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Front Row Center

9 May 2010 | Format: MP3

7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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1:57
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2:05
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2:53
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2:42
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2:03
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2:41
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2:38


Product details

  • Original Release Date: 9 May 2010
  • Label: Sepia
  • Copyright: 2010 Sepia
  • Total Length: 1:05:03
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003M3TUMG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,990 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. POLLOCK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 May 2010
Format: Audio CD
As an avid filmgoer I recall Barbara McNair (1934-2007) as being satisfying eye-candy when she graced THEY CALL ME MISTER TIBBS (1970) as Sidney Poitier's wife in that movie and its sequel THE ORGANISATION the following year. Of course such visual decoration does not necessarily outshine the set design and Barbara's screen career offered few opportunities and ultimately television proved to be more lucrative. However, this Sepia collection provided quite a surprise with the divine Barbara offering a set of Broadway's best on a 1959 recorded album assisted by some energetic arrangements courtesy of Dick Jacobs and his brassy orchestra. The opening blast of OLD DEVIL MOON lead to a more gently emoted HELLO YOUNG LOVERS; establishing the lady's style and versatility with the well-chosen follow-through showstoppers proving to be equally irrisistible. Of particular interest is lyric change within the verse of THE PARTY'S OVER and the introduction to ALWAYS TRUE TO YOU IN MY FASHION which was previously unknown to me.

Sepia has tacked on thirteen songs released during the period 1958/59 ranging from novelty pop numbers like FLIPPED OVER YOU; the hand-clapping gospel rouser HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS to Broadway ballad TILL THERE WAS YOU from THE MUSIC MAN and the Van Heusen/Cahn composed film theme INDISCREET.

Usual Sepia presentation standards apply with the fulsome notes thoroughly filling in all the detail concering the McNair career.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
rare McNair 14 May 2010
By Byron Kolln - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Most of Barbara McNair's 1950s recordings have been slow in coming to CD, so this disc, which boasts McNair's complete output from her time with the Coral label, will be warmly welcomed by her fans.

The CD has a showbusiness theme at it's core (the first twelve tracks form Barbara McNair's only full-length album for Coral - 1959's FRONT ROW CENTER. Unlike most of the female singers from this period, McNair did in fact enjoy playing some of the best female roles on the musical theater stage. Amongst other assigments, she got to replace Diahann Carroll during the Broadway run of "No Strings", and played opposite Hal Linden in a revival of "The Pajama Game" in 1973.

Despite her successes on stage and screen, McNair never really found her ideal niche on a record label - producers either wanted her to sound more "white" or alternatively create an ultra-ethnic sound - and consequently she spent most of her career shifting back and forth between several labels. That's probably why she had a lot of spare time to hone her skills in other directions, like the stage and on television. McNair's time on the Coral label (1958-59) produced only one complete album (FRONT ROW CENTER) and several singles. All of McNair's Coral material is included here on this Sepia release.

Geared to capatalise on her Broadway debut in the short-lived musical "The Body Beautiful", McNair's FRONT ROW CENTER album is a collection of mostly upbeat showtunes, including such favourites as "Old Devil Moon", "Whatever Lola Wants", "If I Were a Bell", "Steam Heat" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy". The additional singles lean more towards the pop standards of the day ("Waltz Me Around", "Flipped Over You", "I Feel a Feeling", "Goin' Steady with the Moon", etc). Two fun duets with Billy Williams ("Telephone Conversation" and "Go to Sleep, Go to Sleep, Go to Sleep") are probably the main highlight of the McNair singles.

McNair's recordings from this early period in her career have sadly been overlooked in recent years. I hope this much-needed CD will restore the early sound of Barbara McNair in the imaginations and memories of those who loved her own special brand of musical magic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Superb and Awful 25 Oct 2011
By Loren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The voice is wonderful. The orchestrations are masterful. The selections were well chosen...well... I could have done without the rock'n roll exploitations of her great voice with the all too-commercial arrangements.

The problem here is the audio quality of the disc. When listening to the samples, I figured it was a careless download to Amazon. It wasn't! When I got the disc, I thought that maybe the original tapes had been overloaded. But it continued beyond the first 12 tracks. The distortion levels are very high and gritty sounding. Moreover, they seemed to worsen the situation by boosting the treble-end making it downright painful to listen to the entire disc. Taking the treble all the way down cuts the grit, but muffles the sound.

With the all the talent that was presented here, what a shame to have had it turned into something awful. Please tell me I just got a bad copy!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Divine Barbara McNair 11 May 2010
By Edmund Arredondo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm absolutely thrilled with this CD. I've waited for years to have a nice clean copy. The sound is wonderful, Sepia Records did a brilliant job. Wonderful company, they give us so many lost treasures. Barbara's youthful voice is clear and lovely. And to also hear hear her Coral singles. Some for the first time. I'm just truly thrilled. Please do yourself a favor and buy this wonderful CD. You won't regret a moment of it. They have already put out I Enjoy Being A Girl,
The Livin' End and the Motown Collection. Please, someone, how about giving us Love Talk.
Thanks again, Sepia.

Edmund Andreas
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