Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Broadway & Vocalists
Similarly Requested CDs
Aretha's 1998 Grammy performance of Nessun Dorma?
S. Bove | Mill Valley, CA | 06/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Over the weekend I heard what was apparently a pre-release copy of this CD while enjoying an afternoon beer in a neighborhood bar in Santa Monica. Aretha's live performance of Nessun Dorma really caught my ear...such spontainaity and passion in her singing. What was this?! Aretha singing Puccini...and a tenor aria at that?! The bartender was busy and couldn't open the CD player to show me the disk, so I went home, jumped on the Internet and this is what I found: "at the 40th annual Grammy awards telecast in February, Aretha stepped across a world of musical boundaries with her performance of "Nessun Dorma," the heroic aria from Puccini's final opera. "Turandot." Aretha agreed at the last minute to step in for ailing tenor Luciano Pavarotti and "stole the Grammy awards show," wrote Steve Jones in USA Today. "The Queen of Soul," Jones noted, "sang the unknown Prince's signature number in Pavarotti's key (three steps lower than her own) with a 72-piece orchestra after a mere eight minutes of preparation backstage." Aretha also performed this aria a number of other times during 98/99 so until I get this CD I can't be sure this is the Grammy performance, but by the sound of the orchestra backing her in the recording, the live audience, and the "go-for-it" quality of the singing, I'm fairly certian this is it...a priceless gem that proves once again: nothing beats genius blended with a spontaineous magical moment!"
From Billie, Lena and Judy to Patti, Whitney and Aretha
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 07/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Clearly there are two standards for evaluating a hits collection such as "Ultimate Divas," which proclaims that it has assembled the greatest female vocalists of our time (The first caveat is that you have to have been around for about a half-century for Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and Judy Garland to be a part of "our" time). The first and most important standard is whether or not these are indeed the greatest female vocalists that you could put together on one album (the second caveat seems to be that the singers are of child bearing age as of 1999, since the wunderkind of the bunch is either Toni Braxton or Mary J. Blige, but I am not looking up dates of birth). This album starts with Billie Holiday and ends with Aretha Franklin, it has Lena, Horne, Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald, you get Tina Turner and Diana Ross, there is Annie Lennox and Toni Braxton, and you have Patti LaBelle and Whitney Houston and that still leaves four more. Who is missing? Well, Barbra Streisand is the obvious voice choice for me; my kids would probably say Mariah Carey and if you are talking women of power there would be Madonna and Janet Jackson. But even if you do not think the talent level grades out at A+ it still has to be a solid A.The other criteria is what the Divas sing on this album. Of the 17 Divas less than half are signing their signature tunes. Getting "yes" votes on the topic would be Billie Holiday's "My Man," Lena Horne's "Stormy Weather," Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow," Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It," Annie Lennox's "Why," Diana Ross's "Touch Me In The Morning," and Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart." This is not to dismiss the rest of the tracks. Ella Fitzerald's "Someone To Watch Over Me" is a personal favorite, and "I Have Nothing" shows off Whitney Houston's voice as well as anything. The rest are fine, but the treat for me is Aretha Franklin's "Nessun Dorma," which I remember from the 1998 Grammy Awards. The Queen of Soul was already scheduled to sing one song and when Luciana Pavarotti bowed out at the last moment she not only agreed to sing another song in his place, she sang his song. If you have ever heard Pavarotti you have probably heard him do this tenor aria from Puccini's "Turandot" because it is his standard encore piece. I thought hearing Franklin do "I Had a Dream" from "Les Miserables" on the 1992 Inaugural show was a treat, but this was just awesome. I would have graded "Ultimate Divas" out at 4.5 overall but I have to round up just because you get this track. For everybody else my best advice is to pay attention to the first criteria and not the second. On this collection you probably have the songs you really like, so picking up this album is your opportunity to example your notion of Diva-ness. Give Britney, Christina and the rest of the youngsters and go for the finely aged voices from the past."
Wonderful grouping of women
Hattie Wheatfield | MO USA | 08/04/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I truly enjoyed this album. The cuts by Ella Fitzgerald and Toni Braxton (who would've thought about the two of them being on a CD together!) were my favorites. I love Judy Garland and the old Billie Holiday cuts also. But, I do wonder, who in the world thought Annie Lennox belonged on this CD? What makes her a Diva? All the other women on the CD at least can sing and carry a tune. Yikes. Almost blasphemous to put her song on a CD with the others. But, overall, a great CD!"