The Definitive Collection

Brenda Lee

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The Definitive Collection Review

by John Bush

Like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and only a few others, Brenda Lee could sound equally wonderful whether she was tearing into an upbeat rock & roll number or crooning a melancholy countrypolitan ballad. The fact that she demonstrated ample knowledge of both even before getting halfway through her teenage years made her achievements much more special. MCA's The Definitive Collection befits its title in one area: it's the definitive collection of her Billboard chart history, where most -- but not all -- of her artistic excellence occurred. The disc includes a full 28 tracks, but dispatches her early history as a rock firebrand with only three songs (when even ten wouldn't have been overdoing it), and moves quickly to her decade-long mastery of the forlorn, love-scorned ballad. It's a fact that most new listeners with a potential appreciation for Lee's talents would be drawn to her earlier rockabilly material, not her balladry, so this is a lost opportunity that some other collection will have to remedy. (In fact, the two-disc Anthology [1956-1980] proves that there's enough excellent Brenda Lee material to fill two discs.)

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Brenda Lee 02:05 Amazon
2 Brenda Lee 02:25
3 Brenda Lee 02:42
4 Brenda Lee 02:31 Amazon
5 Brenda Lee 03:06 SpotifyAmazon
6 Brenda Lee 02:50 Amazon
7 Brenda Lee 02:42 SpotifyAmazon
8 Brenda Lee 03:34 Amazon
9 Brenda Lee 02:28 Amazon
10 Brenda Lee 02:29 Amazon
11 Brenda Lee 02:27 Amazon
12 Brenda Lee 02:40 Amazon
13 Brenda Lee 02:32 Amazon
14 Brenda Lee 02:30 Amazon
15 Brenda Lee 02:45 Amazon
16 Brenda Lee 02:13 SpotifyAmazon
17 Brenda Lee 02:34 Amazon
18 Brenda Lee 01:57 Amazon
19 Brenda Lee 03:00 Amazon
20 Brenda Lee 02:47 Amazon
21 Brenda Lee 02:37 Amazon
22 Brenda Lee 02:28 Amazon
23 Brenda Lee 02:51 Amazon
24 Brenda Lee 02:04 Amazon
25 Brenda Lee 03:02 Amazon
26 Brenda Lee 04:38 Amazon
Brenda Lee 03:02 Amazon
28 Brenda Lee 02:05
blue highlight denotes track pick