Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Black Coffee and Other Delights: The Decca Anthology
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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Worth 10 Stars
Kim K. | Bayonne, New Jersey | 04/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Calling all Peggy Lee fans-your collection is incomplete without this 2-cd set! Peggy always had a knack for choosing(as well as occasionally writing)great material for her albums and this Decca collection is among her best works. The liner notes alone are worth the price, detailing Peggy's background as well as her musical career up to that point. Her golden good looks & sultry voice were among the best of the many female singers of the day and seeing her perform Live was always a treat. This anthology is a definite must-have and highly recommended."
The Decca years
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 01/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For most of her career, Peggy recorded for Capitol but there was a five-year spell during which Peggy recorded for Decca because Peggy had a major disagreement with Capitol (over the song Lover, which Capitol didn't want her to record) and switched labels in 1952 although she switched back in 1957. Thus, this compilation focuses on Peggy's recordings between 1952 and 1956.
Peggy's career on Decca began with Lover, originally written as a waltz but re-arranged a dramatic up-tempo song. Upon hearing it, composer Richard Rodgers expressed his displeasure at the arrangement. Nevertheless, it got Peggy's Decca career off to a great start, making the top three in the American charts.
Despite this start, Peggy's years on Decca were not very successful on the singles charts. Nevertheless, Peggy recorded a lot of great music during those years including the albums Black coffee, Pete Kelly's blues, Sea shells and Dream Street. The title track of her first Decca album (Black coffee, a melancholy ballad about loneliness) is now regarded as one of Peggy's most memorable recordings (hence its use as the title of this compilation) although it was never released as a single. It is yet another reminder that singles charts, however useful or interesting, do not tell the whole story.
You will surely recognize Love letters, which Peggy recorded several years before Ketty Lester made the song much popular in the sixties. Peggy's version of this 1940's song is more intimately romantic than most other versions I've heard Of course, it is just one of many classic covers that Peggy recorded for Decca and they are always among the best versions of those songs.
Peggy rarely recorded duets but you can find one here as Bing Crosby joins Peggy on Watermelon weather. Hearing this, one wonders why Peggy didn't record a lot more duets - this one is brilliant.
Apart from the songs already mentioned, this compilation contains many outstanding examples of Peggy's artistry. Many of the songs are ballads at which Peggy excels though there are several brilliant mid-tempo and up-tempo songs to prove Peggy's versatility.
At the time I bought this, it was easily the strongest collection of Peggy's material then available. It is now apparently out of print but new Peggy Lee compilations are released at regular intervals so most of these tracks (and some Decca tracks omitted from this collection, many of which are equally brilliant) are available elsewhere. Nevertheless, if you find a copy of this collection, it is well worth picking up. Apart from the great music, the booklet is also excellent."
Misleadingly titled Collection
Helmut Schwarzer | Newbury, NH | 12/03/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"By general consensus, the all around best album Peggy Lee ever made, was the LP entitled "Black Coffee". The folks at Decca of course know it and that's why they've attached those two words to this collection. I bought it thinking to replace my LP and getting all the "other delights" into the bargain. However, corporate deception is alive and well. Of the original LP's 12 tracks (all marvels), only 4 are included here. A few more (mainly from the two albums "Dream Street" and "Mr. Kelly's") are also top drawer, but the rest, most of the first CD in fact, is forgettable-to-horrible.
If you want her best album complete, together with one of her best ("Sea Shells") on one CD, see Amazon's listing for it. But give this one a pass."