Various Artists

Tribute to Edith Piaf [Amherst]

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This tribute to legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf brings to light just how well her timeless songs translate across genres and generations, with an array of rock stars singing each song in their own signature style. Donna Summer starts the album with a glossy, synthesized, upbeat take on Piaf's signature "La Vie En Rose," and, as always, Summer's voice is nothing less than shimmering. Corey Hart turns the powerful "Hymn to Love" into a soft, adult contemporary-styled ballad, as does Chicago's Jason Scheff with "When I See Her." Pat Benatar transforms "The Effect You Have on Me" into a bluesy, jangly guitar number, and Heart's Ann Wilson gives a show-stopping, tortured performance on her gutsy and riveting rendition of "Jezebel." Country gal Juice Newton delivers a tear-inducing version of the gorgeous "Lovers of the Day," as does the incomparable Emmylou Harris with Piaf's amazing "No Regrets." K.T. Olsin's take on "My Legionnaire" is heartbreaking, nostalgic, and ultimately sexy, and Chris Spedding's rock & roll version of "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots" suits the song perfectly. Leon Russell turns "The Three Bells" into a gospel song, and Ivan Lins makes "A Carousel for Two" into a soft and jazzy bossa nova number. Finally, Willy Deville's bizarrely tortured version of "The Lovers" recalls Tom Waits. From dance to rock and country to jazz, this album incorporates a dizzying spectrum of musical genres, and all come together perfectly through the music and lyrics of the unforgettable, incomparable Edith Piaf.

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