Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
White Sox Pink Lipstick & Stupid Cupid
Genres: Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
Connie Francis-a voice like no others!
Dennis Christensen | Salt Lake City, Utah | 03/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This fantastic 5cd set from Bear Family collects all of Connies 1950s recordings, all of her single releases plus all of her album releases, and material she choose not to release are included here. Connie was in her prime, and her voice is one-of-a-kind! The emotion she puts in her recordings tugs at your heartstrings. Also included is a beautiful book that cronicules Connies career during the 50s. This is an absolute must-have for every true Conne Francis fan!"
The incomplete complete Connie Francis? discography
Tadeusz Zdrojewski | Warszawa (Warsaw) Poland | 05/10/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The result of Connie Francis' phenomenon and permanent shortage of her CDs on the market is that sometimes those more voluminous than one-CD editions are met by her fans with enthusiasm, and this enthusiasm often blinds their eyes to the imperfections of these editions. Box-sets "White sox, pink lipstick and ... stupid cupid" and "Kissin', twistin', goin' where the boys are" were issued by Bear Family not for average music fans (which are usually satisfied with one of "The Best" editions) but for more demanding listeners, let's say COLLECTORS. Addressed to them, they have been packed in huge, old-fashion, looking like special LPs edition boxes. But from the collector's point of view, there are some details I would like to turn attention at, because one may expect that such expensive box-sets are perfect. But they are certainly not!
1. The sub-titles "In the 1950s" and "The early 1960s" suggest that we will find here the complete recordings from these periods. But we won't. Connie's Italian, Spanish, Jewish, Christmas and songs for children were (with premeditation?) omitted in this collection. Thanks God, Collectables label has just issued "Italian Favorites/More Italian Favorites" (2 LPs on 1 CD); you can just simply attach it to the Bear Family incomplete collection.
2. The books you'll find in both sets contain Connie's MGM discography (in chronological order). The discography attached to "White sox..." seems to be complete, it lists also titles not included on the discs. But discography from "Kissin', twistin'..." refers only to the recordings placed on the discs, therefore is incomplete. Where are, for example, recordings from May 1960 (Abbey Road, England), mentioned in the text?
3. The songs which were printed on the discs in chronological order create a mess. Songs of the corresponding MGM vinyl LP origin were usually spread between two discs, e.g. MY THANKS TO YOU between discs 3 and 4, COUNTRY AND WESTERN GOLDEN HITS between discs 4 and 5 ("White sox..."), SONGS TO A SWINGING BAND between discs 1 and 2, FOLK SONG FAVORITES between discs 2 and 3, IRISH FAVORITES between discs 3 and 4 ("Kissin', Twistin'...), etc. Thus, if you don't have an easily programmable 5-CD changer better make your own compilations!
4. The recordings are not of equal quality - most of them are OK but some are poor (especially rare, unpublished tracks, alternates, and archival tracks 25-29/CD1 from "White sox..."). Many of them sound like recorded in tinned bucket and not in a studio. The metallic coating due to the digitalization of the analog material has not been avoided. Their main disadvantage is a lack of low frequencies, so the vocal (distorted in some early recordings) stings your ears unpleasantly. Thus, the digital mastering work is not fully acceptable. The same songs sound much better on discs by Polygram, where are warmer, more "analog". Also, the dynamic range and output level of recordings is usually too low and varies from song to song! 5. Some alternate, unpublished recordings are very interesting and even better than "originals" (e.g. Hawaiian-flavored version of "No one" or "Valentino"- double vocal). But some are poor and not worth mentioning (e.g. "Second hand love" - double vocal or "White cliffs of Dover"-alt.). More sensitive listeners may not withstand repeated five times "My heart has a mind of its own" or three times "It's time to say goodnight". Ready to believe in the last title they may fall asleep!
6. The artwork attached to CD cases (identical in both boxes) is very poor - one leaf of white paper with b&w photos only, is not enough in such an expensive and prestigious edition. Also the quality of the photos in both books is low, compare them with the ones from the book attached to "Souvenirs" ! The discs do not have the box title on the covers (only the artist's name and disc number), so when taken out from the boxes they are not easily recognizable. To make it easier (???) Bear Family applied the following key: discs from the red box-set ("White sox...") are equipped with photos placed on a pink background and have blue inscriptions, while the discs from blue box-set ("Kissin', twistin'...") are equipped with photos placed on blue background with pink inscriptions. How clever!
7. Some discs are filled up to the limits of their capacity (78-79 minutes). What for? In some cases this may cause the technical problems with the playback, especially when the edge of the metal layer is not perfect. This happened in the case of disc no. 4 ("Kissin', twistin...") which is 79+ min. None of my players was able to read the last track without skipping and pausing. Shifting last song(s) to the disc no. 5 (which is only 71 min.) could avoid such problems.
8. The sets reviewed right here seem to be an example of unfinished work. It is hard to believe that since 1996 Bear Family has been unable to complete this series issuing "The mid 1960s" and "The late 1960s" collections. Instead, Bear Family cuts its cake into pieces and sells them under different titles, e.g. "Connie rocks". What will be next, "Connie twists"? Bear Family, it's the highest time to wake-up! The spring is all around!
Thus, if you are not a 200% Connie's fan, you are not ready to listen to alternates and you prefer listening to the songs not interrupted after false starts or introduced with session chit-chats, and you would like to listen to recordings of equal, high quality - you'd better buy "Souvenirs" (singles collection covering entire period of Connie's MGM activity, 118 songs on 4 CDs, less space-consuming box-set with book, all at incomparably lower price). But make sure you won't regret the absence of Irish songs, folk favorites, screen hits as well as many other rare recordings (e.g. "Too young", "Cry", "Auld Lang Syne", "My love"- the English version of "La Paloma" or "I'm so alone" better known as "Que sola estoy"). Bear Family boxes are currently the only source of these cuts!Summarizing, I can't rate these boxes as high as my predecessors. Comparing the ratio of contents/price I found it much higher for "Souvenirs". So three stars only, just enough to encourage Bear Family for the better work!"
Nice 50's Pop!
Martin 13 | Slovenia | 06/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Connie Francis is one of the best Fifties Pop products! Her voice was fabulous, so she could sing everything from , Country, Rock 'n' Roll, Teen Ballads to Traditional Pop.
On these five CD set you'll find everything she recorded in fifties. Only disc four is Rock 'n' Roll, mostly covers which are sometimes better than originals. Nice booklet, too!"