Any fado compilation that opens with Amália Rodrigues, one of the 20th century's greatest voices and arguably the greatest fadista ever, has its work cut out for it to live up to the standard. But this is a disc that lives up to its name, and the huge talents come one after the other, male and female, from both the Lisbon and Coimbra traditions of the genre. Most have passed on, like Carlos Ramos with his supple, beautiful tone, or Fernando Farínha, or Lucilia do Carmo, who even opened her own fado house. There's plenty of great music here, fado that's straight from the soul, so it's easy to see why it's sometimes described as Portugal's blues; there's the same welter of emotion to it all. The new fadistas making international names for themselves owe it all to these pioneers, and few are as good as the remarkable talent on display here. It's a perfect primer for classic fado.
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson