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The Best Of Miss Peggy Lee

The Best Of Miss Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee

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Average customer review:
(82 customer reviews)

Product Description

Best of compilation featuring hit songs 'Fever', 'Big Spender', 'Pass Me By' and many more.

Track Listing

  1. Waiting For The Train To Come In
  2. I Don't Know Enough About You
  3. It's All Over Now
  4. It's A Good Day
  5. Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go To Sleep)
  6. Golden Earrings
  7. Why Don't You Do Right (Get Me Some Money Too)
  8. Manana (Is Soon Enough For Me)
  9. Riders In The Sky (A Cowboy Legend)
  10. Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe
  11. Fever
  12. Alright, Okay, You Win
  13. I'm A Woman
  14. Pass Me By
  15. Big Spender
  16. Is That All There Is?

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #41083 in Music
  • Model: 2126116
  • Published on: 1998-10-20
  • Released on: 1998-10-20
  • Rating: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .47" h x 5.59" w x 4.88" l, .21 pounds

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5The Best Peggy Lee Capitol CD.
By johnf
Most Americans got their first glimpse of Peggy Lee in late 1943 when she appeared with Benny Goodman's Band unbilled, glowing in a white beaded dress and upswept hair, singing the bluesy Why Don't You Do Right a #4 hit from earlier that year (credited only to the Benny Goodman Band). That was near the end of her time with Goodman. Within two years her Waitin' For the Train to Come In (bringing the troops back home in '45) would hit #4 as her first of many solo hits at Capitol Records. This young woman seemed to be a consummate pro though she had come from a background living in small North Dakota towns like Jamestown, Valley City and Wimbledon. How was this possible?

Though she seemed to be stepping out on stage for the first time, she had a long history of singing behind her. Friends and neighbors recalled her always singing whether at home or in the Wimbledon High School glee club. Even in those years, at age sixteen she got special permission to sing with "Doc" Haines college dance band on weekends. from then on it was a long succession of hotel dining room engagements and singing on local radio, at first in Valley City but eventually at WDAY in Fargo where program director Ken Kennedy named her "Peggy Lee" (Norma Engstrom just didn't do justice to her). She sang in college hangout coffee shops, with local bands and even as "Freckle Faced Gertie" in a local travelling barn dance show. A stint with Will Osborne's orchestra and two trips to L.A. led to her singing at the Doll House, a Palm Springs nightclub popular with celebrities. There she was discovered by members of the wealthy Mandell family who set her up a featured singer in the Buttery Room, the classy, upscale restaurant/club in their Ambassador West hotel in Chicago. And that's where Benny Goodman found her, tipped off by his fiancee just when he had lost Helen Forrest. Peggy took his offer immediately.

She may have seemed to have come out of nowhere but had learned her trade through all that experience. Of course she had listened to the radio a lot and acknowledged the influences of Billie Holiday, Lee Wiley and Maxine Sullivan. But beyond that, she simply had "it", that magically intuitive ability to sing just about any number in any style. She had the sense of how to sing jazz and blues, something that comes from deep inside and a real surprise considering her North Dakota origins. In the late 40's she began a string of hits that peaked with 1948's Manana, and went on into the 50's with Black Coffee on Decca and a return to Capitol launched by Fever. Fever was her last Top 10 hit, but she went on selling albums through the 50's and 60's topping her career off with a final surprise hit in late 1969 with Is That All There Is. This was quite a career.

So what do you do with a career that spanned decades and spanned musical styles, especially when limited to a single CD and not a box set. Here Capitol chose the most traditional way of compiling a "Best of" anthology and put together a collection of her hit singles plus a couple of significant album cuts. They did an admirable job considering all they had to choose from and the only drawback is that one wishes it was longer. it's best quality is that you get all of Peggy Lee from her first Capitol hit to her last. This can be enlightening to fans who only really know her work from Fever onward. You can actually hear her style develop from a clear-voiced light soprano band singer to sultry voiced jazz singer.

The whole string of hits from 1945 to Manana in 1948 is here excepting I'll Dance At Your Wedding, These include the gypsy-melody based Golden Earrings; and the Italian Chi Baba Chi Baba, with which she had the second biggest hit after Perry Como. The same would happen again with 1949's Bali Hai). Most of these tracks from her hit single years are with the band conducted by her first husband Dave Barbour, whose guitar is often featured prominently in the arrangements. Together they wrote I Don't Know Enough About You and It's a Good Day. The collection skips the long string of mid-sized hits after Manana, mostly Latin-flavored or novelty songs, and picks up with her surprise hit of Riders In the Sky, a #2 hit only slightly under Vaughn Monroe's #1. This is a strictly Capitol Collection so there's no Decca songs here (Lover, Black Coffee) or movie songs like Johnny Guitar or He's a Tramp.

