The Very Best of Cole Porter [Hip-O]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Contrasts, whether ironic or not, were continually at the heart of Cole Porter's timeless songs, as befits a man who greeted the world as the very definition of a sophisticated New Yorker, but was actually born in Peru, IN. Porter's careful studies of people in love are filled with obsessive characters who express hope but are frightfully desperate, who appear casual but are dangerously deliberate, seem joyous but are secretly sad, and in general muddle around in the continual conflicting emotions that tangle together in this thing we call love. Porter's credo may well have been that no one is immune to heartbreak, and the characters painted in song after gorgeous song ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Contrasts, whether ironic or not, were continually at the heart of Cole Porter's timeless songs, as befits a man who greeted the world as the very definition of a sophisticated New Yorker, but was actually born in Peru, IN. Porter's careful studies of people in love are filled with obsessive characters who express hope but are frightfully desperate, who appear casual but are dangerously deliberate, seem joyous but are secretly sad, and in general muddle around in the continual conflicting emotions that tangle together in this thing we call love. Porter's credo may well have been that no one is immune to heartbreak, and the characters painted in song after gorgeous song are right at the edge of falling in love, but still struggling with it, because everyone knows the potential for pain that trails in the wake of love. Is the protagonist in "Just One of Those Things" sung here by Anita O'Day really that resigned? Doesn't he or she really wish it wasn't just one of those things? It's a riddle that isn't answered in the lyrics, and like the question of who Daddy is in "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" sung here by Peggy Lee, the answer really has to be supplied by the listener, and that answer will inevitably vary from person to person. Appearances are continually deceiving in Porter's amazingly precise songs. "I Get a Kick Out of You" done here by Dinah Washington feels like an upbeat song with a playful wink in its eye, but a close inspection of the lyrics reveals tremendous sadness, and the kind of prolonged depression only the absence of joy can bring. Louis Armstrong may sing "Let's Do It Let's Fall in Love" like it's a matter of two people making a decision, but to Porter love is not a decision, its inevitable, and reluctance only prolongs the inevitable, and to fight against it leads to exhaustion, as Shirley Horn's breathless, atmospheric version of "Love for Sale" shows. Not that Porter's songs paint landscapes of desolation and loss; it's just that underneath those gorgeous, uplifting melodies and artfully simple lyrics are scores of hidden conflicts, which is why different versions of his tunes by different artists so often yield different results and possibilities. "I give to you and you give to me," Dean Martin sings in the opening lines of "True Love," and its difficult to say by following the lyrics whether Porter felt that such a balance is the real nature of true love or an impossible ideal. Again, its up to the listener, and at different times Porter's songs lead to different conclusions. This is a marvelous selection of Cole Porter songs, and if hearing them doesn't necessarily help sort out the myriad complexities of what love is, they're at least wonderful to hum and sing while you're wrestling with the matter.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/15/2004
  • Label: Hip-O Records
  • UPC: 602498614716
  • Catalog Number: 000178002
  • Sales rank: 15,510

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Too Darn Hot - Ella Fitzgerald (3:48)
  2. 2 My Heart Belongs to Daddy - Peggy Lee (2:09)
  3. 3 Begin the Beguine - Tony Bennett (3:25)
  4. 4 You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To - Sarah Vaughan (4:01)
  5. 5 It's De-Lovely - Jeri Southern (2:08)
  6. 6 True Love - Dean Martin (2:32)
  7. 7 Love for Sale - Shirley Horn (3:52)
  8. 8 Anything Goes - Helen Merrill (3:07)
  9. 9 Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) - Louis Armstrong (8:42)
  10. 10 Let's Misbehave - Eartha Kitt (3:29)
  11. 11 Easy to Love - Billie Holiday (3:01)
  12. 12 What Is This Thing Called Love? - Mel Tormé (2:56)
  13. 13 Just One of Those Things - Anita O'Day (2:07)
  14. 14 I Get a Kick Out of You - Dinah Washington (6:19)
  15. 15 In the Still of the Night - Aaron Neville (4:49)
  16. 16 Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye - Carmen McRae (3:02)
  17. 17 Night and Day - Fred Astaire (5:00)
  18. 18 You Do Something to Me - Ella Fitzgerald (2:21)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cole Porter Primary Artist
Mike Orchestra Renzi Track Performer
Technical Credits
Aaron Neville Producer
Rob Mounsey Producer
Mitch Miller Producer
Norman Granz Producer
Hugh Fordin Producer
Will Friedwald Liner Notes
Milt Gabler Producer
Cole Porter Composer
Bob Shad Producer
Lee Gillette Producer
Vartan Art Direction
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