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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Lady In Satin

Billie Holiday

1958

Buy At Rough Trade
Lady In Satin
Album Summary

Lady in Satin is an album by the jazz singer Billie Holiday released in 1958 on Columbia Records, catalogue CL 1157 in mono and CS 8048 in stereo. It is the penultimate album completed by the singer and last released in her lifetime (her final album, Last Recording, being recorded in March 1959 and released just after her death). The original album was produced by Irving Townsend and engineered by Fred Plaut.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.23

Votes

11454

Genres

  • Jazz

Reviews

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Wed Mar 03 2021
1

Maybe it's the liberal Jewish media. Or the patriarchy. Hell, it could be the lizard people. But, this just isn't my jam. Every song sounds the same to me and it all reminds of Disney princess movies. Or that scene in Clueless when he asks Cher if she likes Billie Holiday, and she says, "I love him". I feel like uncultured swine.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
2

I always see Billie Holiday on people's lists as one of the best singers of all time but I don't hear it (obviously only based on this album) she sounds nice enough but the songs are boring and not her own.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
2

I'm a terrible person - I know "Lady Day" is celebrated as one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. Who am I to argue? Very distinctive, no question. I just really don't properly appreciate vocal jazz at all. Or to be fully honest I don't like it. So my rating is purely subjective (aren't they all?) and if you're inclined to like this genre just ignore me. 3/10 2 stars.

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Fri May 07 2021
5

smooth nice strings "notes of chocolate, black pepper and blueberries"

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Sun Aug 01 2021
3

A l'ouverture du générateur aujourd'hui, mes yeux defilèrent horizontalement sur le nom de l'artiste: Billie Holliday. Un album de country donc, ça faisait quelque temps que nous n'en avions pas eu. Seulement, a l'ecoute, ce fut une catastrophe. Au dela de l'aspect visuel completement absent, les chapeaux de paille ayant été remplacés par des robes élégantes. Ensuite, aucune référence au Texas natal, mais plutot a des amants passés, on est bien loins des standards ayant forgé ce style musical legendaire. Par politesse je ne ferai même pas allusion à la nasalité misérable proposée par Billie. A vite oublier.

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Sun Aug 01 2021
3

Pour comprendre cet album, il est nécessaire d'avoir quelques éléments de contexte. Bien que le film Star Wars : Un Nouvel Espoir ne sortira qu'en 1977, la comédie musicale dont le film est inspiré rencontre en 1958 un succès critique à Broadway. Billie Holiday y incarne le rôle de Maître Yoda par le biais d'une peluche de ventriloque aux traits du personnage vert et donne la réplique à Luke Skywalker alors interprété par Charles de Gaule. Les représentations doivent s'interrompre en 1959 car Billie Holiday décède au mois de juillet et le Général de Gaule voit son temps libre limité par ses travaux de rédaction de ce qui deviendra la constitution de la Cinquième République. George Lucas racheta plus tard les droits du spectacle et connaîtra le succès avec son adaptation sur grand écran.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
3

I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS I LIVE INSIDE YOUR WALLS

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Fri Feb 19 2021
5

She's very good at what she did. The instrumentation is... honest. There's no subtlety here, and there need not be. There's no need to cloak anything in metaphor. These are across-the-plate songs about love and loss of love.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

10 stars!! Billie Holiday is no doubt my favorite voice. Ever since I was a child and her records put me to sleep. Classic album, Lady in Satin is the best thing I’ve heard so far on this album trip!!

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Wed Aug 04 2021
5

Phenomenal. Precursor to Ronstadt's "What's New", beautiful reserved arrangements/accompaniment, the focus always on her voice and the song.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

It is perfect. The orchestration is heavenly and robust, but the singing is so intricate. The OG lady crooner singing standards and making them classics.

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Fri Feb 10 2023
2

Every time I get one of these 50s albums I feel like the biggest, most heartless douchebag for not enjoying any of them at all. All of them feel like listening to one monotonous 40 minute long song and this one is probably the biggest offender so far. I didn't even notice the songs beginning or ending most of the time. It all blended together way too much.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
4

I liked this more than the Ella / Gershwin album. I found the orchestration less interruptive. I understand that her voice was no longer hitting the range it did earlier but it is still mighty fine. So my obvious question: Why were these later orchestration versions of Billie (and Ella) included in the 1001. I would much rather listen to Billie with Oscar Peterson tapping the 88 keys.

