Édith Piaf

Best of the Little Sparrow [Fuel 2000]

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Released twice on two different labels in 2007, The Best of the Little Sparrow is a cheapo collection of 16 recordings featuring the voice of French pop vocalist and drama queen Edith Piaf. No matter how many times they reissue this particular collection it will never amount to more than a poorly produced sampler that barely does justice to the artistry of this often arrestingly passionate performer. Her strength is at high tide during "C'est a Hambourg," and she comes across wonderfully on the Parisian waltz "Un Coin Tout Bleu." Throughout "Le Petit Brouillard" the orchestra sounds like it's under the influence of Nino Rota, a reminder that much of Piaf's career and some of these recordings reflect close ties with both theater and cinema. "Mon Legionnaire" appears to be the earliest recording, and is one of the few tracks not shrouded in reverb. "La Vie en Rose" was carelessly transferred and suffers from over-modulation. In short, this is a sloppy budget affair and you needn't bother with it. There are literally dozens of other Piaf albums to choose from. She -- and you -- deserve better.

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