The Ultimate Alma Cogan is a budget-priced appendix to the box set entitled The Girl with a Laugh in Her Voice, and features 25 tracks that trace the star's career from her first major hit, "Bell Bottom Blues," in 1954 through to the simply scintillating revisions of the Beatles' "Help" and "Eight Days a Week," which were among the last recordings she made before her death in 1966. In between times, the expected digest of hits is appended by a clutch of numbers that missed the box. "Banjo's Back in Town," "Lizzie Borden," and "Hernando's Hideaway" peel off the series of scarce EPs that rounded up hits and B-sides from the late '50s; other cuts were relegated to B-sides and have barely been heard since then. There is enough duplication with the box (and sundry other compilations) to give pause to all but the most avid Cogan collector. But as an introduction to a talent who can never be appreciated too much, The Ultimate does a great job.
AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson