My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Recorded and released in 1959, the original album ran over three hours (linked from Rdio is a single album outake which I listened to), with a 1998 re-release of the whole project running over four hours. The track “But Not for Me” won the 1960 Grammy for best female vocal.
What I liked: I think the best of this collection are the final three tracks, which consist of “He Loves and She Loves”, “Lorelei”, and “(I’ve got) Beginner’s Luck”. It just feels as though Fitzgerald finds a groove in these that isn’t there earlier in the album. Also, notable is the silliness of “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”, although I think her duet of the song with Louis Armstrong is a much better version.
What I Didn’t Like: I have to admit I’m just not a huge fan of Fitzgerald. Her vocals are just too perfect and it seems like everything on the album sort of comes easy for her which makes everything feel really safe. There is also a definite lack of soul in her voice that really kind of bores me.
My Overall Thoughts: I was really excited to get to this album in the book and am disappointed, because it just doesn’t do much for me.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? This is a hard one. On one hand the scope of this project is huge and almost deserves to be in the book just for that. On the other I personally am not very impressed with it. I’m going to say it should be included for the former reasoning.
Rating (Out of 5): 3
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (20/22)