Usually, compilations are designed for casual fans and neophytes. More involved fans of a particular artist, especially a long-lasting one whose work stretches back to earlier periods, often complain that only the same handful of tracks turn up over and over on each successive greatest-hits or best-of CD collection, while more obscure recordings remain lost on old LPs and singles. Such fans of Doris Day have reason to celebrate the release of Collectables' Ballads and Love Songs From the Early Years: 1947 to 1951. Note that words like "hits" and "best" do not appear in the modest and somewhat anonymous title. (After all, how many recordings by Day could not be described as ballads or love songs?) That's because there are no hits to speak of on the album. (Okay, two. "Everywhere You Go" spent one week at number 22 on Billboard's disc jockey chart in June 1949 and "[Where Are You] Now That I Need You" peaked at number 20 on the best-seller chart that October.) These are the kinds of songs that do not get anthologized: Day's remakes of other people's old hits ("Darn That Dream," "If I Could Be With You [One Hour Tonight]," "I'll String Along With You," each of which hit number one for somebody), her covers of contemporary songs that were successful for others ("It's the Sentimental Thing to Do," "The Last Mile Home"), and her performances of lesser-known songs by well-known songwriters (Hoagy Carmichael's "The Three Rivers [The Allegheny, Susquehanna & the Old Monongahela]," Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne's "You Love Me," Irving Berlin's "I'm Beginning to Miss You," DeSylva, Brown, and Henderson's "Just Imagine"). Day handles all the material with her usual warmth, demonstrating that she doesn't need a great piece of material to give a good performance.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Buddy Clark