Once again it’s a Japanese album that is featured. This album was not actually ever released in Japan but a version of it was issued in Taiwan.
Titled ‘My Name Is Shirley’ it is a promo on the United Artists label and is a 12 track compilation album. The tracks are a selection from the UK albums ‘I’ve Got A Song For You’ and “And We Were Lovers’. The sleeve is gatefold with a colour photo on the front and a black/white photo on the back. The inside of the sleeve there are liner notes in Japanese and the song lyrics in both Japanese and English. Normally the lyrics of the songs and any liner notes are usually printed on an insert but not in this case. I have no idea why this was never released.
I have seen this album without the obi for sale on eBay recently for around £350.00. I am pleased to say that I did not pay anywhere near that for my copy and mine has the obi. My copy has not been played and the record labels are plain white with only the catalogue number and A & B stamped on them. This is an album I was really pleased to get.
The album was however issued in Taiwan. The sleeve of the album is printed on very thin paper and a polythene protector is attached to it. I’ve seen a few copies of it and the sleeves appear very creased etc. I did manage to get a copy of this album earlier this year as the sleeve was in better condition than any other I’d seen for sale. I haven’t played this album either but it’s the same songs as the Japanese promo above.
Released in Holland on the EMI Columbia label this is a 14 track compilation album. Unfortunately once again there is no date on the sleeve or label for the year it was issued.
This release has the same track listing as the album ‘Golden Hits of Shirley Bassey’ that was issued in the UK. All the tracks are taken from her Columbia recordings. Obviously the big hits are included such as ‘As Long As He Needs Me’, ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’, ‘Reach For The Stars. and ‘What Now My Love’. They also had to include ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’. There are some other lovely recordings too. The front of the sleeve carries a photo of Shirley I have never seen on any other album sleeve and the back features the track listing and a black/white photo.
When the album was initially issued it carried a different photo on the reverse of the sleeve to the one shown above. The photo they used unfortunately was not one of Shirley. Although someone just glancing at the photo may be forgiven in thinking it is Shirley it is in fact someone called Brenda Arnau. The record company must have realised their mistake and and further copies of the album carried the above photo. Below is a scan of the reverse of the original copy of the album I bought.
Ms Arnau appeared in the James Bond Film ‘Live And Let Die’ as a cabaret singer. Sadly she died in 1989 of a brain tumour.
This 2 album compilation set was released on the Pair label in the USA and includes 16 tracks in total.
The set was issued in 1985 and contained 16 tracks, 15 of which are from Shirley’s Columbia recordings and ‘The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face)’ from her United Artists catalogue. Strangely though it was a 2 album set with only 4 tracks on each side of the records whereas most companies would have have released it as a single album. It came in a single album sleeve with what looks like a painting of Shirley on the front and a concert photo on the back. At the time of it’s release quite a number of fans criticised the front of the cover which they did not like. I personally did not dislike it.
It has since been released on CD twice, once with the original cover artwork and secondly with a completely different sleeve photo. It is only a one disc set.
In 1966 Shirley signed to record for United Artists records and that same year her first album on that label was released. In the UK it was titled ‘I’ve Got A Song For You’ but in a number of other countries including America it was titled ‘Shirley Means Bassey’. As far as I know all of them had the same sleeve.
In 1975 United Artists reissued the album in Japan with a completely different sleeve. It has the same 12 tracks in the same order as the original album. The photo on the front is one of my very favourite photos of Shirley. I simply love it. The back of the sleeve carries a concert photo of Shirley wearing the ‘butterfly’ gown.
As I’ve previously stated I really love these Japanese records as the quality is always excellent and they are presented beautifully.
I have no idea if in 1966 United Artists in Japan were planning on releasing the album under the title of ‘On Stage’. I do have a promo UA album with that title with the original sleeve design and photo. It has the same 12 tracks but in a different order. I cannot find out any other details about it or if it was ever released under this title.