Jeff Kilpatrick (Founder, the Phila | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. | 04/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Get yourself a nice glass of scotch and ice. Turn off all the lights. Prop yourself up at the head of your bed, with the pillows stacked on your lap. Then put this disc in your machine, and gently rock in the darkness. This collection is magic. These two discs capture the Lady's voice at it's peak of charming humanity. Billie's voice is a bittersweet puzzle. It sometimes stretches so brittle and thin that you feel you could almost poke holes in the sound of it. But so strong and powerful that it laid my blue collar beast to rest at the end of a hard day. Oh yes, she knows the blues. There is nothing more beautiful, more sexy, then a woman who feels your pain. This collection is a testament to a beautiful woman who lived a hard life. Her phrasing is impeccable, and brilliantly set against talented musicians like Charlie Shavers and the lot. Buy this set. It weighs a ton in inspiration. You're gonna fall in love with Billie Holiday, just like I did."
The Magnificent Billie!!!
Jeff Kilpatrick (Founder, the Phila | 01/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As perfect a collection of music as one can imagine, this double CD showcases perhaps the finest singer we've ever had.Stupendous and not to be missed!"
AVOID USED 'MARKETPLACE' COPIES - MAY INSTALL A ROOTKIT VIRU
Greenlight | Vermont | 07/20/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Hi Billie fans,
It's absolutely infuriating that Sony, when it did the Great American Songbook reissue for Billie Holiday, implanted an instant-install rootkit copy protection scheme. The same goes for the Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra Great American Songbook CDs.
While the copy supposedly for sale on Amazon is Polygram, and Amazon returned all its rootkit-implanted CDs to Sony, it is not 100% guaranteed that you will be getting the early Polygram issue from a Marketplace seller -- a seller may supply you with a used Sony-made/rootkit copy, without being aware of the problem. Sony made these rootkit CDs between 2004 and 2005. If you have or buy a CD with bar code number 827969429426, then you have a CD with a rootkit problem.
This Sony rootkit (The XCP rootkit) lodges itself in your Windows operating system if you so much as put the CD in your computer's drive, sends info to Sony, affects your performance, and has been exploited by hackers since 2004. Rootkits are notoriously difficult to detect and dislodge, and you have two options: Use the reputable company F-Secure's BlackLight rootkit detector, which is a free tool on their website, or use the Sony-provided removal tool, which you can get from the Sony site. Per Amazon's policy, I can't give you a link, but you can find the page by Googling "Sony XCP."
In 2005, Sony also stated that it would allow owners to swap these CDs for new non-XCP copies -- but only if you have the precise bar code above. Still, there is no information on how to do so. My hunch is that you use the Tech Support link at the Sony XCP site to email Sony, and they'll provide the Return to Manufacturer details."
Leicester Dedlock | Ames, IA United States | 07/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album contains many excellent songs and Billie does an impressive job as usual. She is one of the few people whose voice is both relaxing and powerful. Whether you want to treat it as background music on a rainy day or if you listen very attentively, she'll meet your needs. In this day and age, it's rare to see such a talented vocalist since vocal talent has become a seemingly unnecessary ingredient for success. That's why many people seek out classic singers like Holiday. However, most of these recordings are from the late 1950's which wasn't exactly her peak vocal-wise (though her vocals are still good), but any Billie Holiday fan should enjoy it. If you're new to Holiday, I'd recommend starting with either the "The Quintessential Billie Holiday" albums (if you can find them - the early volumes are the best, by the way) or better yet, "The Commodore Master Takes". However, this is still a nice collection.
Warning: If you have any intent on using this CD on a computer, get a new copy. Older copies of this album released by Sony contain a rootkit which will make your computer vulnerable to hackers and viruses."