From the Vault...


Ella Fitzgerald
"The Legendary Decca Recordings"

© Decca Records

Year of Release: 1995

track listing
Disc One: The Very Best
Of Ella
  • A-Tisket A-Tasket
  • Undecided
  • Stairway to The Stars
  • Five O'Clock Whistle
  • Cow Cow Boogie
  • Flying Home
  • Stone Cold Dead
    In The Market
  • You Won't Be Satisfied
    Until You Break
    My Heart
  • I'm Just A Lucky
    So And So
  • I Didn't Mean A Word
    I Said
  • Oh Lady Be Good
  • How High The Moon
  • My Happiness
  • In The Evening
    When The Sun
    Goes Down
  • Smooth Sailing
  • Airmail Special
  • You'll Have To Swing It
    (Mr. Paganini)
    Parts 1 And 2
  • Blue Lou
  • Lullaby Of Birdland
  • Hard Hearted Hannah
    Disc Two: Ella & Friends
  • The Frim Fram Sauce
  • Dream A Little Dream
    Of Me
  • Can Anyone Explain
  • Would You Like To
    Take A Walk
  • Into Each Life
    Some Rain Must Fall
  • I'm Making Believe
  • I'm Beginning To
    See The Light
  • I Still Feel The Same
    About You
  • Petootie Pie
  • Baby It's Cold Outside
  • Don't Cry Cry Baby
  • Ain't Nobody's Business
    But My Own
  • I'll Never Be Free
  • It's Only A Paper Moon
  • (Gonna) Cry You
    Out Of My Heart
  • (I Love You) For
    Sentimental Reasons
  • It's A Pity
    To Say Goodnight
  • Fairy Tales
  • I Gotta Have
    My Baby Back
    Disc Three: Ella Sings
    Gershwin & Others
  • Someone To Watch
    Over Me
  • My One And Only
  • But Not For Me
  • Looking For A Boy
  • I've Got A Crush On You
  • How Long Has This
    Been Going On
  • Maybe
  • Soon
  • I'm Glad There Is You
  • What Is There To Say
  • People Will Say
    We're In Love
  • Please Be Kind
  • Until The Real Thing Comes Along
  • Makin' Whoopee
  • Imagination
  • Stardust
  • My Heart Belongs
    To Daddy
  • You Leave Me Breathless
  • Baby What Else Can I Do
  • Nice Work If You
    Can Get It
    Disc Four: Ella &
    The Arrangers
  • Basin Street Blues
  • I've Got The World
    On A String
  • Goody Goody
  • Angel Eyes
  • Happy Talk
  • I'm Gonna Wash
    That Man
    Right Outta My Hair
  • Black Coffee
  • I Wished On The Moon
  • A Sunday Kind Of Love
  • That's My Desire
  • Thanks For The Memory
  • It Might As Well
    Be Spring
  • You'll Never Know
  • I Can't Get Started
  • That Old Black Magic
  • Old Devil Moon
  • Lover Come Back To Me
  • Between The Devil And
    The Deep Blue Sea
  • (Love Is) The Tender Trap
  • My One And Only Love

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Ella Fitzgerald related sites:
    Ella Fitzgerald Website
    Previous Review: #1301
    Soundtrack--The Graduate
    Next Review: #1303
    The Ides Of March--Vehicle
    Ella Fitzgerald
    "The Legendary Decca Recordings"

    My really only memory of Ella Fitzgerald while growing up, was watching her television commercial for Memorex: "Is it live or is it Memorex?" and how her singing voice would shatter glass. Throughout my early childhood, I never had any of her records, and none of her songs stood out in my mind, from listening to the radio, or from older people (preferably my family) who listed to her music. Of course, they all knew of her, I just never had the opportunity to "discover" her music while growing up.

    This would all change when I listened to her Legendary Decca Recordings. I can easily see (and hear) how Ella Fitzgerald was a huge impact to the Jazz genre. A great talent, great singer, a Legend. The 80-songs on this box set simply identifies Ella Fitzgerald as one of the true giants in Jazz music.
    The 4-disc box set has each disc representing a particular "era." There are 20 songs per disc.

