Top positive review
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A WORTHY CHART SUCCESS!
on 5 September 2009
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!