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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. When Sunny Gets Blue 3:50£0.89  Buy MP3 
  2. How Did He Look? 3:08£0.89  Buy MP3 
  3. Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry 3:36£0.89  Buy MP3 
  4. The Meaning of the Blues 2:49£0.89  Buy MP3 
  5. If You Could Love Me 2:08£0.89  Buy MP3 
  6. Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most 6:21£0.89  Buy MP3 
  7. Second Chance 3:37£0.89  Buy MP3 
  8. If You Could See Me Now 2:52£0.89  Buy MP3 
  9. Here's That Rainy Day 2:44£0.89  Buy MP3 
10. I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life 3:23£0.89  Buy MP3 
11. Ghost of Yesterday 3:09£0.89  Buy MP3 
12. I'm Lost 2:53£0.89  Buy MP3 
13. Come Sunday 2:40£0.89  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By Giovanni - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Great to see this album on CD. Carmen Mcrae really shows the world "what she's got" here. For years, due to bad management and Decca's fault, Carmen floundered about, making small jazz clubs and small hit records. It's no wonder she flew from label to label for many years. Had she been left to wallow at Decca, she might have never gotten past the commercial tunes, such as the case with Ella Fitzgerald, who also lacked that backing at Decca...we may have never known any more of her than LADY BE GOOD if the powers that be had their way. Happily, that wasnt the case for Ella or Carmen, but I digress... Carmen Mcrae fans will relish this very moody collection of superior ballads. Recorded in 1964, this set finds Carmen backed by (mostly) her trio. It was her first pairing with pianist Norman Simmons, and this recording session (all the songs were cut at one date!) resulted in a 10 plus year union between him and Mcrae. Right from the start, her ethereal a cappella intro to WHEN SUNNY GETS BLUE will give you goose bumps. She eases the arrangement along before finishing with a satiny tag. Carmen's rendition of Tommy Wolf's SPRING CAN REALLY HANG YOU UP THE MOST is downright uncanny, and really captures the emotion behind the changing of the seasons for the seasoned storyteller that Carmen has become during this number. Classic jazz performance of this hard to sing song. The husband and wife team of Andre Previn and Dory Langdon provide Carmen (and now, us) with the superb ballad SECOND CHANCE. (Had only heard Sammy Davis sing this one on an old LP before) Carmen really puts this one away. IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW is another oft overlooked jazz staple, stemming from a passage in Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" assignment (thanks to the liner notes, my suspicions were correct about the birth of this tune!) became a song Carmen would often use throughout the remainder of her life. There are notes played on the piano and an effect by Curtis Boyd on drums at the end of the Burke/Van Heusen evergreen HERE'S THAT RAINY DAY that sum up the entire outing, and Carmen's voice is particularly well complemented by said ending. Of GHOST OF YESTERDAY, one gets to thinking of ROUND MIDNIGHT, but in all actuality this was a Lady Day vehicle that Carmen had been wanting to record for some time, and her timing (as always) was impeccable, and it shows here. Lastly, I'd like to mention the plaintiveness in the Duke Ellington penned COME SUNDAY. It makes the message just as sweet and beautiful as the messenger. Carmen would go on to record similar collections of ballads (SECOND TO NONE on the MAINSTREAM label being one) and some say her best work started later, after her less than fruitful Decca period. I concur...and this fantastic CD is proof.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
At Last!! 23 Jan. 2004
By J.Archie Arno - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I'll try to keep this simple. she's one of the best ballad singers ever. mundell lowe is one of the best sidemen ever. If you don't think this is the best of carmens ballads, i'll... nevermind. an old beatnik pal remembered these tunes being "juke box" cuts {2.5 3.5 minutes} and i bought the vinyl. spring can really hang you up the most"will rip outyour heart."how did he look"is great carmen and guitar as it should be. I waited years for this C D and would have paid almost anything for it,and then voolah|| there it was. buy it you wont be happy, you'll jump up and down!!!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Bittersweet: Carmen McRae 6 Jun. 2003
By HelenCarol - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Carmen McRae since I was fifteen, and heard
her album entitled "Torchy." Her voice is distinctive and lyrical, her enunciation, perfect, and her choice of material always stellar. Bittersweet is no exception.
For me, "Torchy" (out of print in USA) has always been the ultimate Carmen---until "Bittersweet."
Give yourself a special treat. Buy it.
HCS: Ventnor, NJ
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Hitting Your Stride at 40! 8 July 2004
By Louis Alemayehu - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Excellent comment so far, but I have another point to make. It seems to me singers like Carmen and Betty Carter didn't really hit their stride until they hit their 40s. Until about the time of this recording Carmen was caught up in "singing" as in she sounded pretty at the expense of interpreting the song, living the song, feeling the song. Bittersweet hits a perfect balance of artistry and heart. Many years later Carmen talked about Billie Holidays' Lady in Satin in the film "The Many Faces of Lady". She spoke of how ravaged Billie's voice was, but that it was more moving, more honest than much of her early stuff when the voice was supple, smoothe and youthful. Without going down that same suffering road, Carmen began to draw from the depths of emotion and honesty without sounding like she was crawling to the bitter end. She left an impressive legacy. Carmen is high up on the hill when it comes to the artistry of song. Carmen McRae...shines!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An absolutley stunnig performance of ballads. 17 Sept. 2002
By Richard Meyer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I recorded this LP from a friend years & erased/lost the tape.I knew it was excellent but was a lot younger then & did not realize how exquisite.Gag me with a spoon on "If You Could Love Me";the story of my life; don't remember that one,this my favorite ballad of hers & have been collecting Carmen's for 30 yrs.It is refreshing to hear Carmen do 4 or so Sarah Vaughan classics,a different but superb approach.All of the other songs are impeccable.The liner notes are interesting how Carmen called Mundell Lowe at the last minute because a previous hired guitarist couldn't read Norman Simmons' arrangements.Funny Sarah did a fantistic accompany by Mundell & just a bass vile on a Roulette recording entitled"After Hours".Carmen sings all these pithy standards with a piano player,guitarist & a bass vile player.Sarah also does another Roulette"Sarah+2"with just a guitarist,Barney Kessel& bass vile Joe Comfort backing her where Sarah also sings that lovely song "When Sunny Gets Blue"This Bittersweet& the 2 Sarah albums are not rythmical with big orchestras but are filled with pithy standards enunciated & sung to perfection for the jazz connoiseur;nothing light to click to click your heels up to."Bittersweet" surpasses "Book of Ballads" on Decca which is also excellent.When you think of all ballads by an artist, you say OH NO! But not with Carmen or Sarah.I fully agree with the other review.Beg,borrow,buy or steal this one it is a must.It says in the notes distributed by Atlantic if so why can't they manage to reprint Carmen's 1st album on Atlantic "For Once In My Life" an absolute masterpiece.They say there is one reprinted in Japan.They say there are free computers, pictures of Big Foot,and a CD of Carmen McRae doing "For Once In My Life" but I have never touched,seen or had one in my hand.
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