Eartha Kitt

You Can Call Me Miss Kitty

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As of 2006, Eartha Kitt's recordings of 1952-1955 were in the public domain in Europe, allowing any label to compile unlicensed CDs from vinyl transfers. That's what the Golden Stars label has done here, creating a three-disc box set (which is to say that there is a light cardboard covering for three CD jewel boxes) of 48 tracks from Kitt's early years. LPs including her first three RCA albums, (RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt [1953], That Bad Eartha [1954], and Down to Eartha [1955]) have been plundered for material, along with singles and even excerpts from the original Broadway cast albums for New Faces of 1952 and Mrs. Patterson. This period marked Kitt's commercial peak as a recording artist, with the Top Ten singles "C'est Si Bon" and "Santa Baby," both included. It also set the tone for Kitt's entire career, as she established her exotic, sophisticated, and slightly mocking nightclub persona, which she stuck to ever after. She sings in multiple languages and affects a world-weary air, which isn't intended to be taken too seriously. The album has no annotations whatsoever (it even reuses the same photograph throughout), but it can probably be acquired cheaply, and it does cover the outset of Kitt's work as a recording artist.

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