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Sad Songs - The Ultimate Collection (5CD)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2012
I was in two minds while writing my view over how many stars to give this, either 3 or 4. Overall it's a pretty good compilation that is great value for money, but I think it has some serious shortcomings. 4 stars is what I went with, but be mindful that I considered 3.

Obviously there are some fantastic songs on here and with 100 songs for not much more than a fiver the value is obvious. Where I have a problem is the choice of artist for some songs. For example, the song 'You are so beautiful to me' is associated in most people's minds with Joe Cocker, so why do we get a wimpy Donny Osmond version? People automatically think of Cilla Black when they think of the song 'Anyone who had a heart' so why do we get a muzak version by Barbara Dickson? And so on - none of the versions come close to the original, so I feel like I've been cheated out of a good version. The compiler of this songlist should really remember that "If it ain't broken, don't try to fix it".

Having said that, I will compliment whoever picked the other songs on their choice - there are some great songs that aren't that well known but *should* be better known - Lorraine Ellison's 'Stay with me' is one of those great vocals that sends shivers down your spine when you hear it; the great 'Martha's Harbour' by All About Eve makes it onto here, certainly a very underplayed song.

My only other complaint that made me think about only 3 stars is that this concentrates on the 80s and 90s mostly. There are a few 70s, but I don't think any of the other songs were recorded earlier than that. There are so many great songs from the 50s and 60s (and earlier) that this compilation would have benefited from a few from those decades too.

Overall, good value, but some not so great choices of artists and limited in range of years that the songs are taken from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
We all have different reasons for playing material such as this, maybe.
simply because there are so many great pop-numbers to enjoy, perhaps as
a chill thing, or maybe to reflect upon memories of days gone by, me, a
little of each probably, the tracks on this 5-CD compilation are in general
great-sounds, I'd like to highlight one or two of them as an example on
each of the five discs, on disc one...'Dionne Warwick' --'Walk on By'...
'Joan Armatrading' --'Love and Affection'...'Elkie Brooks' --'Fool if you
Think it's Over'...'Air Supply' --'All out of Love'...'The Cars' --'Drive'
surely one of the all-time great sounds...'Foreigner' --'I Want to know
What Love Is'...and...'Nazareth' --'Love Hurts'...great examples of the
play list on disc one, on disc two...'Macy Gray' --'Still'...'Boyzone'
singing the 'Bee Gee' classic --'Words'...'Lisa Stansfield' --'When Love
Breaks Down'...'Tears for Fears' --'Mad World'...'Backstreet Boys' --
'Quit Playing Games with my Heart'...and...'Curtis Stigers' --'I Wonder
Why'...again just a sample of the quality on disc two, on disc three...
'Candi Station's' version of 'Elvis's' --'Suspicious Minds'...'Rose Royce'
--'Love Don't Live Here Anymore'...'Dusty Springfield' --'I Just Don't
Know What to do With Myself'...'Randy Crawford' --'One Day I'll Fly Away'
...'Ken Boothe' with the 'Bread' classic --'Everything I Own'...and
'Beautiful South' --'It Takes a Little Time'... again just a few numbers
on disc three worth a mention, on disc four...'Bill Withers' --Ain't No
Sunshine'...'The Walker Brothers' --'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore'
...'Kirsty Macall' --'They don't Know About Us'...'Tracy Ullman's' version
of 'Doris Day's' 60's hit --'Move Over Darling'...'Bread' --'Make It With
You'...and...'Terry Jacks' --'Seasons in he Sun'...a few great sounds among
many on disc four, on disc five...'Mica Paris and 'Will Downing' --'Where is
the Love'...'Shakespear's Sister' --'Stay'...'The Corrs' --'What Can I Do'
'Godley and Creme' --'Cry'...'Etta James' --'The One that Got Away'...and
'Barbra Dickson's' version of the 'Cat's' classic 'Memory' ...just to
pick out some of the great sounds on disc five......I've highlighted around
half a dozen or so of the numbers that make the album worth adding to your
collection, check it out.......Terrific Value For Money.
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While it is true to say that I bought this while languishing in the depths of some rather significant, ex-wife related, romantic despair, I would not call the majority of the tracks on this 5 disc set particularly 'Sad'. In fact, I'm really not at all sure why I even sent for it, given that a lot of the songs I had actually heard of don't seem to necessarily be associated with the artists I might have been expecting: and the ones I had no prior knowledge of whatsoever did not exactly leave me wanting to pull my curtains, turn my phone off, flick through my wedding photos and bawl my eyes out.

