Lena was an RCA artist from 1955 to 1962, and then again later in the early 70s. This set is very wisely chosen from her recordings at RCA, with a generous 39 selections, all re-mastered brilliantly, to bring out the best sound. Besides her two live albums, also on RCA and released as a double CD, At the Waldorf Astoria / At the Sands, this is the perfect choice to sample Lena's incredible singing style. For the true Lena-philes, it contains a gift of FOUR songs given their FIRST appearance on CD, and which were extremely rare to find even on records: The following selections appear for the first time on CD:
If You Can Dream (recorded January 20, 1956 with Lennie Hayton and His Orchestra)
Give Me Love (recorded June 13, 1958)
Push de Button (JAMAICA) (recorded August 27, 1957) with Neil Hefti, His Orchestra and Chorus
Ain't It The Truth (JAMAICA) (recorded August 27, 1957) with Neil Hefti, His Orchestra and Chorus .
Take It Slow, Joe (JAMAICA) (recorded August 27, 1957) with Neil Hefti, His Orchestra.
The three JAMAICA songs are DIFFERENT versions from the RCA Cast Album JAMAICA--and I think all three are even better versions than on the cast album. "Take It Slow, Joe" finally sounds like the real "Lena Nightclub song" it was meant to be!
Is Lena's "The Man I Love" on this compilation--(from Live At The Sands) accompanied only by her husband's piano--the BEST VERSION EVER? The "always surprising Cole Porter" (as Lena said in her spoken introduction (on the record album only)) to the live Porter Medley contained here is both surprising AND SUBLIME, ending with (the BEST VERSION EVER?!) of "It's Alright With Me."
PS: Today is Lena Horne's 94th birthday, and weren't we so lucky to have had her talent for so many years?