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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning collection of nostalgia
Each time I hear a recording of Helen Shapiro I am taken back to when I heard it 50 or so years ago. It is like a time warp. I remember distinct details of where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing at the time as if I was there at that moment. This recording is a brilliant nostalgia trip for me.

Helen's phenomenal rise was also her downfall as her...
Published on 28 Mar 2011 by Eunice

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why MONO??
The downside is that all the major hits are mono, disappointing when you consider that most of these were originally recorded in stereo and featured in compilation albums released on records in the 1970's. For this to be the ''Ultimate'' collection, EMI should have gone out of their way to ensure that the quality of each track was as good as it could get - using 1st...
Published on 4 Aug 2011 by Mr. David John Cole


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning collection of nostalgia, 28 Mar 2011
By 
Eunice "book lover" (Lake Mary, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
Each time I hear a recording of Helen Shapiro I am taken back to when I heard it 50 or so years ago. It is like a time warp. I remember distinct details of where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing at the time as if I was there at that moment. This recording is a brilliant nostalgia trip for me.

Helen's phenomenal rise was also her downfall as her audience grew up. Everything about her was iconic, her beehive hairdo, crinoline dresses with cinched waists. Although very age appropriate, like leg warmers and blossom hats, within a year she was "so last year". In my opinion she was also a victim of very bad management and arrangements. Unable to make her own career decisions due to her youth, she was exploited and milked for all they could get by people who did not seem to understand her phenomenal and unique talent and could not see further than the current pop scene. Rather than being carefully nurtured for a lifetime as a sultry torch, blues and ballad singer, she was recording virtually identical bouncy pop rock with a strong beat and yea, yea, yea, backing group. Fortunately her crystal clear diction overrode the backing because you could hear and still remember every word.

Many of her cover versions were better than the hits with which other long gone singers enjoyed success. Just listen to "Will You Still Love me Tomorrow?" and "The End of the World." I would have preferred her version of "Beyond the Sea (La Mer)" if it had been sung more slowly, evoking waves breaking on the shore as the singer wistfully remembers a love beyond the sea, rather than paced with a rat-a-tat beat like a marching band. Even more so if it had been sung in French. Just because Bobby Darin sang it to a strong beat doesn't mean everyone has to. Listen to Charles Trenet's original recording for comparison. One of the loveliest songs ever and one that brings tears to the eyes; although; I doubt that Bobby Darin's version made anyone weep other than with despair.

Helen would have been wonderful with the types of songs popularized by Patsy Cline, Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdink: the slow heartbreaking torch numbers, but this was not to be. She never caught on in the US because she was given the same pop drivel to belt out as hundreds of other singers were doing, rather than focusing on her unique sound. Her brief fall from top of the charts may have been an advantage in the end as she diversified into theatre and had a 50 year career. We should be thankful that we now have this recording to cherish.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something Wonderful - Maybe..., 8 April 2011
By 
Mr. Paul Johnston "miseryguts" (Dunfermline, Fife) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
While there's no denying the wonder of Helen's voice even as a fan I'm a little disappointed by this collection. Musically it would get five stars but the booklet, such that it is, is woefully inadequate. EMI could take lessons from Ace, RPM and Cherry Red on how to put a package together. As a DJ I like to impart knowledge on the tracks, especially the rarities of CD3, but there's nothing to say where these gems come from, bar the minimal writing credits. Helen's music deserves better than this. The little information contained within would seem to suggest that this package may have appeared previously in 2003.

