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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WORTHY CHART SUCCESS!
Any compilation claiming to be the "very best of" any artist is likely to be the object of a certain amount of disagreement. This new selection of Vera Lynn recordings is no exception, but at least it is a well-chosen collection from the Dame's wonderful recorded legacy.

No recording dates are provided, but the earliest recording is "Up The Wooden Hill To...
Published on 5 Sep 2009 by P. J. Wallace

versus
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware!
Some of the key numbers - for instance "We'll Meet Again" are NOT the original war-time recordings, so although good performances from a very professional singer, they somehow lack the final nostalgic authority of the "originals" which my parents for instance - separated by my father being in the RAF - would have known.

The recordings - no indication of dates...
Published on 26 Sep 2009 by Rocking Remnant


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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WORTHY CHART SUCCESS!, 5 Sep 2009
By 
P. J. Wallace "Peter Wallace" (East Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
Any compilation claiming to be the "very best of" any artist is likely to be the object of a certain amount of disagreement. This new selection of Vera Lynn recordings is no exception, but at least it is a well-chosen collection from the Dame's wonderful recorded legacy.

No recording dates are provided, but the earliest recording is "Up The Wooden Hill To Bedfordshire" - Vera's first solo record made in 1936. Nowadays there is a tendency to forget that Vera Lynn had already established a successful career prior to her years as the Forces Sweetheart. She was a dance band vocalist with the bands of Charlie Kunz and Ambrose, amongst others, and a popular recording and radio star. However the war years made her a superstar and no musical history of World War 2 is complete without Vera singing "We'll Meet Again" and "The White Cliffs of Dover". I was born long after the war, but Vera's renditions of these classic songs are incredibly powerful and moving. Another fine song of those dark days (1940) was Irving Berlin's optimistic "There's A Lovely Day Tomorrow" and Vera is backed by Jay Wilbur's Orchestra featuring Arthur Young on the novachord - the world's first synthesizer!

Five of the recordings included here were made in 1952 with vocal backing by "members of H M Forces". Of these, "Yours" and "Auf Weiderseh'n Sweetheart" are definitely amongst Vera's very best, and the latter title was a big hit for her. More than half the tracks on this CD date from the 1950s and have fine orchestral accompaniments conducted by Woolf Philips, Roland Shaw, Eric Rogers and others.

This album will appeal to many purchasers for a variety of reasons. More than anything else it will be enjoyed by those who like to hear lyrics beautifully sung in that clear, powerful and distinctive voice which is unmistakably that of Dame Vera Lynn. It is hardly surprising that this CD is already a chart success as there are few singers these days who are in the same class as this living legend!
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurrah for Dame Vera, 1 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
Dame Vera Lynn was not the only singer to make their name in the Second World War but there can be no doubt that she was very important to many. Her East End upbringing meant than many people felt she could understand through the Blitz and for young soldiers she was a " girl next door type ". Her songs of the wartime do have a powerful emotional charge and I know that she was much liked by members of my grandparents' generation .

There can be few more telling reminders of this than a BBC concert a few years back when Katherine Jenkins warbled annoyingly through many of Dame Vera's numbers only for the audience in which many veterans were present to perk up and singalong vigorously when Dame Vera now retired appeared on stage .

This is a good compliation including many of her greats and as today is the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of war it is good to see it in the top 20 as if there is any war that we must never forget - it is that one.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant music but could have been compiled better, 6 Sep 2009
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
To anybody who is not particularly familiar with Vera's music and who just wants a selection of some of her most famous songs, this compilation provides that. It includes We'll meet again (albeit a re-recording from 1953) and White cliffs of Dover, but it in no way could truly be called the very best of Vera Lynn. It focuses mainly on her recordings from the fifties, yet even omits most of her fifties pop hits.

I have several compilations of Vera's music, which between them represent her career as a recording artist from 1936 to 1977. Vera recorded for Decca (now part of Universal) until 1960, before switching to a label that is now part of EMI for the remainder of her career. In the sixties and seventies, Vera appeared regularly on TV and recorded plenty of great music during those decades, some of which is available on Singles Collection. However, people are primarily interested in the early half of her career so it is her Decca recordings, 20 of which are included here, that Vera will always be remembered for. Closer inspection shows that the people at Universal didn`t put a lot of thought into the track selection.

