"By the time of this album, London was in her late-thirties and while still glamorous, the breathy, come-hither voice that propelled her to stardom in the 1950s was wearing thin. Was she still playing the sultry siren or was her voice feeling the strains of age? This is an uneven outing, but London does a superb Blackbird with only a bass accompaniment. The frenetic Trolley Song and Gotta Move are so-so as they find London overshadowed by a male chorus. But she regains her footing on By Myself and My Baby Just Cares for Me. This is not the disc to buy as your introduction to London. Total time is 37 minutes."
Strange things are happening
cary o'dell | 04/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was always a strange album. It's hard to envision what is going on from what is heard. Why and who is this vocal group that suddenly breaks out in song with the likes of "The Trolley Song" at inappopriate moments (a phenomenon which found itself as a Saturday Night Live skit staple years later). Why does Julie sound oh, about five miles from the audience? Why does the song selection and order make no sense? And why does Julie sound like she is trying her darnndest to sound sexy and seductive but there's not the slighest feeling of her feeling sexy or seductive? Actually, she sounds like she'd rather be anywhere else at the moment. Still, this is Julie London--persuasive, intimate, original, and it is the only recording of Julie live (though I always felt parts of this album were tinkered with in the studio and never believed for a moment "Julie At Home" was recorded at her home, unless her home was sound-proofed, the phones never rang and no traffic passed by or planes went overhead). Though a big question mark, this album is intriguing, reveals new facets with each listening and you can't hear an artist like this anymore. There aren't any. Musicians loved her and she kept Liberty Records alive and well for many years. She is much missed."
Julie comes to life
brian pearce | 11/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On her studio albums from the mid to late 60s Julie London's voice sounds a little tired and is not helped by too much of the wrong type of reverb. Here in concert, however, she sparkles. The band and the backing vocalists are tight and bright and Julie's understanding of each song and joy of singing are apparent. I won't pretend she is in the same league as Billie Holiday, but like Billie, Julie's appeal is not the quality of her voice but the feeling, phrasing and musicality of her performance. This concert displays all those qualities and, though short for a CD ( 37 minutes ), there is no filler and every second swings. Highly recommended for Julie fans and a great introduction for anyone wondering what all the fuss is about. "
The perfect Julie
cary o'dell | Gaithersburg, Maryland United States | 01/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm so pleased that this recording has finally made it to CD as the copy I have is a very old bootleg cassette made off of a dusty and scratched copy that I borrowed from the public library.
Contrary to one other reviewer who has posted here, I think this is the perfect introduction to Julie London (but, then again, I might be biased as this was MY introduction to her). Julie's voice always seemed to have been made especially for smoking nightclubs and intimate stages and this recording is exactly that.
Granted, the all-male chorus that pops up on some tracks is jarring and brings to mind way too many cheesy TV variety specials of 1970s and today it's just about impossible to hear anyone's--except Garland's--version of "The Trolley Song" and not immediately recall that Nora Dunn-Jan Hooks skit on "Saturday Night Live." But these aspects are just quibbles as the majority of this disk consists of spot-on selections and wonderful performances with "Bye, Bye Blackbird," "My Baby Just Cares for Me," and "By Myself" being standouts.
For those of us who never got to see Miss London live--and now never will--at least we have this wonderful document so we might, at least a little bit, know what it must have been like.