- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: October 1, 1991
- Label: Verve
Q - 7/92, p.1074 Stars
- Excellent - "...a luxurious set, with much information, and several takes of some songs, as revealing in the case of an artist of her subtlety as with anybody in jazz..."
Down Beat - 2/92, p.324 Stars
- Very Good - "...her singing had gotten harsher, more time-ravaged, but hadn't lost its expressive grace...Sound is generally good..."
New York Times (Publisher) - 12/15/91
"...a full-fledged star singer...the postwar recordings found Holiday reaching even deeper levels of emotions...the sound...is brighter..."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)
- 2.No More
- 3.No More - (alternate take)
- 4.That Ole Devil Called Love
- 5.Don't Explain - (1st version)
- 6.Big Stuff - (1st version)
- 7.Don't Explain
- 8.Big Stuff - (2nd version)
- 9.You Better Go Now
- 10.What Is This Thing Called Love
- 11.Good Morning Heartache
- 12.No Good Man - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
- 13.No Good Man
- 14.Big Stuff - (previously unreleased, breakdown and chatter)
- 15.Big Stuff - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
- 16.Big Stuff
- 17.Baby, I Don't Cry Over You
- 18.Baby, I Don't Cry Over You
- 19.I'll Look Around - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
- 20.I'll Look Around
- 21.The Blues Are Brewin'
- 22.Guilty - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
- 23.Guilty - (previously unreleased, breakdown and chatter)
- 25.Deep Song
- 26.There Is No Greater Love
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Easy Living
- 2.Solitude - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
- 4.Weep No More - (with the Stardusters)
- 5.Girls Were Made to Take Care of Boys
- 6.I Loves You Porgy
- 7.My Man (Mon Homme) - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
- 8.My Man (Mon Homme)
- 9.'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
- 10.'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do
- 11.Baby Get Lost
- 12.Keeps on a Rainin'
- 13.Them There Eyes
- 14.Do Your Duty
- 15.Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)
- 16.You Can't Lose a Broken Heart
- 17.My Sweet Hunk O' Trash
- 18.Now or Never
- 19.You're My Thrill
- 20.Crazy He Calls Me
- 21.Please Tell Me Now
- 22.Somebody's on My Mind
- 23.God Bless the Child
- 24.This Is Heaven to Me
Personnel includes: Billy Holiday (vocals), Lester Young (tenor saxophone), Billy Butterfield, Buck Clayton (trumpets), Tiny Grimes (guitar), Bob Haggart, George Duvivier (bass), Sid Catlett, Kenny Clarke, Denzil Best, Shadow Wilson (drums).
Includes a 40-page booklet containing rare photos, detailed track annotations and liner notes by Andy McKaie and Steven Lasker.
Billie Holiday is at the peak of her vocal powers on these sessions taken from 1944-1950. Though she had cut some historic, memorable tracks and toured nationally with the likes of Count Basie, Lester Young, Buck Clayton and Artie Shaw, her Decca crossover material gave her the pop backing she craved. According to "Toots" Camarata, the arranger and conductor on her first Decca date, when she walked in and saw the string ensemble she was so overwhelmed she turned right around and walked out.
The delectations here are plenty and definitiveness abounds. "Don't Explain" is her own lyric written with Arthur Herzog Jr. with whom she also penned the indelible touchstone, "God Bless The Child." Louis Armstrong sneaks in the "F" word in a sexy duet, "My Sweet Hunk 'O Trash." The cool narrator on "Baby I Don't Cry Over You," "Now Or Never" and "Baby Get Lost" sounds street-wise, tough and self-reliant while the resigned submission of "My Man" and "No More" ring only too true to life. Throughout, Lady Day's matter of fact delivery is at once bracing and disarming.