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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Peggy mixes contemporary material with older songs on these two album, but whatever she sings, she does it her way brilliantly.
The first album, Natural woman, contains covers of All of a sudden my heart sings (Kathryn Grayson - from the movie Anchors aweigh), Don't smoke in bed (Billie Holiday), Can I change my mind (Tyrone Davis), Dock of the bay (Otis Redding), You make me feel like a natural woman (Aretha Franklin), Everyday people (Sly and the family Stone), Please send me someone to love (Percy Mayfield), Spinning wheel (Blood sweat and tears) and I think it's gonna rain today (Randy Newman). May of these are classic songs but Peggy's often-different interpretations bring a freshness to them.
Peggy also contributed a song of her own, Lean on me, which you must not confuse with the famous Bill Withers song of the same title. The only other song here, Living is dying without you, is also excellent though I'm not sure who first recorded it.
The second album, Is that all there is, yielded an unexpected American hit for Peggy. It deserved to be a big hit, of course, but Peggy had long since ceased to be a major force on the singles charts so this one came as a huge surprise. Maybe the song connected with the young people of the day in a way that Peggy's other singles didn't.
Possibly the success of the single created pressure for a quick album release - if so, this would explain the inclusion of songs that Peggy had recorded previously, such as I'm a woman, Something stupid and Don't smoke in bed, though at least some of them are re-recordings. Nevertheless, this is also a fine album. It includes covers of Love story (Randy Newman), Me and my shadow (Whispering Jack Smith), My old flame (Guy Lombardo), Brother love's travelling salvation show (Neil Diamond), Something (George Harrison) and Johnny (a gender-adapted version of the Randy Newman song, Linda).
While these are not the strongest albums ever recorded by Peggy Lee, they are both of an extremely high quality. Collecting all of Peggy's albums can be an expensive business assuming you can actually find them all, but this twofer is well worth the price.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 9 December 2014
Peggy Lee was always her own woman, as well being one of the most compelling popular singers of the twentieth century, with a smoky voice and a sassy way with a lyric that was all her own.
These two Capitol LPs from 1969 on one 76-minute disc contain twenty-five tracks in a style that mixes a thoroughly modern sensibility - on songs like Tyrone Davis's very fine soul hit Baby Can I Change My Mind, the Blood Sweat & Tears number Spinning Wheel, Randy Newman's Love Story and his now much-covered I Think It's Gonna Rain Today, Something and Somethin' Stupid - and the occasional standard such as Me and My Shadow, Don't Smoke in Bed, and Billie Holiday's Don't Explain.
Even Otis Redding's Dock of the Bay sounds authentic, such is Lee's sheer class and commitment to her material.
The title track of the first of the two LPs suits her down to the ground, since a Natural Woman is exactly what Peggy was, while the astonishing Is That All There Is must by now count as a classic.
Peggy Lee had a disarming way with a song, sounding both vulnerable and intensely 'feminine', as well as nobody's fool, that foggy-day voice seductive and sometimes world-weary, softly saucy, both girlish and fiercely a woman. She even sings Leiber & Stoller's terrific song I'm a Woman, to superb effect.
An unusual Peggy Lee collection, but as essential as almost anything this great lady recorded.

Highly recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 February 2016
CONTENT:

This twofer CD, released by EMI in 2003, contains two albums, with 25 songs. I have compiled a detailed song listing (with album and singles label & number, chart position, with personal comments)(BB=Billboard Hot 100; AC=Adult Contemporary Chart):

