Billie Holiday

Gold

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Hip-O's 2004 two-CD and one-DVD compilation The Ultimate Collection set a new standard for Billie Holiday retrospectives. It boasted not only a strong selection of songs, but also material from all of her scattered labels (Brunswick, Decca, Commodore, Verve) and it stood, in effect, as the first best-of compilation capable of living up to its rubric. Gold is a very similar collection. In fact, the audio program is identical to the first two discs of The Ultimate Collection. The only difference lies in the subtraction of the DVD, included with the previous set but missing here, that presented ten of Holiday's filmed performances. (Also subtracted was 20 dollars from the list price.) Musically, it's just as powerful as The Ultimate Collection.

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