Peggy Lee

Things Are Swingin'

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Midway through a small lull in her live performance career, Peggy Lee recorded the stereo LP Things Are Swingin' in Hollywood during May 1958, at the same sessions that produced the biggest hit of her career, "Fever." (Though not on the original LP, it was added to the 2004 reissue as a bonus track.) Still, Things Are Swingin' isn't a high point in Lee's career, especially when considered among her many successes of the late '50s (like the following year's Beauty and the Beat!). Though her instincts and powers of bewitchment were faultless as ever, she betrayed a few weaknesses in her normally excellent voice (perhaps a result of her semi-retirement at the time), and the ten-piece studio orchestra -- including session heavyweights Don Fagerquist, Barney Kessel, Bob Enevoldsen, Howard Roberts, Pete Candoli, and Shelly Manne -- isn't given much to work with by conductor Jack Marshall. Scattered moments of brilliance abound, however, including Lee's own title song (a staple of her later live show, written with Marshall), the sleepily sensual "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me," and "Alright, Okay, You Win," a bluesy lead that became a hit in 1958 alongside "Fever."

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