LP A NATURAL WOMAN (Capitol ST-183)(1969):
01 All of a Sudden (My Heart Sings)
02 Don’t Explain
03 Can I Change My Mind?
04 Lean On Me (Capitol 2477)(b-side, 1969)
05 (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay
06 (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
07 Everyday People
08 Please Send Me Someone To Love
09 Spinning Wheel (Capitol 2477)(AC 24/1969)*rare gem; CD debut.
10 Living Is Dying Without You
11 I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today
LP IS THAT ALL THERE IS? (Capitol ST-386)(55/1969):
12 Is That All There Is? (Capitol 2602)(BB 11/1969; AC 1(2)/1969)
13 Love Story (Capitol 2721)(BB 105/1970; AC 26/1970)*rare gem; CD debut.
14 Me And My Shadow (Capitol 2602)(b-side, 1969)*rare gem; CD debut.
15 Sing A Rainbow
16 My Old Flame (Capitol 2721)(b-side, 1970)*rare gem; CD debut.
17 I’m A Woman
18 Somethin’ Stupid
19 Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show
20 Something (Capitol 2696)(b-side, 1969)
21 Whistle For Happiness (Capitol 2696)(AC 13/1969)*rare gem; CD debut.
22 Johnny (Linda)
23 I Can Hear The Music
24 Don’t Smoke in Bed (Capitol 15151)(BB 22/1948)*this is 1969 version.
25 You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 This is a great collection of 2 Peggy Lee albums from 1969. There are many memorable album tracks. In my case, the gems are the rare singles tracks that are making their CD debut. I need those songs to complete my Peggy Lee Complete Singles Discography.
2 The sound is very well remastered: clean with no hiss. Apparently all the songs were new digital remasters. Peggy Lee’s distinctive voice is clear and centralized, with clear differentiation of backing instruments in the orchestra.
3 The 6-page booklet contains the front and back album covers of both albums, each occupying the entire page. This is the correct way to bring back those old albums. Thank you, EMI.
4 76 minutes! Good value!

NEGATIVE POINT:

None.

COMPLETE SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY:

I have just finished a Complete Singles Discography, and found that there are an amazing 174 singles, charted & uncharted, from 1941 to 1976 (only 311 songs, not 348 songs, because 19 b-sides belonged to other artists (mainly Benny Goodman in the Columbia era) and 18 were repeated releases). The labels are: (1) Columbia/Okeh (1941 – 1942), (2) Capitol (1944 – 1957), (3) Decca (1957 – 1958), (4) Capitol (1959 – 1972), (5) Atlantic (1974), and (6) A&M (1975 – 1976).

To complete her Singles Discography, you will need the following: (1) Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: Complete Recordings 1941-1947, (2) The Singles Collection (4 CD box set, Capitol, 2002), (3) Miss Peggy Lee (4 CD set, Capitol 1998), (4) Black Coffee and other Delights: Decca Anthology (2 CD, Decca), (5) The Lost ‘40s and ‘50s Capitol Masters (2 CD, Collectors’ Choice, 2008), and (6) various individual albums, like the current set, 2 Shows Nightly, Then was Then Now Is Now/Bridge Over Troubled Water, In Love Again/In The Name Of Love (very expensive), Sugar n Spice and Classics & Collectables.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Peggy Lee was born Norma Egstrom on May 26, 1920 in Jamestown, North Dakota. She was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer and actress, in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman's big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. She wrote music for films, acted, and created conceptual record albums—encompassing poetry, jazz, chamber pop, and art songs. She was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards, winning Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit "Is That All There Is?" In 1995 she was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She sadly died of a heart attack on January 21, 2002 (age 81).

She is a phenomenal singer. This current set, with phenomenal songs and great sound, is recommended to all Peggy Lee’s fans.
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on 21 July 2013
While I enjoyed much of this CD of Peggy Lee's work I felt that a more morose side of this singer was highlighted. It was however interesting to hear some lesser known songs. The sound quality was good and I feel that I know a little more of Peggy Lee's repertoire.
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on 2 February 2004
Kinda jazzy, very sassy, everyone should have a copy of this - be it to listen to in the car or in the home. You'll sing along, and so will everyone around you too!
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on 17 February 2004
Before the world gets strung out on cool. And the world thinks that Nora Jones Just turned up a century ago.Just think And listen cause people have been singing like this for some time, not always in places you might think to look. I first heard peggy lee in AfTER HOURS and after that became a fan, so hearing this for the first time I hope you listen and enjoy.
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on 25 April 2012
To fans of Peggy's early work this 1970's themed set may come as a surprise; but to High School Kids of the 1970's like me it is a real joy. Who else could go from Randy Newman to George Harrison songs(The Beatles) with such cool confidence. Only Peggy - truly a great singer.
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on 3 April 2011
Bought this cd mainly because although I have several peggy lee lp,s cd,s Ididn,t have one with Is that all there is. The rest with one or two exceptions seem to be rehashs of well known peggy lee numbers with an added disco beat, As though they were re recorded for a 1970,s audience. But it was an inexpensive buy so i can,t complain to much
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on 8 April 2014
A good album of Peggy Lee's Hits and not so big hits. Her version of Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay, good and other songs sung by different artists Peggy Lee makes pleasurable tolisten to.
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on 26 October 2015
How wonderful to listen to a singer who sings every word clearly and can hold a melody without all the "yodelling" we get from modern vocalists who cannot hold a melody line.
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