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The Performance [CD]

Shirley Bassey Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
Price: £4.53 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Buy the MP3 album for £5.99 at the Amazon Digital Music Store.

Amazon's Shirley Bassey Store


Image of album by Shirley Bassey


Image of Shirley Bassey


She’s gold, gowns and glamour. Champagne, charisma and chic. Savoir faire, style and showbiz. She’s besequinned, beloved, Bassey.

The buzzwords have been tripping off our tongues for decades, but there can never be enough of them to sum up an artist who defines the word superstar. In a world where true legends of entertainment are an endangered phenomenon, it’s time ... Read more in Amazon's Shirley Bassey Store

Visit Amazon's Shirley Bassey Store
for 147 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

The Performance + This Is My Life: The Greatest Hits + The Diamond Collection
Price For All Three: £17.99

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Nov 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B002OL29OI
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,986 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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
Listen  1. Almost There 4:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Apartment 3:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. This Time 4:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. I Love You Now 3:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Our Time Is Now 3:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. As God Is My Witness 4:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. No Good About Goodbye 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. The Girl From Tiger Bay 4:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Nice Men 2:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. After The Rain 3:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. The Performance Of My Life 3:33£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

CD Description

Dame Shirley Bassey, Britain’s most successful female artist ever, releases her first full studio album in over 20 years. The Performance was produced by David Arnold, the Grammy Award-winner best known for scoring five James Bond films and features songs written specifically for Dame Shirley by a stellar cast of contemporary artists, including Take That’s Gary Barlow, Manic Street Preachers, Pet Shop Boys, KT Tunstall and Rufus Wainwright.

BBC Review

After 2007’s patchy, Grandma-with-a-ringtone album Get the Party Started, The Performance is a return to what Bassey does best: sweeping, orchestral overstatement. This collection is also contemporary, but instead of resorting to Mark Ronson or other remixers du-jour, she mines the talents of a collection of disparate, yet established songwriters.

The turned-to-11 string arrangements could fuel space travel, so there is little room for restraint. Given Bassey’s three Bond themes, it is fitting that the current 007 soundtracker, David Arnold, is producer/arranger here. John Barry even hands her his first song since Diamonds Are Forever – shame it’s not as good, but then what is? The collaborations gel neatly with Arnold’s production, particularly an unlikely Kaiser Chiefs’ contribution, which resists a Bassey Britpop vocal about shoplifting and is surprisingly Bond-ish. It’s certainly superior to recent under-written themes, even if I Love You Now will struggle to find a suitable villain. 

Another highlight is Rufus Wainwright’s flamenco-esque Apartment, where Bassey finds the skip of a woman half her age. However, Gary Barlow’s contribution does little to stem his slide into music so polite it should now be excused.

It’s easy to forget, with the avalanche of indie sixth-formers wishing to share their worldly wisdom, the value of well-earned lines such as the shimmering “Now, I’m not quite so young / I’m not quite so foolish in my defence” sung by a 72-year-old, although adding “I’m not your girl…” may be pushing it.

There is a midway lull, with As God Is My Witness meandering so idly one sympathises with the big fellow. Surprisingly, things are saved by Manic Street Preachers’ wistfully autobiographical The Girl From Tiger Bay, which echoes Bassey’s turn on Propellerheads’ History Repeating, while Pet Shop Boys continue their healthy track record of writing for female icons with the defiantly fragile title track.

Admirably shaking away cruise-ship shtick, Bassey wraps herself around these songs with gusto, meaning that perhaps, for once, mum’s Christmas present will find a place on the family stereo. --Tom Hocknell

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Performance Of Her Life 27 Nov 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
At the beginning of 2009, if somebody had told me that one of my favourite albums of the year was going to be by Shirley Bassey, I think I would have laughed at them, but it's true. Now, ever since I first heard it, I've been busy telling incredulous people how great it is. I don't blame them for not believing me, because in this case, hearing is believing. The combination of the undeniably fabulous songs, passionately and beautifully delivered by Shirley and a magnificent orchestra, all produced by David Arnold, is just musical heaven. What's even more impressive is the roll-call of the songwriters who have contributed to this album's success, plus the fact that Shirley hasn't gone down the road of simply covering the classics - she has a whole host of excellent musicians queuing up to write her new classics!

Such is the quality of this album, I could list every single track as a highlight, but for the sake of brevity, I will briefly describe the real talking points. "Almost There", which is my personal favourite Tom Baxter song, opens "The Performance" - and what a performance it is! When the heartbreaking song swells and explodes, it gives the listener chills down your neck and spine... absolutely magnificent. Track two is "Apartment", a Latin-tinted, toe-tapping Rufus Wainwright song, penned specifically for this album, sounding every bit like a modern Shirley Bassey classic. The first time I listened to the album, I did so without reading the liner notes, wanting to guess who had written the different songs. For the beautiful, loungey "This Time", I was guessing Burt Bacharach, mainly because of the time signature, use of strings and the muted horns - but it was none other than Gary Barlow. To be perfectly honest, I'm impressed.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Bassey - The Dame is back! 8 Nov 2009
By D. Ward
Format:Audio CD
What a fabulous performance with some great new songs. My favourites are The Girl from Tiger Bay, The Performance, and best of all After the Rain. Its great to have a new albumn and this would make an excellent Christmas present for anyone who has enjoyed Shirley Bassey over the years. The Dame is certainly back, and this is certainly The Performance - simply FABULOUS.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back on form ... a stunning piece of work! 26 Nov 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is the Bassey album her fans have been waiting years for. Not another re-hash of her old hits but a great piece of work that puts her firmly back where she belongs. The voice is as strong as ever, she looks FANTASTIC and each song has been written by the best of today's songwriters.

