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4.0 out of 5 stars7
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 25 July 2010
In principle, the package as a whole is worth about four stars:
You get four classic albums and a decent one at a reasonable price (though not as cheaply as some of the other titles in the series).
I'm sure I'm not the only one who would have preferred Nyro's first five albums rather than albums 2 - 6, but as "More than a New Discovery" was originally on a different label, I guess the present selection makes sort of sense too.
The covers are reproduced nicely (and the first four are among my favorite covers ever, simple and beautiful). But absolutely no extras: no booklet or any other inserts, and if you go to the website indicated on the box, you won't find any info there either!
As customary with this series, there is at least one typing error on the box.

So why only two stars?
Because nobody at Sony made any effort whatsoever to find a decent sounding version of what I consider Laura's absolute masterpiece, Christmas and the Beads of Sweat. I find the old version they used practically unlistenable, with muffled vocals and generally muddy sound. This is unforgivable, because the Japanese remaster from a couple of years ago sounds fine (I finally had to get that version AFTER shelling out for this box set, which I bought under the impression that ALL five albums would be remastered). If you know the Japanese remaster (or the original vinyl, or the songs featured on the Stoned Soul Picnic compilation), you know that Laura's incredible vocal presence is essential to Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, and without it, the album loses a lot of its intensity and power.
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on 28 September 2011
I bought this collection just for Smile. Had it on vinyl but found it really hard to find on cd at a 'normal' price. So I for one am happy that it was included here. Sound-wise.... unlike another reviewer I think they all sound great. Christmas should be remastered but it still sounds brilliant. I consider her two masterpieces to be Eli & New Your Tendaberry but having been a fan for over 30 years I'm biased when I say that all her albums are great. However, for me these cds are her best. Smile represented a shift towards a more jazz-pop sound which sorta came full circle with Angel In The Dark. Buy this series and you will never regret it. There will never be anyone like her.
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on 19 November 2012
I discovered Laura Nyro at the same time I discovered Nick Drake and Tim Buckley.
The so - called "trilogy" of Eli, Tendaberry & Christmas were rarely off my turntable in those days. My absolute favourite is Tendaberry. Her later albums like Smile didn't fire me up so much but they still embarrassed the competition. Not great per se but easily preferable to many of the omnipresent singer - songwriters of that era.
If you're not familiar with her music or know of her because of cover versions of her songs then I thoroughly recommend this.
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on 29 February 2012
I first heard Laura Nyro's work courtesy of a vinyl "sampler" album featuring Beads of Sweat more years ago than I care to count. I followed it up by buying the album and then "First Songs." Don't ask me why it's taken me so long to follow it up by buying this bargain set, but I'm so glad I have. What a performer! You get the impression that LN put every ounce of her creativity into each song. I can see why she never "mainstreamed", her music is too complex for that and demands close listening. Background music it ain't! Sometimes it drives, sometimes it moves, but it's always rewarding if you commit to it totally.
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To compliment Kurt's excellent review of this set I thought a track listing and which CDs are included would be of use.
I agree that this is an expensive set compare to others in the series.

The Cds are

* Eli And The Thirteenth Confession
* New York Tendaberry
* Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat
* Gonna Take A Miracle
* Smile

The track listing is
1. Luckie
2. Lu
3. Sweet Blindness
4. Lonely Woman
5. Eli's Comin'
6. Timer
7. Stoned Soul Picnic
8. Emmie
9. Woman's Blues
10. Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)
11. December's Boudoir
12. The Confession
13. Lu
14. Stone Soul Picnic
15. Emmie

1. You Don't Love Me When I Cry
2. Captain for Dark Mornings
3. Tom Cat Goodby
4. Mercy on Broadway
5. Save the Country
6. Gibsom Street
7. Time and Love
8. The Man Who Sends Me Home
9. Sweet Lovin' Baby
10. Captain Saint Lucifer
11. New York Tendaberry
12. Save the Country
13. In the Country Way

1. Brown Earth
2. When I Was a Freeport and You Were the Main Drag
3. Blackpatch
4. Been on a Train
5. Up on the Roof
6. Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp
7. Map to the Treasure
8. Beads of Sweat
9. Christmas in My Soul

1. I Met Him on a Sunday
2. The Bells
3. Monkey Time/Dancing in the Street
4. Desiree
5. You've Really Got a Hold on Me
6. Spanish Harlem
7. Jimmy Mack
8. Wind
9. Nowhere to Run
10. It's Gonna Take a Miracle
11. Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
12. You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman
13. Ooh Child
14. Up on the Roof

1. Sexy Mama
2. Children of the Junks
3. Money
4. I Am the Blues
5. Stormy Love
6. The Cat Song
7. Midnite Blue
8. Smile
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on 24 April 2013
I really enjoyed this set although it's not easy to get into some of the material that just sounds old. So many artists have copied Laura Nyro that her freshness doesn't come through , you have to be in the mood but when that mood hits you are in for a fantastic ride.
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on 12 March 2011
Laura Nyro:

* Eli And The Thirteenth Confession
* New York Tendaberry
* Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat
* Gonna Take A Miracle
* Smile
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