British budget-line reissue label Prism Leisure's various-artists collection Blue Velvet [Prism], is a collection of traditional pop seemingly selected and sequenced in near random fashion. It begins appropriately with a song that has the word "hello" in the title and ends with the suicide song, "Gloomy Sunday," which presumably nothing can follow, but that's about all you can say about the track order that suggests it has any order at all. The tracks, for which no annotation is offered, appear to derive from two sources: first, public-domain poaching from records issued on major labels in Europe more than 50 years prior to this disc's release and second, oddities of one sort or another for which Prism has obtained rights from small labels. "Some of the tracks featured are live concert performances or re-recordings made by the original artist," reads a disclaimer in small but legible print on the back cover. That's fair warning. There are some great songs and some major artists to be found on the album, but sound quality changes radically from one track to another, there is no sense of continuity, and you are as likely to hear an inferior live or re-recorded version as the original hit. Still, the running time is generous, and the price is cheap, which earns the disc a slightly higher rating than it would deserve otherwise. For casual listeners, it presents a lot of traditional pop sung by familiar voices for not much money.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann