Julie London

The Best of the Liberty Years

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This is a strange compilation, awfully strange. First, there's the photograph on the front. When the title says The Best of the Liberty years, one would assume that the material it is talking about is from the entire period. But the photo looks pre-1955. It looks like it was taken long before she ever recorded "Cry Me a River." And that's the other strange thing: that track is the only pre-'60s cut on this set. It opens the collection, being recorded in 1955, and then everything skips to her last moment at Liberty, which was "Fly Me to the Moon." The rest of the material dates from 1961 and 1963 -- very odd indeed. The 1964 selection is arranged in a soft bossa nova style with strings, and while melodically it resembles the classic, its arrangement sounds like it was written for either Astrud Gilberto or Wayne Newton. This is not to say there aren't fine tracks here, there are many, including: "Desafinado," "Love for Sale," "Why Don't You Do Right," "Please Do It Again," "The End of a Love Affair," "An Occasional Man," "There'll Be Some Changes Made," and at least eight others. But the sequencing, listing, and selection is so strange it's hard to reconcile that this is a best of Julie London collection, better yet a best of the Liberty years. This is dodgy and suspect work on the part of some compiler at EMI.

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