Various - Best Of Lady Sings The Blues

Arriving just a little too late for valentine's day (surely a seduction opportunity missed), the latest in Virgin/EMI's "Lady Sings The Blues" series gathers together around 50 years worth of sultry, female fronted tracks, ranging from the very recent (and inevitable) Katie Melua and Norah Jones to Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald.

CD 1 is the stronger of the set, as it features some all time favourites standards, particularly "Son Of A Preacher Man" performed by Bobbie Gentry, "More Than This" (which some of you may remember from Lost In Translation) being performed by Norah Jones (the only
artist to get two tracks on the compilation, also contributing "Don't Know Why" to the second disc) and "Mad About The Boy". It's one of those compilations where you find yourself suddenly saying, "Hey, I know this."

I guess I'm the perfect target audience for this set - I've got a Norah Jones record, know a few of the songs and have an interest in knowing more about blues. Of course, the usual compilation caveat applies - if you enjoy any of the songs on offer, you'll end up spending more money on the full albums, so you might be better advised to seek out some classic blues albums instead. It's not to say that there aren't striking omissions, either. However, as a primer, Lady Sings The Blues will strike any blues novice as an excellent starting point.



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