While Peggy Lee is renowned for her '50s and '60s recordings for Capitol and Decca, her early transition from big-band canary to solo-billing stardom wouldn't have happened without a parade of excellent late-'40s sides (many of them hits). A Proper Introduction to Peggy Lee: I Get Ideas focuses on that period, so listeners looking for later Peggy Lee paragons such as "Fever," "I'm a Woman," and "Is That All There Is?" will not find what they're looking for here. More's the pity if they neglect these songs, however, since many were mini-masterpieces of mid- and post-war pop, proving that she had songwriting smarts as well as interpretive skills that went far, far beyond the rule for band singers. The highlights -- "Why Don't You Do Right?," "I Don't Know Enough About You," "Black Coffee" to the fore -- presented Lee as the epitome of the sultry or torchy band singer, and at 25 tracks, this Proper compilation is a great value.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush