While Gracie's dedicated fans would be better to ignore this and buy the 5 CD boxed set Gracie Fields: Gold - 100 Songs From Our Gracie
, I saw this at a giveaway price and decided to buy it, even though I'll probably end up buying the boxed set myself. Gracie was an all-round entertainer - comedienne, actress and singer, but my interest is limited to her music. The recordings here all date from the period 1935 to 1947. Gracie's high soprano voice may not appeal to everybody (those who don't like it might describe it as shrill) but I love it.
I read other reviews that commented on hitherto rare tracks allegedly found in a garage. My research indicates that these tracks (Sing as we go, That old feeling, Lancashire blues, Smile when you say goodbye and an Irving Berlin medley of This year's kisses / The song is ended / How deep is the ocean?) were originally released only in America. Gracie's dedicated fans of long standing may nevertheless be familiar with these songs, but my guess is that most people who listen to this CD have never heard these recordings before.
Even more controversial is the final track, a duet with Jane Horrocks (who played the role of Gracie in a biopic) on Now is the hour. It probably doesn't help that this duet version follows immediately after Gracie's solo version of the same song, but it`s easy to stop the CD at the end of the penultimate track if you don't like it. Actually I don't mind it. In any case, there are 24 great recordings here that certainly offer value for money at the price I paid. This CD provides a great introduction to Gracie`s music, although if you have to pay full price you would be better to pay the extra for the 5-CD.boxed set.