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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange Fruit...the greatest song ever
I love Billie Holiday and have for a long time.

Her voice haunts my soul every time I hear it, it reminds me of the first time I heard it in a cafe in Soho London, time seem to stand still as she sang "Strange Fruit".

This box set is a perfect start to her music and you can see the all other music from jazz to hip hop flowing through it, if you have...
Published on 2 Jun. 2006 by Mr Happy

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Actual play list does not correspond to that advertised or printed on the product.
The actual tracks on the CDs do not correspond to the listings advertised on the website or the play list printed on the product. I need to check it more forensically, but I believe many of the advertised songs may be missing. Am I a happy bunny? What do you think?

As an addendum to the above comment, none of the tracks listed correspond to what is on disk 1...
Published 1 month ago by Mr. J. Ballard


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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange Fruit...the greatest song ever, 2 Jun. 2006
I love Billie Holiday and have for a long time.

Her voice haunts my soul every time I hear it, it reminds me of the first time I heard it in a cafe in Soho London, time seem to stand still as she sang "Strange Fruit".

This box set is a perfect start to her music and you can see the all other music from jazz to hip hop flowing through it, if you have never heard her sing then I plead with you to buy this boxset and start a journey that will take you to new highs.

A good start to female jazz vocals and from the queen herself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Songs, Great Voice, Great Value, 7 Mar. 2012
By 
wolf (East Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This collection of 3 CDs of Bille Holiday's work is fantastic value.

All the songs come from the 1930s and 1940s. Perhaps not as well known as her later period (where her albums were recorded), this period captures Holiday at the height of her powers and with the songs that made her famous. For me, it is also her most interesting period - fresh, zesty, smoky and powerful. It is easy to see why she was a hit.

The collection covers almost all the recordings from this period that you might want: from the classic and defining 'Strange Fruit', through jazz standards and popular tunes of the day ('On the Sunnyside of the Street', 'My Last Affair' and 'Pennies From Heaven') and classic songs from Fred Astair movies ('The Way You Look Tonight', 'A Fine Romance' and Gershwin's 'They Can't Take that Away From Me'). What it does lack is her brilliant rendition of 'Gloomy Sunday'. That's a shame, but given the ridiculously reasonable price, one that it is easy to overlook.

Thoroughly recommended.
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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawlessly timeless music, 1 Jun. 2009
By 
GratuitousViolets "Ash" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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These days albums like this get overlooked; the modern generation don't even care to wonder "who is Billie Holiday?" as they clamour for the newest releases by Lady GaGa, Beyonce, and Britney Spears, practically squealing for anything with a (albeit annoying) beat and a catchy tagline rather than any music with real meaning, class or soul.

Those who know Billie's work, this album is definately THE essential (although definately not completed) collection of some her most profound and earliest works. For those who do not know the music of the legendary "Lady Day", it is worth knowing that the measley few pounds this album will cost would be well spent for your musical education.

Billie Holiday struggled through more hardships than any woman should ever have to face in her tragically short life. Depression, drugs, alcoholism, rape, questionable paternity, poverty, prostitution, spousal abuse, and finally a very early death at the young age of 44.

It has always felt that perhaps it is due to all these things, that her voice carried with such resonance, and why the lyrics can carve a way into you right down to the bone. With every tiny warble, with every sweet high note, with every soft low rasp, Billie Holiday takes you on a powerfully emotional journey with her. Although much of the songs in this collectin are slightly soft, sad and bluesy, there are several up-beat tracks to tap your toes to, and bring a little whimsical smile to your lips. She will teach you what love is, what heartache is, what happiness and joy are, and most importantly, teach you that the life of a woman was just as complicated then as it is now.

Not only are the vocal performances on this album stunning, but the music itself is truly incredible - dating from the mid 1930's to the 40s, it is some of the finest examples of the music of the swing era I've heard to date.

One of my favourite things from this collection is that all the songs remain intact and while are distinctly clear, they're not overly digitally remastered. These CD's sound like you're playing them in an old record player, they have that soft muted tone 1930's sound about them. Closing my eyes, I could almost imagine being right there in the era, hearing it right then on a record player. I think just the way they were always intended to be heard.

A wonderful album, wonderful music to chill out and de-stress to, and great value for money as you get 60 songs in this set. This is a GREAT starter to someone who is just becoming a fan of the legend herself.
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63 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lady Sings The Blues, 24 Mar. 2003
By A Customer
Billie Holiday is simply one of the best jazz singers of the day, and remains a legend today in spite of having recieved no technical training. Her inimitable voice produces an acute and dramaticly intense sound. It is hard to imagine that this is the same women who had to be dragged physically to her first recording session, due to an attack of nerves. 'Strange Fruit' is perhaps the most famous song in this collection, written about the racist lynchings in the American South that were still very much a reality when she sang it. Her voice cuts angrily through the song with an anguish which feels very potently real. There are also tenderer moments, Holiday's love songs are some of the most moving you'll ever hear 'The man I love' and and 'I can't give you anything but love' are keynotes, but all the tracks on this box set have much to recommend them. This is music with real feeling, beautifully expressed and sung wonderfully well by a woman in her artistic prime.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what music supposed to be, 23 Jun. 2004
By 
Onur (Istanbul, Turkey) - See all my reviews
It's so sad that there's nothing like this is being produced anymore. The music is what MUSIC supposed to be: powerful, soulful, joyful, relaxing, entertaining, pleasuring...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For fans old and new, 23 Mar. 2013
By 
Pete Johnson "Pete Johnson" (Norfolk) - See all my reviews
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If you like Billie Holliday, as I do, then this is a good collection of many of her best known songs. The transition to CD is acceptable, and the age of the recordings is suitably full of atmosphere. If you have never heard her work, you may be familiar with it from film soundtracks, and some TV adverts. If you are curious, this is a low-cost option to hear more. You will not be disappointed; with a voice unique, and immediately identifiable, every moment of her tragic life can be heard in her singing. Great stuff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billie Holiday, 20 Aug. 2011
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Although I have many Billie Holiday albums there are a lot of tracks and takes on here that I haven't heard before so delighted to add this to my collection.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely album, 31 May 2010
By 
I really love this album, so many great tracks and a great place to start if you're looking for an introduction to Lady Day's music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast delivery, 14 Nov. 2013
By 
S. Brookes "critic" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Just right, fantastic vocals and what a way to chill out, they knew how to do make mood music in the 40s
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, 12 Feb. 2014
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Excellent product, it is very good and deserves the five star rating. This product is exactly what I expecting and I would recommend this to anyone who is considering buying it.
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