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Mon Apr 10 2023
4

Bearing witness to a dying of the light can be a strangely illuminating experience. On the one hand, the knowledge of a generational talent having wasted away her body and, most importantly, her voice when it could have been one of the many vehicles on the road to greener pastures must have been a saddening black cloud to be under. On the other hand, seeing that talent give whatever remained to steer songs from a functional level to the kind of level that inspires awe and admiration as though she weren't guaranteed tomorrow is what reminds those involved why they are in the business of music. Lady in Satin may not have been intended as the last album released in Billie Holiday's lifetime but it's got all the hallmarks of a farewell; a glimpse of a life truly lived through hell and beyond and who could still belt out as though she hadn't lost a step, even if the voice sounded otherwise. It's poetically tragic in a way. The audio story of The End of a Love Affair exemplifies this perfectly, nine minutes of do-overs, orchestral dealings and Billie singing in a capella. This is a fascinating document worthy of time and space. Favorites: I'm a Fool to Want You, For Heaven's Sake, I Get Along Without You Very Well, You've Changed, It's Easy to Remember, But Beautiful, Glad to Be Unhappy, The End of a Love Affair (Mono Take 4 and The Audio Story).

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Wed Apr 10 2024
4

Lady sings - or rather, velvet flows from her voice and wraps around you . A beautiful selection some favorites and some not so much, which makes them jams. Arrangement is sublime. Worth the listen

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Fri Mar 29 2024
3

Sunday morning music, wasn't really hitting on Thursday . Felt a little repetitive but it's still Billie holiday

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Wed Nov 01 2023
2

Beautiful singing in a traditional way. Compared to what I'm used to from modern artists it did drag by somewhat, not helped by the fact the album was over an hour long. The journey was nice in parts but otherwise I was waiting for it to end.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

oh yesss. am i going to listen to a billie holiday album and not give it 5 stars? i dont think so. its just perfect. he casual mastery of her instrument is incredible. the orchestration does just enough.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

So so beautiful! Probably the first album in this project, that transcends to the level of art.

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Sat Jun 26 2021
5

Billie Holiday's voice 😍😭

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Sat Mar 06 2021
5

Her voice is so good. It’s raspy, but beautiful. I can’t believe that this is the first time I’ve heard her. She deserves every bit of praise and respect that she gets, and then some

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Unusual voice atop lovely lyrics. I am enjoying it a lot. Will listen again (and again)

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Mon Jun 21 2021
5

Magnificent voice. I'm not into jazz yet, but it's a good starting point.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

Heel rustgevend, prachtige stem, met veel gevoel gezongen

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Mon Nov 15 2021
5

The title is right - it's so smooth!

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

This album just brings a crackling fireplace wherever you go. Very lovely album, mostly because her voice is very pleasant.

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

Stunning phrasing, beautiful arrangements. Spellbinding talent.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
5

Beautiful, incandescent, glorious.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

In 1958, one of the greatest singers of the 20th century released her last album before her death. A memorable masterpiece on which she once again delivered a record that stands through time. She may have lost much of her upper range due to heroin addiction, but her delivery is infused with her experience both tragic with its abusive relationships, prison stints and drug addiction, and triumphant with her musical success. Everyone need this record in their collection

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

Well the lush orchestrations were an unexpected feature. Not quite what I'm used to from Billie Holiday but glad to have been introduced. Happy to float along on the sound of the strings and flutes and her incredible voice.

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

I made the mistake of playing this while I ate lunch alone today. I didn't have much time to linger, but I completely forgot where I was, when it was, who I was... I was completely drawn into it, floating along with this beautiful heartache, feeling feeling feeling.

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Mon May 23 2022
5

Billie Holiday....... good shit

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Fri Jun 03 2022
5

Like being wrapped in a blanket. Wonderful.

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Wed Jun 15 2022
5

5 I just love these songs. "In The Wee Small Hours" was amazing, so of course this is too.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

Loved Billie Holiday long before this, but finally got a chance to appreciate to album in its entirety. Absolutely amazing, I love it!!

