Various Artists

Nobody Does It Better [Prism]

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British budget-line reissue label Prism Leisure's various-artists collection Nobody Does It Better [Prism] is a collection of traditional pop seemingly selected and sequenced in near random fashion. 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. For example, the rendition of "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin is a low-fidelity live recording on which the singer sounds like he can't wait to get through. Sometimes the original artist isn't even heard: the title song, "Nobody Does It Better" (for which Herman Hupfield is mistakenly given the songwriter's credit, instead of the real authors, Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager), is performed gamely but not well by Julie Andrews, not Carly Simon. 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.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:37
2 3:40
3 4:02
4 3:06
5 3:09
6 4:06
7 3:02
8 2:59
9 3:31
10 2:09
11 2:43
12 2:52
13 2:25
14 2:59
15 3:09
16 2:56
17 3:15
18 2:30
19 3:09
20 3:13
21 3:03
22 2:48
23 3:31
24 3:06
25 2:49
blue highlight denotes track pick