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The Diva Series: Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

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Album Review

Part of Verve's Diva Series of compilations, this Billie Holiday collection is by no means the definitive account of her career — Columbia's Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday takes that honor. That said, it is still a great introduction to the vocalist's singular and influential style. There is a timely flow to the track listing on most of the Diva Series albums, and this collection is no exception. Included are such landmark recordings as "Don't Explain," "God Bless the Child," and Holiday's haunting signature tune, "Strange Fruit." Longtime Holiday fanatics will most likely already have these recordings, but for newly interested listeners, at over 14 tracks, this competes well with other similar single-disc collections.

Customer Reviews

strange fruit ....

the first political folk song and it's all billie's! also like hearing interpretations of it by nina simone, eddie skuller, jimmy scott

Billie Holiday

This is the best recording I've ever heard of this fabulous woman -- so grateful to have it in my collection!

Strange Fruit

This is one of the best Billie Holiday songs. Amazing, sad, depressing, and once you finally understand the words, it makes you want to cry. Words cannot describe it. OH MY GOSH! I love this song! It is the BEST song EVA!

Biography

Born: April 7, 1915 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

The first popular jazz singer to move audiences with the intense, personal feeling of classic blues, Billie Holiday changed the art of American pop vocals forever. More than a half-century after her death, it's difficult to believe that prior to her emergence, jazz and pop singers were tied to the Tin Pan Alley tradition and rarely personalized their songs; only blues singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey actually gave the impression they had lived through what they were singing. Billie Holiday's...
Full Bio