No doubt, Amy Winehouse would have been included in that line-up had she got her act together (Dame Shirley has said that "Back to Black" is one of her favourite songs). It would have been interesting to see what Ms. Winehouse had in store for Shirley.

As it is, we have 11 wonderful performances with the highlights being "Almost there", "After the rain", Gary Barlow's "This time" and the Pet Shop Boys' dramatic title track. This has the potential to become my favourite Shirley Bassey album. I hope DSB will not leave it too long before recording more of the same.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dame Shirley Bassey Continues To Delight 24 Oct 2009
By Doug
Format:Audio CD
Dame Shirley Bassey is looking amazing and her voice is as good as ever. I have just been to see the BBC Electric Prom at the Roundhouse in Camden, London. Her performance at age 72 for an hour and a half was beautiful, emotional and quite extraordinary. I wanted to cry I was so happy to be standing in the intimate atmosphere with people around me whooping, squealing and exclaiming. The atmosphere was 'electric' and full of love and admiration of our Dame. The new songs, written by current artists, sounded stunning and were delivered with emotion and subtlety in a softer tone and the expected DSB style . Quite captivating and entrancing. I was blown away, as always. DSB is an incredible lady that I want to hear much more of. Thankfully age has not diminished her voice or performance skills. She is truly astounding and I defy anyone to not be impressed by her performance. There is definately much more to be had from the delicious Dame. She never fails to impress.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost shockingly good 12 Dec 2009
By Jack
Format:Audio CD
Someone aged 72 releasing an album of contemporary songs that not only sounds fresh but timeless? Can you imagine anyone else doing this?
Dame Shirley Bassey's The Performance knocked my socks off, curled my hair, floated my boat, you name it. David Arnold's production, Bassey's superbly-recorded and performed vocals, and uniformly excellent songs make this one of those rare creations: an album you compulsively listen to start to finish. She sells it.
Yes, DSB sounds like a mature vocalist, but her artistry is totally and almost-overwhelmingly evident; just have a listen and realise how much most contemporary singers oversing. It's almost a joke realising Bassey is renowned for her strident vocals, yet her singing on The Performance is just perfect. THE contemporary pop album of the year, and probably of her career.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bassey shows how it should be done 8 Nov 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Shirley Bassey has long been looked upon as a the high priestess of camp and the diamond encrusted goddess of divadom. What most people too often overlook is that this lady has been able to be sustain a career of over 50 years for one rather simple reason: she is an outstanding vocalist. To be blunt, it is a very long time indeed since the Dame has been given material or a producer worthy of her Olympian talents. One needs to go back to the classic UA albums from the 70s to remind oneself just how great a recording artist that she was. Until now, that is.

This is the best album she has produced in decades. It is lovingly arranged and produced with songs that force Bassey to be more introspective and perhaps less bombastic than is usually the case. The writing talent enlisted for the project is impressive and all of the songs (to a greater and lesser extent) deliver. Highlights are 'Almost There' and 'The Performance' - a suitably self-reflexive comment on the loneliness that accompanies the effort involved in being 'Shirley Bassey.' However, the real gem of the album is the track by producer, David Arnold entitled 'As God Is My Witness.' It is an achingly beautiful melody and finds Bassey opting for some mellow falsetto singing when she just as easily could have provided a gale force rendition more in keeping with her 'style.' The modulation she sings in the reprise at the end is spine tingling. For those of you who like the belter, she can still has the ability to produce a kind of euphoria in the listener. The last operatic note of the album is classic Bassey, but it is accompanied by a shimmer of strings that dissolve into the ether rather than in a vegas-style crescendo.

A truly beautiful album that ought to win Dame Shirley a new legion of adoring fans. It must also surely count as one of the best discs of the year by any artist.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Bought for my dad who had alzheimers but couldn't get enough of Shirley Bassey
Published 18 days ago by julietsmith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is an first class album
Published 19 days ago by Frank Donnelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 25 days ago by jostin
Published 2 months ago by michael peacock
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this album
Published 3 months ago by EverLearning
5.0 out of 5 stars A CAREER HIGH FOR MISS BASSEY
Published 7 months ago by CENTRAL LONDON MAN
5.0 out of 5 stars No one ever does it better
For sheer strength and talent Dame Shirley has proved to be up there with the greatest...may this continue..Keep singing !!!
Published 9 months ago by desmond
5.0 out of 5 stars love it!!!
Awesome. Far better than what I expected. I heard some songs and watched the making of the album but the finished product is truly a work of art
Published 11 months ago by c!
5.0 out of 5 stars Whats not to like Shirley at her best
I have followed Shirley Bassey since I was in my teens ,long time ago, and she still has that magic for me.
Published 11 months ago by Liz
5.0 out of 5 stars Shirley Bassey
Or Burly Shassey as my father would insist. Excellent album of new songs - the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
Published 12 months ago by kevin
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