Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hard to Get: Best of Gisele Mackenzie on Rca
Genres: World Music, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Prime recordings for the RCA subsidiary X and Vik labels that have never appeared on CD, let alone on a 20-cut collection like this one. Includes 'Hard To Get', 'Beyond The Sea' & 'Pepper Hot Baby'. Collectors' Choice M... more »
Prime recordings for the RCA subsidiary X and Vik labels that have never appeared on CD, let alone on a 20-cut collection like this one. Includes 'Hard To Get', 'Beyond The Sea' & 'Pepper Hot Baby'. Collectors' Choice Music. 1996.
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Gisele MacKenzie...at last on CD in the US
James R. Stewar | Near Tucson, Arizona, USA | 06/24/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"50's & 60's TV Favorite, Gisele MacKenzie, has finally been represented on CD in the U.S. "Hard to Get...The Best of Gisele MacKenzie" is a fine collection of the tunes Miss MacKenzie cut for RCA and its numberous subdivisions from the mid to late 50's. Always showcased with the BEST arrangers and conductors, Gisele's backup on this disc is represented by Neil Hefti, Richard Maltby, Axel Stordahl, George Siravo, etc. "Hard to Get" remains Gisele's biggest hit to date, and still ranks in the top 200 hits of the rock era, beating out many of the hits by the likes of The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Recorded for RCA's label "X" the song was featured on a TV drama starring Gisele and became an immediate hit. In fact, Gisele is THE only star of the famous radio and TV show "Your Hit Parade" to ever get to sing his/her own charting hit while starring on the show. An impressive record, considering Hit Parade stars have included Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, The Andrews Sisters, etc. The selections on this disc represent a wide variety of Gisele's efforts housed in the RCA vaults. From the blues oriented title tune to the rock oriented "Pepper Hot Baby" and "Two Hearts, Two Kisses" to the dramatic ballad "This I Know," Gisele handles each tune with her engagingly pure contralto voice..and a gift of perfect pitch. Gisele's French-Canadian connection is presented with french language versions of "The River Sein" and "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White." The producer of the CD wisely selected the Living Stereo mixes of tunes like "Learnin' the Blues," "Slowpoke," and "Hey There." The gem of the 20 gems is Gisele's near operatic rendering of "Ebb Tide" with the sweeping strings of Axel Stordahl's orchestra. If you 'met' Gisele via her own TV show, as a star of the very popular "Your Hit Parade," as Jack Benny's fiddling sidekick, in live summer stock shows ("! ;King and I," "Hello Dolly," "Mame," "Unsinkable Molly Brown," etc) or at sellout performances at the best nightclubs, this album captures the magic that is Gisele MacKenzie. Although Gisele has been represented via several CD releases in Japan, this is her complete CD album debute in the United States. Perhaps this will lead to collections of her fabulous recordings with Capitol, Mercury, Everest and the like. Gisele is still active in showbiz and recently sold out a week's worth of shows at Atlantic City's Resorts International. Sit back and enjoy one of the most talented performers to come out of the 50's."
Gisele MacKenzie - One of the BEST!
PaulP | Harrisburg, PA United States | 11/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hats off to Collector's Choice for releasing this Gisele MacKenzie compilation of RCA's VIK and label X material. Now if only Capitol Records and Polygram (Mercury)would follow suit and release Gisele's pre and post RCA material...that would be too cool! As Peggy Lee, Kay Starr, Jo Stafford and Rose Mary Clooney, Gisele defined the genre of jazz oriented pop vocals of the 1950's. This Hard to Get compilation, as great as it is, is only the tip of the ice berg. Gisele's 1957 RCA Christmas LP is awesome. She was and still is a musician's musician!....Master of her craft. The 1962-63 LP on Mercury, Loser's Lullabies is the ultimate...unfortunately, it is not yet on CD however the Japanese and European labels are miles ahead of the USA on great jazz-vocal releases and as all of Gisele's RCA material is available in those countries....we keep hoping for an import release of Loser's Lullabies on Mercury. But for now, this CD is a sight for sore eyes (and ears)!"
Some beautiful performances
Bruce R. Gilson | Wheaton, MD United States | 06/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Usually an album invited "The Best of..." contains a collection of the top charting hits of some particular artist. For Gisele MacKenzie, this is not really practical, as she had only one big hit ("Hard to Get") and a couple of minor charted songs. All of these, and the B-side of her biggest hit, are on here. But the best thing about this collection is the large selection of other songs which were popular in the 50s (and some older ones) done in Gisele's own style, and I would say all beautifully.In some cases (such Nat King Cole's "Answer Me, My Love," Al Hibbler's "Unchained Melody," and above all Percy Faith & Felicia Sanders' "Song from Moulin Rouge") I know and love the originals, but still enjoyed Gisele's rendition. In others, (Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," especially) I don't much care for the original, but thought Gisele's version was much prettier. (She does that one in French, by the way, as does she a few others in this collection, in keeping with her French-Canadian background. Surprisingly, "Beyond the Sea," a song originally in French, she sings mostly in English, with only one chorus in French.)One song she does surprisingly well is Pat Boone's "Two Hearts, Two Kisses (Make One Love)." This song has been the ruination of many traditional pop singers. (Doris Day, my absolute FAVORITE singer, made a terrible version of this song, just about the ONLY thing I've ever heard Doris do that I didn't like!) But Gisele doesn't try to be a rock'n'roll singer on this one, and sings it in her own style, and it works very nicely.All in all, I enjoyed just about every track on this CD."