Cleo Laine Very Best of Cleo Laine (2-CD)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: May 20, 1997
- Originally Released: 1997
- Label: RCA Victor
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.He Was Beautiful
- 2.I Loves You Porgy
- 3.No One Is Alone
- 6.Streets Of London
- 7.I Don't Know Why
- 8.Send In The Clowns
- 10.Gonna Get Through
- 12.Creole Love Call
- 13.What'll I Do
- 14.It Don't Mean A Thing
- 15.You Must Believe In Spring
- 16.Wish You Were Here (I Do Miss You)
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Lies Of Handsome Men
- 2.Play It Again Sam
- 3.I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
- 5.Thieving Boy
- 6.Won't You Tell Me Why
- 7.I Remember
- 8.Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin'
- 9.Woman Talk
- 10.Sophisticated Lady
- 12.Bess You Is My Woman
- 13.My Man's Gone Now
- 14.I'm Beginning To See The Light
- 15.A Time For Farewell
- 16.Turkish Delight
- 17.Born On A Friday
Personnel includes: Cleo Laine (vocals); John Williams, Dudley Moore, James Galway, Ray Charles, Joe Williams, John Dankworth, Jacqui Dankworth.
Personnel: Cleo Laine (vocals).
This two-CD set may be titled The Very Best of Cleo Laine: 34 Classic Hits but it is actually a lesser reissue. Drawing its material from Laine's RCA recordings of 1974-1996, the set is pretty light on jazz despite cameos from Clark Terry, Gerry Mulligan, Toots Thielemans and Joe Williams. While the occasional jazz tracks give one a feeling of relief, most of the reissue finds Laine backed by an orchestra, sounding like a Broadway or cabaret singer, occasionally going over the top with sentiment. While Laine has always had a beautiful voice and a wide range, she was never much of an improviser and her choice of material has been erratic through the years. So, next to swinging numbers such as "Just A-Sittin' and A-Rockin'" and "It Don't Mean a Thing," are forgettable show tunes and throwaway songs. Nearly all of the performances are overarranged with little of value occurring outside of the sound of Cleo Laine's voice. ~ Scott Yanow
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