As far as my 'significant romantic despair' is concerned, I think that's probably a good thing. As far as these 'Sad Songs' are concerned though, I'm not so sure.

For the life of me, I can't quite identify a theme or a pattern in the track selections of any of the discs. It's a bit of a hodgepodge, in all honesty. They could, quite easily, have divided things up so that there was a disc of Country and Jazz songs, a disc of 70s and 80s songs, a disc of 90s and 00s songs, a disc of covers of songs by people I really don't know from Adam, and a disc of singers who I DO know from Adam but who are to be found here in the company of songs made famous by somebody else entirely. The compilers could have done that. It certainly would have saved my nose-picking finger from having to find serious secondary employment aboard the fast forward button.

Ah, I DO remember why I felt the need to send for this now... 'Stay' by Shakespears Sister. Although I've already got enough copies of that song knocking about to play a different one every hour for half a day or more. Apart from the draw of Siobhan Fahey then, plus the presence of The Bangles' quite beautiful 'Eternal Flame' and the amazing 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline, I'm baffled as to why I saw fit to part with almost ten big ones for this product. I daresay someone could have flogged me London Bridge or a timeshare apartment in Magaluf while I had my credit card out on that occasion, since my common sense had obviously taken a short-term sabbatical from the scene.

These songs could, in my opinion, serve as background music for anything from a dinner party to a romantic evening with a significant other. But that is not really a compliment. These songs are simply not powerful enough, for the most part, to grab the listener's attention to the extent that the lyrics (which, presumably, would be where all the 'sadness' might be lurking) become overwhelmingly important to want to wallow in. 'Without You' by Nilsson is a bit of an exception, but it seems to force its way into so many compilation albums that I think I must just be completely immune to its effects by now.

On the positive side, I have been looking up some of these hitherto-completely-unknown-to-me singing artists on the internet and one or two of them are, to put it bluntly, drop dead gorgeous. Marina Berry for one, who does a very good job of bringing new energy to 'Nobody Does It Better'. A lady called Jamie O'Neal (who is equally gorgeous) gives Celine Dion a run for her money at the helm of 'All By Myself', which does at least spare us from having to listen to Eric Carmen's version; that one gets around almost as much as 'Without You' by Harry Nilsson.

Prior to taking delivery of this product, I never would have envisaged myself typing the words 'Soggy Bottom Boys' into my computer and, having done so now, I can't say I'm really any the wiser as to who the men behind 'I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow (a far from tearjerking little number) actually are. Ditto a man named Lance Pierce, who takes 'This Guy's In Love With You' and does, well, not very much at all with it really.

There are some great songs on here. There are also some songs (and, most particularly, VERSIONS of songs) that would not be missed if every copy of them in existence was loaded onto a rocket and blasted into deep space.

No? Oh well, that must just be me then.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2012
Always a risk getting a collection of CDs - some of the songs are there but not by the singers I wanted to hear singing them..............that said, there are some really good tracks on this CD and it flows nicely. They seem to have "flavours" because I know I will listen to two of the CDS and probably hardly ever listen to the other two just because of the collection of tracks on them. This seems to indicate the editors/selectors did a good job. On the whole - know it is a risk - but I was pleased with this purchase.
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on 23 February 2013
I knew what to expect as I had read the list of songs on the 5 CDs and so I was not disappointed. It is a lovely selection of songs and difficult to buy from anywhere else other than Amazon.
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on 26 May 2013
Where can I start. If you enjoy listen to the odd sad song then this is the box set for you, mix it up with other songs though or you will be on a real downer for a few days.
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on 26 January 2013
This was a great present for my mum. She has just started listening to music and it was the perfect price to pay for her first CD.
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on 17 March 2014
This is a cool collection of songs, not all what I consider as sad, but love the collection just the same
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on 31 March 2013
Fantastic track on these cds and i am very choose when it comes to what i listen too. raley good
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on 20 February 2015
Exactly as described, arrived on time
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