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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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The albums presented here are all from the Verve label and are shown with the dates 1953 to 1957. The Verve recordings account for about a third of Billie Holiday's studio output and include many of her own favourite recordings.

This is a remarkable set capturing the formative and middle years of her Verve output and with a consistent group of musicians. The sound quality is very good throughout and this compilation allows you to have 61 songs that do make this an ultimate collection. The performances are top notch and if you are a Billie Holiday fan looking to have CD copies of your well treasured LPs then this is the package for you. The presentation is excellent and the slim line packaging adds to the convenience too.
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on 29 May 2012
I have just purchased a Sony mp3 player the sound quality of which is excellent I may add, and It has completely re-awakened my interest in my music collection.
And being a great fan of Billie Holidays voice I wanted something quick to get my player up and running.
And I thought at this price I could'nt go wrong although I was'nt expecting much in the way of sound quality.
How wrong I was the sound quality Is excellent and this a good value introducttion to her distinctive voice.
My only caveat would be that there are'nt more upbeat numbers in the set
 The Ultimate Collection (Amazon Edition)
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on 3 June 2013
This is cracking value with over 80 of her tracks from two thirds of her studio album output. Most of the output was in fact `compilation' albums. These were issued before her first studio album in 1952 - mainly from all of her singles which were issued from 1934 to 1946. The rest were issued after her death. This set features 8 of her 12 original studio albums. The albums' span from 1952 to 1957. She died in 1959, aged just 44. `Solitude' is a re-release of her first album `Billie Holiday Sings.'
BH had just two number one singles. Her number one in the R&B charts, `Trav'lin' Light,' is on what I consider to be the best album of the collection - `Lady Sings the Blues.' Of course, her biography, and eventually the film of her life (Diana Ross) came from this album's title.
Her best two albums of this collection are thought to be (All Music ratings) the aforementioned, `Lady Sings' and `Music for Touching.'
The album `Velvet Mood' is apparently `out of print' and so this set is just about the only place that you can get it. BH had such a strong, almost gritty voice which was so distinctive. The support musicians are just wonderful - quality all round.
A lot of the songs on here are from the `American Song Book.' At times I found them rather one paced, samey or a little too low key but it seems that this was the style of the day. I would have preferred a little more up tempo stuff over the piece but I did enjoy listening to such a great musical icon.
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on 25 August 2011
Good solid verve recordings. These are reworkings / recordings made in the later part of her life/career but she was only in her 40's when she died. The quality of the recordings is better than those pre war sides. You cannot go wrong for the price.

Apparently the musicians on these recording were some of the best around at the time including Oscar Peterson on several tracks. So the only down side is that a booklet/original sleeve notes might have been a nice addition.

It still gets 5 stars

Theydon Bois on vibes...nice!

(Check out Anita O'Day if you like Billie you'll like Anita.)
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on 28 July 2014
This was bought as a present for my mother in law after she complimented us on our own 3 disk colection of Billie Holiday music.
Billie Holiday is one of the finest female vocalists af all time, with a rich voice that gets across emotion, tenderness and grit all at once. She had a range from Blues through to R&B as well as romantic ballads. This collection ticks all the boxes and provides a pretty good in depth look at the music across her career.
For those who own no Billie Holiday this is a great way to get a taste of her work before looking a little deeper.
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on 10 April 2010
The Ultimate Collection
I chose to buy this by simply browsing female blues singers, this album at it's low price with around 60 tracks seemed like a good risk. If I didn't like it, it wouldn't cost me much to find that out.
Billies skilled voice and unique singing style are reminders of a time when music was treated in a different manner. The easy style of the 1950s sound makes a very pleasant change from the overbearing guitar and drum sounds to which we are accustomed.
I was surprised by the number of these lovely recordings I recognised from other places, tracks used in assorted films, some fairly recent, I haven't a clue if Billie performed these first or others did them earlier, either way I like this music very much.
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on 6 September 2011
This is an excellent 3 cd set but contrary to the label does not have the complete 8 albums. Nonetheless this is a good start to get a taste of probably the best jazz vocalist of all time.
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on 12 July 2010
So many of Billie's greatest songs at an affordable price. If you like Billie Holiday you'll buy this!
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on 11 June 2015
Fantastic, I've loved Billy Holidays music since seeing Dianna Ross in "Lady Sings the Blues", but this is just the most phenomenal, emotionally evocative collection of songs I own. Unexpectedly after the download I played the whole thing, I just couldn't help it. Only wish I'd bought it sooner, it's got everything you'd want on it and more.
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on 10 June 2013
I love Billie Holiday, and this is a great collection of tracks from throughout her career. The only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars is because it's missing one of my favourite tracks, "I'm A Fool To Want You."
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