Of the compilations of Vera Lynn's Decca music that I own, there are two double CD's that I particularly love. One is Forces Sweetheart: 49 Original Mono Recordings 1936-1952, released on the ASV label that has now been shut down. Now out of print along with all other ASV titles, it includes 43 tracks from the period 1936 to 1945, together with six from 1951 and 1952. The other great double CD, Vera Lynn: The Decca Years 1936-1960, was originally released on Universal. It contains 56 tracks including some from the thirties and the war years, but mainly focuses on Vera's music of the fifties. So while there is some duplication of tracks, there isn't very much. If Universal had selected the best tracks from both compilation, I would have been very happy to give this five stars. As it turns out, this was compiled entirely from Decca years 1936 to 1960, which means that very few of these recordings are from the war years, which the compilation is supposed to commemorate.

Looking at the track listing for (and listening to) Forces sweetheart, I would certainly have expected to find Wishing and A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square in any compilation that claims to be the very best of Vera Lynn. From the Decca years 1956 to 1960, I would have expected Forget-me-not, The homing waltz and My son my son, all big UK pop hits during the fifties (My son my son went all the way to number one), to have been included here. Of Vera's big hits of the fifties, there is only one (Auf Wiederseh'n sweetheart) here, despite the preponderance of fifties recordings.

There is, of course, plenty of great music here. Among the highlights are Harbour lights, which Vera recorded in March 1937 (and may well be the original artist) and Up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire, which was Vera's first recording in February 1936. There are covers of songs associated with others, including I'm forever blowing bubbles (a song that West Ham fans know well), As time goes by, When I grow too old to dream and Faraway places. Vera sings them all superbly, but I wouldn't have included them at the expense of the omitted songs that I mentioned.

As a sample of Vera's music, this is great but could have been better, hence only 4 stars. Still, I'm pleased that it has proved popular. If nothing else, it shows that there is still plenty of interest in Vera's music and not just among older people. Following the success of this compilation, a 5-CD budget boxed set Gold: 100 Songs From A Life In Music was released in December 2009. Buy that, or the aforementioned Forces sweetheart, instead.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REMEMBERING CHILDHOOD DAYS, 3 Sep 2009
By 
I. Stanfield "J Ferneyhough" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
I am so pleased that this music is being redone, I was not born when the war was on, but was born in 1947 the baby boom year.

I can always remember the Sunday Mornings, my mother prepairing the lunch time dinner always Beef roasts and yorkshire pudding with lovely creamed rice pudding, and hearing on the radio Home and Away, this was the type of music that was played at the time, every one used to have this one and all the neighbours were cooking roast dinners, the smell on a sunday was absolutly fantastic, an experiance that you do not have this day.So this brings back lots of memories.

As for the war being over and that it should not be kept being brought up, why not? how many of our kin were killed in the war, why should we not want to remember, in years to come the young men of this centery who are still at war, and many who have given their lives for us, should they be forgotten for what they did,Ido not think so, they will be rememberd for years,also the wars.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No 1 at 92!!, 14 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
Brilliant recording from a dismal time in UK history. Very emotive and very well sung. And to get to no 1 in the charts is an incredible achievement for a 92 year old! Dame Vera Rocks!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware!, 26 Sep 2009
This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
Some of the key numbers - for instance "We'll Meet Again" are NOT the original war-time recordings, so although good performances from a very professional singer, they somehow lack the final nostalgic authority of the "originals" which my parents for instance - separated by my father being in the RAF - would have known.

The recordings - no indication of dates are given - seem to cover her career rather than just the 30's/40's recordings [which are themselves out of copyright in the UK and therefore available for anyone to reissue]

I finally managed to get these performances and recordings I wanted [although with slightly inferior transfers] on a Prism Leisure disc "Sincerely Yours" for a third of what I paid for the highly-promoted Decca issue. There are many issues of the war-time recordings available, its just a matter of finding the one with the greatest number of the titles you are looking for!

But bringing me much nearer to what I wanted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 5 May 2013
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This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
This was my nans favorite singer, after I listened to a few songs I fell in love too! Will recommend to anyone who loves old style music and 50s work
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Memories', 8 April 2013
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This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
Bought it for my 95 year old Mother for Mother's Day. She and my Dad have played it everyday since!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Best of Vera Lynn, 14 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
Bought 2 Vera Lynn CD's for my mother in law who suffers from dementia and we could not believe how well she remembers the words. We recommend anyone with a relative or friend who suffers from this frustrating illness to buy music that they recognise. It really is a revelation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing woman., 16 Nov 2009
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This review is from: Very Best Of Vera Lynn (Audio CD)
This is a great DVD. It has brought back memories for many of the women, like myself, who heard Vera singing in their youth.
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