Connie Francis

White Sox, Pink Lipstick...And Stupid Cupid: Connie Francis in the 1950s

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Anyone who thinks they appreciate Connie Francis probably doesn't know half of what she could do as a singer -- this five-CD box will set them straight. The revelation of disc one lies in the fact that the three included demos and the other "failures" from her early career are all worthwhile, even inspired recordings. Francis had a superb voice, richly emotive and evocative, with an alluringly delicate enunciation when she wanted it. Listening to these sides today, one hears an extraordinary talent that was ignored until "Who's Sorry Now." After that, things really get going, because Francis was working under a contract that nobody -- not even Frank Sinatra -- had: the right to choose her own material. Disc two picks up her career after the explosive success of "Who's Sorry Now"; these are more confident performances, and reveal Francis as not only a dazzlingly talented singer but an excellent judge of songs and arrangements. Disc three showcases Francis' efforts in the long-player market, where she was really aiming her best work. The outstanding material here is the product of her February 1959 New York sessions and the sessions a month later at Abbey Road in London; here she's starting to sound like a female analog to Sinatra, just when Sinatra was at his coolest and swinging-est. But at this point, it was the rock & roll singles that were moving, and she cut a whole album of standards in that genre, represented on Disc four; also featured are her country sides. Disc five is mostly made up of unissued tracks and various alternate takes. They're all first-rate, and a few should have been hits and could have redefined her career. The lavish booklet and the detailed notes and sessionography cap this reissue, which puts Polygram's efforts with Francis to shame.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:26
2 2:43
3 2:29
4 2:35
5 2:39
6 2:52
7 2:47
8 2:43
9 2:30
10 2:30
11 2:48
12 2:19
13 2:51
14 2:41
15 2:35
16 2:28
17 2:18
18 2:14
19 2:30
20 2:34
21 2:04
22 2:20
23 2:21
24 2:43
25 2:24
26 3:53
27
3:35
28 3:22
29 2:17

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:31
2 2:58
3 2:26
4 2:35
5 2:33
6 2:34
7 2:24
8 3:54
9 2:37
10 2:55
11 2:48
12 2:24
13 2:35
14 2:17
15 2:11
16 2:18
17 2:43
18 2:30
19 2:23
20 2:55
21 2:49
22 2:08
23 3:14
24 2:57
25 3:40
26 3:18

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:43
2 3:07
3 2:43
4 2:47
5 2:27
6 2:26
7 2:20
8 2:32
9 3:43
10 2:04
11 1:56
12 3:39
13 2:31
14 3:02
15 3:39
16 2:37
17 2:25
18 3:12
19 3:55
20 3:09
21 2:28
22 3:32
23 3:36
24 3:53
25 4:25
26 3:29

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:06
2 2:39
3 2:46
4 2:21
5 2:32
6 2:24
7 2:38
8 2:02
9 2:56
10 2:05
11 2:23
12 2:31
13 2:16
14 2:33
15 2:53
16 1:44
17 2:25
18 3:12
19 1:57
20 2:48
21 2:06
22 2:18
23 2:54
24 2:55
25 2:37
26 2:37
27 2:49
28 2:47
29 2:23
30 2:44

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:37
2 2:56
3 2:23
4 4:15
5 3:36
6 3:34
7 3:16
8 2:54
9 3:22
10 3:19
11 2:57
12 4:01
13
3:25
14 2:47
15 3:12
16 2:26
17 3:48
18 2:07
19 2:27
20 2:30
21 3:50
22
3:21
23 2:04
blue highlight denotes track pick