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Mon Oct 03 2022
5

I dont even know what words could review this album. Billie's voice is one of the greatest enjoyments available to humans. 5/5

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

This is clearly iconic and also sad as fuck. Billie's voice is everything and I'm thinking about how important she's been for gay men over the decades- there's Frank O'Hara's "The Day Lady Died" (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42657/the-day-lady-died) or the Magnetic Fields -- My Only Friend (https://genius.com/The-magnetic-fields-my-only-friend-lyrics) She's miserable and beautiful and the gays have been eating since the 50's. Sop it up!

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Sat Nov 26 2022
5

I have mixed feelings about this late recording of Billie Holiday ... I prefer her earlier recordings, when her voice was more dynamic and the instrumentation less heavy. This album is heartbreaking, a picture of Billie at the end of her life, beaten down by drug and alcohol abuse and life circumstances. She sounds so beaten, tired, and sad ... Yet, I'd rather listen to my least favorite Billie Holiday album than 98% of music out there. It is not possible for me to give her less than 5 stars, ever. And listening to this again, I'm wondering if I should give it more of a shot. There is something so poignantly powerful in this effort.

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Tue Dec 13 2022
5

Such a unique emotional voice. Outstanding as usual from Billie. Timeless.

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Wed Dec 28 2022
5

Her voice is incredible. I don’t usually listen to this everyday but anytime Billie holiday gets out on I will listen to it all the way through. One of Americas all time greats.

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Fri Dec 30 2022
5

So this is towards the end of her career, and I've seen some mention her voice was shot by then. But this album captures an amazing delicacy and sheer emotion. Really quite special.

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Mon Jan 02 2023
5

Billie Holiday is a classic.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Whacked it on cleaning - felt very lovvy

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Wed Jan 25 2023
5

Billie is a national treasure. Nothing but love for this album.

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Tue Feb 07 2023
5

Vraiment certaine chanson sur cet album on quelque chose de spéciale. Son sens d'expression, malgré son range qui n'Est pas très grand sur cette album amène une dimension qui est assez incroyable. Ce n'est pas poour tout les occasions ni pour toute les personnes. MAis on doit avoir écouté cet album. Beaucoup de melancolie et de beauté. 5

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Tue Feb 14 2023
5

Arguably the greatest jazz singer. Later Billie Holiday has a rawness that her earlier work did not have. A ravaged, alcohol abused voice didn't help. It works (similar to Marianne Faithfull). This is a classic that every music fan should listen to (and own - I am old school).

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Wed Mar 15 2023
5

Weary and wishing. And WOW. Billie Holiday is a legend, but one I hadn't dedicated much focused listen toward. This album is a journey and her now-raspy voice reflects a well-worn life, full of wisdom and regret, but with hope remaining. And emotional listen that left me speechless. Many of the 1,001 can be debated. LADY IN SATIN cannot be debated. It is essential.

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Thu Apr 06 2023
5

God, she's great. Her vocal tone is so interesting. I love this album so much. Such a mood.

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Thu Apr 06 2023
5

Anything she‘s done is a 5, one of my favorite voices of all time. To be honest I don’t really love these records with the full orchestral arrangements and strings. I always prefer small group stuff in general but I think it sounds especially cheesy in a jazz setting. That said I totally understand the desire for her to make a record like this in her career, there are so many great raw jam session and small group recordings of her, it’s cool that she wanted to do something different.

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Thu Apr 06 2023
5

Such a great singer. I liked the orchestral arrangements. Favorites are “End of a Love Affair” and “But Beautiful”

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Sun Apr 16 2023
5

Billie Hoilday's voice <insert heart emoji>

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Mon May 08 2023
5

One of the best voices ever.

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Tue May 16 2023
5

Really dig Billie’s voice. Such a rich timbre with a lot of emotion. The arrangements don’t get in the way.

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Sat May 20 2023
5

10/10 idk why people hate on Billie Holiday’s voice it’s so beautiful!

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Tue Jul 04 2023
5

One of the best albums of all time

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Wed Oct 11 2023
5

Wow, ok. So we're doing the Billie 'comeback'/swansong album instead of her peak I suppose. Though you can't really talk of albums as such going back to the 30s. Yeah that first track is a real punch in the guts. The contrast between her now frayed, heroin-ravaged voice and the somewhat twee orchestral backing. Almost feels like a precursor to that 80s Marianne Faithful record the other day in that sense. She's a legend and the ultimate.

