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The Collection

Billie Holiday

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Album Review

For anyone who missed any of the three original Billie Holiday Collections on Legacy, this box, which contains 54 cuts on three discs covering the years 1935 through 1939, compiles those three volumes handily. Many hits from the singer's prime are here — even though the cover photo isn't necessarily representative. The only problem is that, soon after this was issued, Sony released a fourth volume in the series covering the end of 1939 up to the beginning of 1944, and on it were some of her greatest sides, including "Gloomy Sunday," "God Bless the Child," and "Body and Soul." Still, her original versions of tunes such as "Summertime," "Swing Brother, Swing," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Night and Day," and "I Can't Get Started" are all here along with dozens more. For the casual listener, one who came to Billie Holiday's music via the records of her many admirers, this might be a good investment because of its budget price; yet, more than likely, a single disc best-of on Columbia might better serve your needs until you're ready for an undertaking like this one.

Customer Reviews

Must have Billie Holiday Collection

Great classic tracks with band led by brilliant pianist Teddy Wilson.


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

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