Worth it for CD one alone. CD3 is good too but CD2 is mostly filler covers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More or less complete, 24 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
The booklet advertises "unseen photographs" which is inaccurate-all the pics (shown as thumbprints) are not only known of but the one of her sat on the steps has been cut off.If this had been on Bear Family you would have got a 50 page book.
I don't know about "mismanagement"-EMI DID send her to Nashville where she was able to claim making the original version of Its My Party but the singles they lifted off it were not good enough-the songs after all were all Nashville rejects.It was also a strange choice to issue a downer song like Woe Is Me when EMI had junked the song Misery (which says the same thing) so in spite of her solid Beatles connections she was prevented from having the first Beatles cover.
However her management got it right with the idea of her recording American flops rather than a straight cover of a hit so she had the only version of the Ginny Arnell song Tell me What He Said and the same with Babs Tino's Keep away from other girls.
All her singles were issued in the States on about 8 different labels including Capitol but there's no answer to why she never climbed any higher than the bottom rung after appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show (which should have made some difference)
As for her original hits by U K writers they stand as authentic sounding high school pop-clearly her record company had some idea just how high school worked in the States.
The color photo as the sleeve is one of the finest I've seen and should have been shown inside the booklet full length as well as some stills from the movies she was in
The music though is fine-all the singles in chronological order less the B side and the entire Helen In Nashville on Disc 3
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Understated Helen Shapiro, 16 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
This is a fabulous collection of many of the tracks that Helen recorded whilst signed to Columbia, and a 3 CD collection for this price is the best value around. Helen's talent is indisputable and the depth and maturity of her voice and her interpretation of the lyrics at such tender years is a joy to behold. Bear in mind also that in the 60's when most of these recordings were made you could not hide behind the voice enhancing technologies which make most of todays singers sound good. Here is one of the best voices ever to come out of the UK, and sadly due to misguided management Helen never achieved the adulation and accolades she so richly deserved.
Do yourself a big favour get this CD you will not be disappointed. Happy listening
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Helen Shapiro, 5 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
I bought this CD for my wife and she absolutely loves it, when I bought it I thought it was just one CD, but when it arrived I discovered that it wasn't just one, but three CD's. I would recommend it to anyone because it is real value for money and also the music quality is absolutely ace.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this album, 3 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
just recieved this boxed set and loved it. She has a marvalous voice and I very much liked her cover of other peoples hits. excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helen Shapiro - The EMI Years., 15 Oct 2011
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This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
This 3 CD collection is very good value, packed with many familiar hits from the early 60's,many jazz standards and numerous cover versions of very popular songs from the 60's era.
I can still remember being at school when Helen's record of..'Don't Treat Me Like A Child' came out and all the school kids of that era were singing this song.
Helen Shapiro had a great singing voice, with great stage presence, but sadly was very badly managed. I still cannot think why she did not do a Lennon and McCartney song, or at least ask them to write a few for her. Both The Beatles and Helen Shapiro were on the EMI label in the sixties. Note Petula Clark had massive hits in France with French cover versions of Beatle songs.
I think if Helen Shapiro had been discovered in America...she would have had a very different career.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous, 23 Sep 2011
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This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
This album beats all others of Helen Shapiro.It covers all her hits ,non hits,other peoples hits and then rarities including some of her fantastic jazz recordings .At this price for a 2011 release you would be hard pressed to get better value anywhere. Highly recommended and a joy to listen to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection, 13 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
This is a really excellent three disc c.d. of Helen Shapiro's EMI years. There are all the early hits from 1961 - "Don't Treat Me Like A Child" (a song about a mild early teen rebellion although most British teens didn't get to rebel as they left school at the age of 15 or 16), "You Don't Know" (about a secret and unrequited love), "Walkin' Back To Happiness", "Tell Me What He Said", "Let's Talk About Love", and "Little Miss Lonely". And by the end of 1963 that really was it as far as hit records were concerned. Thre were some international hits especially in the old commonwealth countries such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia as well as in parts of Europe and "Walking Back To Happiness" did manage to scrape into the U.S. Billboard chart at 100. So why did it all go wrong? There are various reasons given. Firstly, the well known quote by Helen herself "I'm happy singing pop now but one of these days I'd like to make a living singing jazz, blues, and that kind of music". Really, teenagers do not sing the blues. Then there was the appearance on "Sunday Night at the London Palladium" where she sang standards. But, I believe the real reason for her demise was the rise of the Beatles and all that came with it. Helen suddenly looked dated and passe. she needed to re-invent herself and adapt to change as quickly as possible. But, she didn't and infact kept releasing recordings simular to her early hits. Helen was often compaired to the American singer Brenda Lee. But all they really had in common was their age (and they both did tour with the Beatles). Brenda Lee was a country and western crossover. When her pop hits dried up she moved easily back on to the country and western U.S. circuit. Helen turned to "variety" which was on the wane in the U.K. and jazz which had only a minority public interest. She probably should have used Dusty Springfield as the model. Dusty went from being a member of the Lana Sisters pop vocal group to the country and western Springfields to pop vocalist to rhythm and blues singer to pop diva. So it comes down to bad management and Helen's misguided faith in Norrie Paramour (she needed a manager more like Brian Epstein). Back to this c.d. There are some great covers that Helen does brilliantly - Jane Morgan's "The Day The Rains Came", Doris Day's "Move Over Darling", Timi Yuro's "The End Of The World", Mary Wells' "My Guy", Leslie Gore's "It's My Party" etc. Helen's version of "Beyond The Sea (La Mer) is just exquisite. This c.d. is a great buy.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 years since..., 12 Jan 2011
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This review is from: The Ultimate Helen Shapiro (The Emi Years) (Audio CD)
The wonderful Helen Shapiro 50 years later: In 1961 Ms. Shapiro took Britain by storm with "Don't Treat Me Like A Child" - "Walkin' Back to Happiness" - and "You Don't Know" and here she's back with The Ultimate Helen Shapiro 3 CD including some of her most beautiful ballads such as "Who is She?" and "Here in your Arms". This as A MUST! And a bargain too!
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