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Album Review

In Europe, where copyrights on recordings extend for only 50 years, all discs cut before 1952 were in the public domain as of January 1, 2002, meaning that anyone who wanted could press up a CD mastered from old records without getting permission or paying a licensing fee to the labels that issued them originally (and that continued to claim copyright in other territories including the U.S.). Reissue labels such as Britain's Flare Records keep a close watch on the calendar, and they seem to have realized that Eddie Fisher, who began recording as a solo artist in 1949, by now had enough tracks out of copyright to justify a CD such as I Heard a Song, which contains 25 songs made for RCA Victor Records and its Bluebird Records subsidiary, 1949-1951. Fisher first hit with "Thinking of You," which reached the Top Five in the fall of 1950, and he really hit his stride a year later, starting with his next Top Ten, "Turn Back the Hands of Time." This album is able to include only the early part of his commercial peak, also featuring the hits "Any Time," "Trust in Me," and "Forgive Me," so that it is a mixture of some of his more commercial sides and some inferior tracks, such as those scraped together for his debut LP, Eddie Fisher Sings, and genre experiments like the country-tinged "Foolish Tears," when RCA was looking for a way to sell a young, unknown Fisher. The CD includes practically no annotations (and what there are contain errors), and the tracks are sequenced randomly. But much of this material was long out of print as of 2002, making its appearance on disc welcome to Fisher fans.


Born: 10 August 1928 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Eddie Fisher ranked behind only Patti Page and Perry Como as the most successful pop singles artist of the first half of the 1950s, placing 35 songs in the Billboard charts between 1950 and 1954, including 22 Top Ten hits, among them seven gold records, four of which hit number one. Fisher was part of a new generation of male singers who eschewed the intimate crooning style of Como, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra in favor of a more bravura approach that sometimes recalled Al Jolson. At the height...
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I Heard a Song - 25 Original Recordings, Eddie Fisher
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