I was searching the internet for information regarding a vinyl album by Shirley set to be released next month when I noticed something about a book on a German site. I do not speak or understand German but I could make out it was a book simply called ‘Shirley Bassey’ by Harry Lime.
I started to search and eventually found it on Amazon UK. It stated it was paperback with 82 pages and cost £10.60 which I thought expensive for a small book. They had one copy in stock and so I decided to send for it. It promptly arrived the next day.
Although it is nothing spectacular and there is really nothing new in it I am glad I bought it. There is a short biography and then lists of some television shows. This is followed by awards and achievements, a bibliography and then discography. This takes us up to page 44 and then the rest of the pages are photos in both colour and black/white. Although I still think. it is expensive for what it is I am pleased I got it. Amazon states more copies are on the way.
I have been buying records, CDs etc by Shirley now for longer then I care to remember and I still come across the odd release I’ve never seen before. Recently I came across an album I’d never seen before. I was looking on the German Amazon site and looking at Bassey CDs and vinyl and came across it. They had the one copy for sale from a private seller and so I bought it.
This is a 2 disc set from Italy released on the EMI Columbia label in the ‘Club 21’ series. There is no date for what year it was released in on either the sleeve or the record labels. It is a 24 track compilation set and all the recordings are from her time at Columbia. Included are the songs ‘Goldfinger’, ‘What Now My Love’, ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’ as well as ‘Gone’, ‘Till’ and ‘What Kind Of Fool Am I’. Quite a nice selection altogether.
It’s certainly worth my while keeping my eyes peeled for different LPs. I’ve seen one on a Turkish auction website but unable to work out how to be able to bid on it. Maybe one day I’ll get it!!
This album though is a great addition to my collection.
It’s not very often that there are any CD releases these days. Certainly nothing with new recordings and usually CDs that contain tracks that have been released many times over. Several weeks ago I saw that a 3CD set was to be released on 20th April called ‘Forever’. I noted it was on the label Factory Of Sounds which is based in Holland and pre-ordered it hoping to get it not too long after it’s release. I buy all CDs that are released of Shirley’s and I didn’t take much notice of what tracks would be on it. I did know there would be 75 tracks in all and that it would be a mixture of recordings from the Philips and Columbia labels along with the complete UA album ‘Never, Never, Never’. I then read that there would be 2 tracks that have been taken from TV recordings.
The set arrived this weekend and I am rather pleased with it. Yes there are tracks I could do without – the ‘Café De Paris’ 5 track EP for instance. It has never been an EP I’ve really liked. and usually skip those songs. I do love that they have used the original UK single release of ‘Reach For The Stars’ which in my opinion is far superior to the stereo version they’ve always used on various albums etc. Songs such as ‘Tonight’, ‘Ave Maria’, ‘Far Away’ and ‘My Faith’ are great additions along with ‘Let’s Start All Over Again’ and ‘Above All Others’. The quality of the CDs is excellent and I have to say I’m really pleased with it.
The TV recordings are at the end of CD 3. Track 21 is actually a 2 song medley and the ‘As I Love You’ which has been taken from the 1961 Bing Crosby Christmas Show and was recorded in England. You hear Bing introduce her and then she sings ‘Luck Day’ / ‘I’m Shooting High’ medley followed by ‘As I Love You’. I was familiar with these as I have the show on DVD. Track 22 though is completely new to me. Taken from ‘The Garry Moore Show’ which was aired December 4th 1962 Shirley sings ‘As Long As He Needs Me’. I have never heard of this show before and have not seen any recording or clip of it. This is completely new to me.
Overall I’m really happy with this release and it’s a great addition to my collection. Below is the full track listing of the set.
This 16 track compilation was issued on the Liberty label in Japan in 1981. All of the tracks are from her United Artists recordings but two of them are ‘live’ as the studio recordings of the songs are from her Columbia days.
Although the album is called ‘Greatest Hits’ not all the tracks were hits for her. The big ones are certainly there i.e. ‘Something’, ‘Never, Never, Never’ and ‘For All We Know’ but it also includes such songs as ‘Feelings’ and ‘Send In The Clowns’. ‘Yesterday When I Was Young’ is included as that song was a big hit for her in Japan. The one track that stands out and makes this album special for me is the original UK single release recording of ‘This Is My Life’ in stereo. I hadn’t played vinyl for a while as I had nothing to play them on but I bought a record deck and played this record out of curiosity. I was astounded when I heard the track and have to say the quality is terrific. I’ve always loved that version (it’s similar to the Italian ‘La Vita’ version) and although I had got it on an LP from America I feel this is better quality.
The photo on the front of the album is taken from the session for the UA album ‘The Magic Is You’. There are three colour concert photos on the back which may have been taken at her 1977 Japanese concert.
Below is the track ‘This Is My Life’ which I have taken from this album. Hard to believe that this recording is actually 50 years old this year.