Debbie Reynolds

Love Is a Simple Thing

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On January 1, 2010, all recordings made in 1959 entered the public domain in Europe, where copyright is limited to 50 years, and among those recordings were the first fruits of Debbie Reynolds' solo contract with Dot Records, including some singles and her album Debbie. These tracks were now available to anyone who wanted to press them up on a disc, without getting permission or paying a licensing fee to Universal Music Group (which controls the Dot catalog, at least, outside the EU). Several companies have taken advantage of this circumstance, one of them being the British Xtra label with this compilation, Love Is a Simple Thing. That title refers to one of the 12 tracks on the Debbie LP, and ten of the other tracks from the album are also included here (for some reason "Moonglow" is not), interspersed with tracks drawn from soundtrack albums for movies in which Reynolds appeared in the 1950s, such as Two Weeks with Love (her hit "Aba Daba Honeymoon" with Carleton Carpenter), Singin' in the Rain, I Love Melvin, Athena ("Imagine," with Vic Damone), Bundle of Joy ("Lullaby in Blue" with her then-husband Eddie Fisher), and Tammy and the Bachelor (her big hit "Tammy"). Not that you'd find any of this out by reading the generic, factually challenged liner notes, but these sorts of packages are always fairly slipshod. The sometimes muddy sound quality is also par for the course. What matters is that this collection brings back into print a chunk of Reynolds' work that is otherwise lost to out of print LPs, demonstrating both her exuberant appeal in movie musicals and her attempt -- in the material from the Debbie LP -- to act like a typical traditional pop singer of the 1950s, with modest success.

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