by Forham's music. This CD is a snapshot of life -- Fordham paints for us the vignettes of life through these 15 tracks. She neither hides the pain or the joys or the complexities of life.
For instance, she sings about the complexities of a relationship in "Girlfriend." "Girlfriend" is a cheating song told from the viewpoint of the other woman. You can hear the intensity of the pain of this tune through Fordham's lower registered smokey vocals.
On the other hand, she celebrates the joys of falling in love in "Falling Forward." "It Was Nothing You Said" is Fordham's tip on how to maintain a vital relationship. "Kid," a brand new track recorded for this CD, is an exhortation to teenagers to be themselves and not to succumb to peer pressure.
Fordham takes the time to paint these vignettes of life with great care. "Mahattan Skyline" is nothing short of breathtaking when you can almost "see" the song personified as she paints it for us through her voice. "Porcelain" and "Lock and Key" are other examples of how Fordham demonstrates that she's a great crafter of words and images.
"Love Moves in Mysterious Ways," a lush power ballad, puts Fordham in the league of superstars like Whitney Houston or Celine Dion. "Where Does the Time Go" is another example of a more commercial pop ballad. Curtis Stigers in fact, complements Fordham very well.
Most of these tracks are written by Fordham. Unlike other songwriter-singers' albums, Fordham deals with a great variety of issues performed over a variety of tempoes. One thing is for sure -- these songs were not penned overnight, they are testaments of a poet who has lived and experienced the joys and pain of life.
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Format: Audio CD
Given the instant accessibility of her recordings, it's a mystery to me why Julia Fordham hasn't caught on more in the pop music world. She's one of the most intelligent songwriters around, and her voice is wonderfully rich and expressive. This compilation collects the highlights from each of Julia's five CDs, adding a few new songs and re-recordings. Listening to 15 songs recorded over a 10 year period, there's a remarkable consistency (strong melodies, lyrical thoughtfulness) that runs through her work. It's hard to please everyone with compilations.....I personally would have swapped the re-recordings out for the inclusion of "Swept" and "Stay"....or some of the wonderful piano demos Julia often released as B-sides. ("Island" comes to mind as a particularly compelling example.) Still, this is a great introduction to a massively underrated talent.
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Format: Audio CD
As an introduction to the late '80s/early '90s female singer/songwriters, this album surpasses everything that rivals it. Whilst it has all of the literacy and beauty that sets most female singer/songwriters apart from the often childish radio "love songs" and the vulgar rap and grunge of teenage radio, it does not possess the difficult themes of many other female singer/songwriters. Indeed, this absence of "mysterious" elements makes Fordham the most "traditional" of her era's singer/songwriters.
Yet, her beautiful, though often painful, voice and unmistakable sense of melody is just delightful to listen to throughout the album, and despite the fact that the lyrical themes are fairly easy to understand, they lack nothing in depth. Fordham's writing has a wonderful sense of capturing the difficulties of unrequited love, and she has such a beautiful voice that none of the songs fail to come home with precision. Her lyrics are always so heartfelt (even if they are often quite sad, even despairing in tone) that one can always identify with the characters in her songs in a way one cannot with most modern singer/songwriters and their often otherworldly themes.
The highlights of the album include the incredibly beautiful and literate "Porcelain", the extremely spare but wonderful "Lock and Key" and "Manhattan Skyline", the later gem "East West", and the movie theme "(Love Moves In) Mysterious Ways", which, though the only song on the album Fordham did not write, is just as great as the other songs on the album and adds diversity with its piano and rocking guitar. Almost as impressive are the incredibly sad "I Can't Help Myself" and "Happy Ever After" (which was her only entry onto the Australian charts - though it only reached #83) with its African rhythms.
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