Billie Holiday's recordings, having remained consistently popular, also have remained in print through frequent reissues. So, there is little to recommend this haphazard collection of her recordings copied onto disc by a European budget label without access to the original masters (or the bother of paying a licensing fee). True, the selection of Holiday's '30s and '40s recordings leans toward the better-known songs she recorded, and it features tracks controlled by different record companies and therefore rarely found on the same disc. (In the U.S., delicate negotiations would have to take place for "God Bless the Child" and "Strange Fruit" to appear together as they do in the first two slots here.) And the album was selling upon release at an inexpensive price as compared with the legitimate U.S. reissues from Sony and MCA. But the sound quality is not good, and the annotations are nearly nonexistent. Holiday deserves better treatment, and the consumer will only have to pay a little more to get a much better version of this material than what is found on this legal-in-name-only release.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann