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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Peggy Lee

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Album Review

The Peggy Lee number in Universal's 20th Century Masters — The Millennium Collection series of discount-priced compilations provides a good, brief selection of the highlights of the singer's career on Decca Records between 1952 and 1956. Two of her biggest chart hits of the period — "Just One of Those Things," and "Mr. Wonderful" — are all included, along with a couple of other chart singles, "Be Anything (But Be Mine)" and "Let Me Go, Lover." Three songs for which she herself provided lyrics — "San Souci," "The Siamese Cat Song" (from the film The Lady and the Tramp), and "Johnny Guitar" (from the film of the same name) — give a good indication of her songwriting abilities. "Black Coffee" was the title song from her celebrated 1953 album, her first LP project. "Somebody Loves Me" and "He Needs Me" come from her Top Ten album of songs from Pete Kelly's Blues, the film that earned her an Oscar nomination. And the collection concludes with a re-recording of her 1946 hit "I Don't Know Enough About You," another song for which she provided the lyrics. That adds up to 12 songs, which is less than one-tenth of Lee's output at Decca, but given the limitations imposed on an inexpensive compilation, the choice is unassailable. It should be noted, however, that since the album gives no indication on its outside that it covers only a very brief period in the singer's career, a casual fan might be deceived, not realizing that Lee made most of her popular recordings for Capitol and that they are not included here.

Customer Reviews

20th Century Masters...

"Stunning & Unique" Peggy Lee - in a style that belongs only to her - real treasure!

Johnny Guitar

Johnny Guitar is the best song!!!

NOT GOOD ENOUGH

HER BEST SONGS ARE MISSING, GO TO A FLEA MARKET AND GET THE WHOLE ALBUM FOR 2 DOLLARS OR UNDER.

Biography

Born: May 26, 1920 in Jamestown, ND

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Peggy Lee's alluring tone, distinctive delivery, breadth of material, and ability to write many of her own songs made her one of the most captivating artists of the vocal era, from her breakthrough on the Benny Goodman hit "Why Don't You Do Right" to her many solo successes, singles including "Mañana," "Lover" and "Fever" that showed her bewitching vocal power, a balance between sultry swing and impeccable musicianship. Born Norma Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, she suffered the death of her...
Full Bio