This attractive three-CD set gives listeners an overview of Ella Fitzgerald's Verve recordings, although the inclusion of seven previously unissued cuts (in addition to 44 that are mostly available in more complete form elsewhere) will frustrate some completists. However the careful selection of representative performances along with the informative and lengthy text make this highly enjoyable reissue (which captures her in prime form) recommended even to collectors who have most of the singer's albums.
When first issued in 1980, Lady Samantha was initially only available in the U.K. as either an eight track or cassette. For enthusiasts of Elton John's early and often edgy pop/rock, the odds and sods compilation became known as a haven for the vast majority of John's pre-Caribou (1974) non-LP sides. Although many of these tunes were initially relegated to mere B-side status, they retain the consistently high caliber inherent in early John (piano/vocals) and Bernie Taupin (lyrics) collaborations…
The second solo album by Vicki Brown in Holland, produced by Tom Parker. Vicki Brown was an English pop, rock and contemporary classical singer. She was a member of both The Vernons Girls and The Breakaways and was the first wife of fellow singer and musician Joe Brown and mother of the singer Sam Brown. In 1979 Brown began recording with The New London Chorale and the group's popularity with the Dutch people paved the way for Brown's solo success in the Netherlands. As a session and live vocalist, Vicki worked with Jon Lord, Roger Waters, Alvin Lee, Chris Farlowe, Steve Marriott, Cerrone, Gary Moore, Yvonne Keeley, Eric Burdon, Pink Floyd, Bryan Ferry, Olivia Newton-John, Robert Palmer, Elton John, amongst other artists.
Claude D'Anna's film of Verdi's Macbeth is a gloomy affair, stressing the descent into madness of the principal villains. It's acted by the singers of the Decca recording of the opera (with two substitutions of actors standing in for singers) and the lip-synching is generally unobtrusive. The musical performance is superb, conducted by Riccardo Chailly with admirable fire, and sung by some of the leading lights of the opera stages of the 1980s.