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

Every note by every musician in this session is not just played, it's lived.

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Tue Oct 17 2023
5

It's good to not even try to like this. It's not really Jazz in my view as the orchestration and her voice take the whole thing. I have heard ths before and t be honest her voice was wrecked by this time but I could listen to this all day and all night it's so smooth and subtle.

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Sun Oct 29 2023
5

Forever album. Could listen to on any Sunday lazy morning. Her voice gets me every time

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Fri Nov 10 2023
5

At the risk of sounding pretentious amongst the rest of the reviews here, I loved every song on this, great album. Very relaxing

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

I was like “Ya I like Billie Holiday, I know what to expect, this will be good.” Two songs I was like “what is happening??” and by the end I was floored. Have since read a bit about the production of the album. Amazing. One of a kind.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
5

It's different than summer of the other albums I've heard of hers. It seems more delicate and kinda has a different vibe from her earlier recordings. Billie has such a great voice. She could sing nursery rhymes and if be good with it.

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Tue Jan 02 2024
5

What a phenomenal way to start 2024! Holiday’s smoky, world-weary voice is the perfect instrument to bring these standards to life.

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Sun Jan 07 2024
5

Wunderbar!!! Wenn man einfach mal entspannen möchte, diese Musik und diese Stimme ist einfach nur Balsam.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
5

Wow Billie Holiday, what an all-time absolute stunner!! In every way! The distinctive unique jazz voice, it's so relaxing and beautiful. I just don't know how she even made those sounds with her voice. I especially enjoyed listening to The End of a Love Affair - Audio Story such a cool insight! The only negative is that she sung covers really. I reckon if she were an artist now someone would have written her her own songs which would have been even more epic. A lot of these tracks I only associate with Billie Holiday so I guess that's a big success and says it all really. I can get a bit samey but I don't mind that at all, it's beautiful.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

She's the GOAT for a reason. Beautiful album.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

Despite her voice not being what it once was, her interpretations are full of feeling and nuance. I don’t think any voice can compare to her originality and heart 4.5

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Thu Feb 01 2024
5

That was absolutely delightful. I listened to it while reading the last few episodes of the Crossed comic books, so it was a wonderful juxtaposition of lush musicality and over sexualized Gore.

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Mon Mar 18 2024
5

What Billie Holiday’s voice lost due to age and health issues, it more than made up for with experience and gravitas. There is no-one better at portraying the emotional turmoil of life and love. And if I may rant for a little, I think it’s a shame that we’ve lost the shared cultural heritage of standards. Lady In Satin presents possibly some definitive versions of some, but there are dozens of other interpretations of a lot of these songs, and they’re all fantastic. American’s especially, this is your culture, this is your contributions to art and to the great folk tradition that you’re ignoring. Just, go and listen to some Standards, please

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Thu Apr 11 2024
5

I am not reviewing the extra tracks other than "The end of a love affair" Just knowing that this was her last album before death jesus This is so so sad like she was heartbroken from the hard life she lived and to end on these doldrums of broken promises and relationships is hard and the instrumentation is beautiful here. Listen I know its all covers but Billie Brings a beauty and kinda finality with these. You've changed is such a sad sad song that just takes me back to past loves that have move passed and I have been both the singer and the subject. But beautiful has a great solo in the middle which just crescendos with the flutes ahhh Billie also adds these flutes over some of the songs which make them so much more interesting. I could listen to her voice for hours and I have there is nothing to hate here she came back after 16 years to sing songs outside of her style and it is shown to you from Im a fool to want you

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Thu Apr 11 2024
5

I'm always going to be obsessed with Billie Holiday and this is why

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Mon Apr 22 2024
5

Wundervolle Stimme, tolle Balladen.

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Mon May 06 2024
5

Well, first of all Billie Holiday gets a 5, so jot that down. Taking a step back - Is this a sensible pick? I have no idea. I've listened to quite a lot of her stuff, but it all tended to be either best ofs, or massive box sets of everything from a specific label or era, so I don't have much of a sense of which albums are her most important one. I don't think I recognized any of these songs, which maybe means something? I think I'm more used to hearing her with a more stripped back accompaniment, too? These arrangements felt a bit more lush than I'm used to - maybe even a little OTT? Still pretty lovely, of course. Fave tracks - "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "The End of a Love Affair"

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