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4.2 out of 5 stars
33
4.2 out of 5 stars
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At the time of writing the Decca reissue under the title "The Very Best Of Vera Lynn" has become a best-seller. This CD contains five more tracks, all recorded between 1936 and 1943, and is every bit as deserving, particularly given also that it is considerably cheaper. From a collector's point of view it has two shortcomings: the tracklist carries no details other than composer and publisher credits, and the liner note is woefully inadequate. That's not for lack of space, because the CD carries three identical photos of Vera Lynn, at least one of which is the reverse of the true image!

To fill in some of the blanks, Charles Smart accompanies tracks 3, 4, 5 and 18 on the organ, and on track 5 he's joined by Freddy Gardner on sax. Tracks 7 and 25 feature Arthur Young on the Novachord, and track 23 is accompanied by Maurice Winnick. Track 9 is taken from a 1942 broadcast with Eugene Pini, hence the somewhat obtrusive surface noise. Elsewhere honours are shared between Mantovani (1, 10, 15, 21 and 22), Jay Wilbur (6, 11, 12, 13 and 16), and Ambrose (8, 19, 20 and 24). Track 24 is in fact a duet with Denny Dennis.

All of this detail is important, and the failure to publicise it sells the CD short (although the Decca reissue is similarly lacking in detail). As best I can see, however, only three tracks are duplicated, so even if you've helped already to propel Dame Vera into the charts by buying the better-known reissue, there's no reason not to go for this in addition.

Any reissue that is titled "The Best Of" tempts the reviewer to nominate tracks that should have been included, but weren't, but I shall resist on the basis that this gives an excellent account of Vera Lynn's talents in the late thirties and early forties. She had a remarkable voice, and her choice of material was pitched at those fighting overseas, and those waiting anxiously at home. Despite its shortcomings this is every bit as deserving of five stars as the Decca reissue, if not more so.
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on 20 December 2015
Let me say straight away that there is nothing wrong with the quality of this CD.

The problem I have is that I relied on the title and did not even bother to check what tracks were on it, I was expecting Vera Lynn's wartime recordings not some of them and some more recent recordings.

My message to others is always check the contents.
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on 21 March 2008
A sort of companion CD to the Singles Collection with songs added from the Unforgettable,Hits of Today and Sacred Songs.
With just about everything reissued there's still the Decca LP of Nursery Rhymes which Vera made with Kenneth McKellar and which should be reissued seperately.
This is one of her rarest albums
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on 5 December 2009
I PLAYED V L ONE DAY TO ALL THE RESIDENTS OF MY MUMS CARE HOME MOST OF THEM CANT COMMUNICATE BUT THEY ALL KNEW THE WORDS IT WAS BRILLIANT !!!
I CAME AWAY HAPPY FOR ONCE !!!! SHE SHOULD BE ON THE N H S .
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on 12 January 2014
Bought this particular CD to play at my mothers funeral .This was one of her favorite singers and as a military wife many years ago thought it a fitting song for the occasion. Did all it was meant to do and sound was clear .
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on 14 October 2010
Vera Lynn is relevant at the moment because the Battle of Britain's seventieth anniversary. She was known as the Forces Sweetheart and you can understand why when you hear her beautiful, clear, warm and resonant voice.
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on 28 May 2011
Dame Vera has one of the most inspirational voices in British music history as this well recorded selection will testify.

I suspect many of the songs have been re-recorded to present them at their best, and others date from the 60's and 70's. Dame Vera's voice is timeless. There'll Always Be An England, as long as there's a Vera Lynn record to be played.
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on 31 December 2009
I was quite clear what this CD would be like, and I was not disappointed
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on 16 May 2011
The rather sloppy use of a title like the "best of" is even further out than some of the other similarly titled one.Thus to include White Christmas which she recorded in the 70s along with songs made in the 30s does her a disservice
However the sleeve photo of her iin the pink dress she spoke of in her autobiog should have been larger to cover the entire sleeve and with a more emphasised background
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on 11 January 2010
This CD is truly representative of the best of Vera Lynn and, although it does not find itself in the top cost bracket, it is every bit as good as those that do. Same songs, same accompaniments, everything! A very strong recommendation.
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