Fever begins her return to Capitol in 1958 and the collection includes other notable 60's songs like I'm a Woman, Pass Me By and Big Spender, all easy listening hits. The two album tracks featured are both significant. Why Don't You Do Right was her biggest hit with Goodman and the one from Stage Door Canteen; Here we get the 1947 Capitol recording of the song, not the 1943 Goodman which was on Columbia. Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe is from her first album after her return to Capitol, The Man I Love. This was a special album overseen by Frank Sinatra who made it into a concept album like his own. It was scored with lush strings by Sinatra favorite Nelson Riddle with the orchestra conducted by Sinatra himself. It has always been considered one of her best albums, and on this track she sounds as sweet as Doris Day.

This is as good an album you will find of Peggy Lee's Capitol hits without getting into a boxed set. One thing for sure and an important point, is that these are all from the original masters of the original singles. With vintage material you have to notice the source material because these artists have many radio transcriptions and live performance recordings of their hits which can be found on other CD's.This is an EMI disc and EMI owned Capitol after Johnny Mercer sold it. It was remastered in 2004 and sounds great. In 2012 Universal bought EMI and they have owned Decca for a long time now. They could, if they wanted to, put out a Peggy Lee Hits collection with both her Capitol and Decca songs. But i wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it as CD's don't sell as they once did. You can always buy a Best of Lee's Decca years CD or just buy the Black Coffee CD (highly recommended) and get Lover as an Amazon download.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5WOW!!!!!!!!! Peggy Lee at her BEST!!!!!!!!!!!
By Jimmerz48
This is the best "I feel" Peggy Lee produced, beginning in July 30, 1945 & winding up in January 29, 1969. This CD includes one of her Trademark Cuts of Fever, which was released on May 19, 1958, in recording that song they used only a Bass Fiddle, a pair of Bongo Drums, and Peggy's finger snaps, in my own personal musical taste for a 9 year old boy "at the time" it was the sexiest thing ever played on the radio, and now at the age of "almost 68" I haven't changed my mind and don't intend to. She appeared "Once" on the Ed Sullivan Show where she did Fever, and just about drove the men in the audience wild, which is indelibly etched into my mind forever. Awesome Artist, Awesome Talent that lives on today in the minds of men, and 9 year old boys too.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5Subjective list of 'best of' from Capitol
By Mike Tarrani
I am not going to presume to claim that these are the absolute best from Lee's Capitol years, but I think we can all agree that the selection is pretty solid. The sixteen tracks on this album are from a much more extensive compilation titled Miss Peggy Lee.

Listen to the sound samples on the MP3 version's page at The Best Of Miss Peggy Lee to get a feel for the music. The recording quality to my ears is top notch considering the periods covered. The song selection, though subjective, is probably what I would have selected from the larger compilation, but that only reflects my personal taste.

This is a fast forward retrospective of some of the gems Lee recorded between 1945 and 1968. There are some gaps in the decades, which span that period, but the sequence of tracks is chronological.

For the 1940s tracks, which begin about the time Lee left Benny Goodman's band, are two tracks are from 1945, followed by two from 1046, three from 1947 and a single track from 1949. I do not know what happened to 1948.

The tracks skip 1950 through 1956, which as another reviewer pointed out is because Lee was with Decca during those years. 1957 is represented by a single track (Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe) and 1958 is graced by one of her iconic tracks, Fever, and a Basie cover titled Alright, OK, You Win.

Wrapping up the compilation are four tracks from the 1960s culminating with her 1969 hit, Is That All There Is? If you are a musician that particular track is well worth studying because the arrangement aligns wonderfully with the story line. The basic instruments are a bass and banjo, filled in with strings, and a fuller and richer ensemble at various points. I especially love the 'circus' part. But her arrangement for Fever is as masterful with just sparse drumming, bass and finger snaps. She had a lot of control over many of the arrangements, especially in the mid-50s forward, so this album is more than some catchy tunes - it's evidence of her genius as an artist and arranger.

I mentioned above that these would be the same tunes I would have selected. However, there are gems that would have been equally valid had they been included in lieu of some of my favorites. I can only say that if someone asks me why Peggy Lee mattered, this is the album I would play for them. And matter she did.

The tracks and their years are included in a comment to this review below. Use that information and the sound samples to determine if this compilation meets your expectations. Do note some of the gaps, but also note the song titles.

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