    Disc One: The Very Best Of Ella
    This particular disc would easily be an album in itself. Every song (which is true for every disc in this set) are exceptional. Yet the highlights for me are the songs I pretty much have already heard of, yet not the Ella Fitzgerald versions: "A-Tisket A-Tasket," "How High The Moon" (the Les Paul & Mary Ford version), "My Happiness" (Elvis Presley). Yet other standouts are "Five O'Clock Whistle," "Flying Home", "You Won't Be Satisfied Until You Break My Heart." What is also another huge highlights are the songs where Ella Fitzgerald was famous for: Singing in "scat": "Flying Home," "Oh Lady Be Good," "How High The Moon," "Airmail Special," "Blue Lou."

    Disc Two: Ella & Friends
    This another very impressive disc. Of the 20 songs here, Ella is joined by other Jazz Legends: Louis Armstrong, The Ink Spots, Louis Jordan, The The Delta Rhythm Boys, (whom I've never heard of), and the Mills Brothers. Ella and Louis' "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" is a highlight, and the lyrics of "Can Anyone Explain" can bring a chuckle or two. With the Ink Spots, their song "I'm Making Believe" hit the #1 spot on Billboard back in December, 1944, for two weeks. Every duet with Louis Jordan are classics. Of the songs with the Delta Rhythm Boys, two standout for me, as I was already familiar with these tunes: "It's Only A Paper Moon" (known from the movie (Paper Moon), starring Tatum O'Neal, and "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons," a #1 song for Nat King Cole. Only two songs are with the Mills Brothers, of which neither I have never heard of before. As a big fan of The Mills Brothers, I'm just wondering if there were other recordings by Ella and The Mills Brothers.

    Disc Three: Ella Sings Gershwin & Others
    This disc (as well as the fourth one) captures the soulfulness of Ella Fitzgerald. Highlights from this particular disc are the classic standards "Someone To Watch Over Me," "I've Got A Crush On You,""People Will Say We're In Love," "Makin' Whoopee," "Stardust."

    Disc Four: Ella & The Arrangers
    Six arrangers from Ella's career are focused on the disc. And of the six, I am only familiar with one bolded: Sy Oliver, Gordon Jenkins, Bob Haggart, Andre Previn, Benny Carter, and Toots Camerata. The highlights include "Basin Street Blues" (of which there is a nice imitation of Louis Armstrong), "I've Got The World On A String," "Happy Talk," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," "A Sunday Kind Of Love," "Thanks For The Memory," "It Might As Well Be Spring," "You Never Know," "That Old Black Magic."

    There are many box sets, and this one is a must to get. Recently, we reviewed Billie Holiday's Lady In Autumn: The Best Of The Verve Years. Which one is better, Ella's or Billie's? I'd have to say Ella's, probably because there are more discs in this set than Billie's. I didn't really grow up listening to both Ella and Billie, as I am discovering both of their incredible music more now.

    But for the true Jazz fan, Ella Fitzgerald is one of the artists never to be overlooked. Ella was a Legend, and an inspiration to the future of popular Jazz artists. There are standards on this box set, scat songs that will result in awe. Only remembering her from the Memorex commercials back then, I was more focused on Rock, as I grew older, my only regret was not to discover the great Jazz artists while in my early childhood. Although this box set was from her Decca era, she also recorded for the Verve label (just as Billie Holiday did).

    Of the two discs, the first two are the most impressive. The whole box set is definitely worth purchasing. Discover or re-discover Ella Fitzgerald's priceless recordings from her early career. Most of the songs were first appeared on 78 rpm. Throughout the next decades, 45s and albums (33 1/3) would be a part of Ella's collecting. Then with the compact disc, collecting her music would simply be worth having. In looking at the Jazz charts, I've only seen one of her albums reach #1. Not one of her songs reached the Jazz singles chart, although I'm not really sure if both of these charts are dated from before 1967 (for Jazz Albums) and 2006 (for Jazz songs). In 1993, she had both legs amputated from diabetes. She passed away on June 15, 1996, at the age of 79.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Decca Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1301
    Soundtrack--The Graduate
    Next Review: #1303
    The Ides Of March--Vehicle