Alma Cogan

The Best of the EMI Years

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The "best of the HMV years" would be more like it for a title, as these 20 songs represent the singer's hits with producer Walter J. Ridley from 1954 through 1960, from "Bell Bottom Blues" through "The I Love You Bit" (cut with Lionel Bart). Cogan during this period had a sound somewhere midway between Doris Day, Dinah Shore, and Mitzi Gaynor, with a playful delivery and the "laugh in her voice," which became her trademark during this period. The material is all very smooth and polished in its arrangements (courtesy of Stan Foster), and Cogan is a beguiling presence, whether pouting gently on the novelty tune "Bell Bottom Blues," flirting with Ronnie Hilton in their duet of "It's All Been Done Before," playing on ethnic stereotypes in the best Rosemary Clooney style on "Mambo Italiano," or having macabre fun with the audience in the bizarre "Got 'n Idea," a song about wife abuse and spousal murder that wouldn't pass muster today. The laugh in her voice is a sweetly alluring trait, but Cogan is also very appealing on waltz numbers like "Fly Away Lovers," in a straight ballad style. The sound is very good, but the notes are a little sketchy on this somewhat expensive, but nicely representative best of Cogan's early recording career and chart hits. Purchasers, however, should bear in mind that she moved into more sophisticated realms of pop music as the 1960s dawned.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:13 SpotifyAmazon
2 2:36 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:23 SpotifyAmazon
4 2:41 SpotifyAmazon
5 2:22 SpotifyAmazon
6 3:07 Spotify
7 1:59 SpotifyAmazon
8 2:39 SpotifyAmazon
9 2:33 SpotifyAmazon
10 2:22 SpotifyAmazon
11 2:26 SpotifyAmazon
12 2:45 SpotifyAmazon
feat: Lionel Bart
2:20 Spotify
14 2:12 SpotifyAmazon
15 3:17 SpotifyAmazon
16 2:06 SpotifyAmazon
17 2:33 SpotifyAmazon
18 1:47 SpotifyAmazon
19 2:31 SpotifyAmazon
20 2:09 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick