The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography:
A Gallery Of Decca Anthologies And Hits Packages
by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Page generated on Mar 18, 2017


Scope And Contents

This page focuses on Peggy Lee anthologies which meet the following criteria: (a) they contain primarily Decca masters and (b) they qualify as either official or licensed releases. As for my organization of the page, I have listed all qualifying anthologies by their country of origin. Namely: the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Australasia, Japan (sections V to IX) and the United States (sections II to IV). Before all such sections, I have dedicated a preliminary sections to the recommendation of above-average anthologies.


I. RECOMMENDATIONS




Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Black Coffee And Other Delights; The Decca Anthology / Format: CS & CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: 2 11122 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Discs: 2 / Tracks: 46 / Note: One of two Decca anthologies that are indispensable for Peggy Lee completists, Black Coffee And Other Delights samples extensively from Peggy Lee's entire five-year tenure with Decca Records (1952-1956). Includes many album cuts, the main hit singles, some less well-known singles, and even one previously unissued cut ("I Still Get A Thrill"). Produced by Andy McKaie. Compiled by Tony Natelli. Digitally remastered by Erick Labson. Liner notes by Jim Lowe. The other indispensable compilation is discussed immediately below.

2. Title: Classics & Collectibles / Format: CD / Label: Universal Music Group / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) 1130342 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Discs: 2 / Tracks: 52 / Note: One of two Decca anthologies that are indispensable for Peggy Lee completists, Classics And Collectibles concentrates on singles and rarities. The set contains all of Peggy Lee's Decca numbers that had never digitized before 2003, including one previously unissued track ("It's Because We're In Love") and excepting one track that is now deemed permanently lost). Also included in this set is the master -- and superior -- take of "Johnny Guitar." (As fate would have it, this "Johnny Guitar" master has rarely been issued on CD. Most compact discs have used an alternate take instead.) Although Classics & Collectibles officially contains 52 tracks, some of its early pressings mistakenly feature only 50. Missing are "Bella Notte" and the medley of "Peace On Earth/Silent Night." Prospective buyers are thus advised to ask vendors about the number of tracks in any copy for sale. It should also be noted that grievous errors were made in the case of two masters that feature doubletracked vocals: "The Siamese Cat Song" and "Sisters." Peggy Lee overdubbed her voice, singing two characters, for both of those tracks, yet only one of the two voices is heard in this set's transfer. Furthermore, the set's new mix for the song "How Strange" is vastly inferior to the one heard in the original vinyl. Leaving those three engineering flaws aside, the set is excellent. With its inclusion of just about every rarity from the singer's Decca contract, it filled what used to be a huge gap in Peggy Lee's CD catalogue. Compiled by Jim Pierson. Mastered by Gary Moore at the Universal Digital Mastering Studio. Lines notes by David Torresen. As for duplication between this set and item #1, about a dozen songs are heard in both sets -- thus leaving over 30 numbers that are exclusive to each set.





Artwork Shown:

3. Title: A Woman Alone With The Blues / Format: CD / Label: Blue Moon / Cat. Num.: (Spain) Bmcd 3034 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Tracks: 18 / Note: Releases from the Spanish label Blue Moon generally have very good sound quality, and this one is no exception. All 18 tracks date back to Peggy Lee's first two years with Decca Records (1952-1954). Includes all four masters from her debut Decca session, as well as two of her best-known self-penned numbers ("Johnny Guitar," "Where Can I Go Without You?"), a couple of seldom released treats ("Bouquet Of Blues," "That's Him Over There"), and six of the eight numbers from the 10" LP edition of Black Coffee.

4. Title: Love Songs / Format: CD / Label: Universal Music Group / Cat. Num.: 0881131002 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Tracks: 14 / Note: This topical collection has a track listing that is noteworthy for its variety. Each of the years that Lee spent at Decca (1952-1956) is represented. Some of the selections are among her rarer Decca masters ("Love You So," "The Night Holds No Fear"), and most of her original Decca albums are sampled, too. (Its sound quality is not top-notch, however.)


II. THE SEMINAL DECCA ANTHOLOGY






Artwork Shown:

1-6. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Decca / Cat. Num.: Dxb 164 (4024-4025) / Rel. Year: 1960 / Pieces: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: The gatefold album shown above was the original edition of an item that has enjoyed an extensive reissue history. It includes lengthy notes by Leonard Feather along with six small color photos of Peggy Lee in performance. During the LP era, this Best Of Peggy Lee album probably introduced many casual listeners to Peggy Lee's catalogue -- especially internationally. (On the matter of foreign editions, see not only the specific entries shown in the present section but also this page's bottom section, exclusively dedicated to Japanese issues. Though sporting different titles and different artwork, track-wise some of those Japanese issues are basically slightly modified reissues of the album set under discussion.) Moving on to matters of dating, I should stress that the correct original release date for this album is 1960, even if a fair number of sources incorrectly date it 1964. (The latter could actually be the release date of the earliest reissue: as shown below, many reissues and reiterations would follow.) Of the six images displayed above, the first four belong to the original album set. Images #5 and #6 exemplify variations found in the reissues: photos and liner notes together in one inner cover, or photos and liner notes printed separately, in an insert (belonging to a boxed set instead of a gatefold album). In yet another variation, not pictured here, the photos are in black & white instead of color.





Artwork Shown:

7. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Decca / Cat. Num.: Dxsb 7 164 (4024-4025); also Dl 7 4024 / Rel. Year: 1966 (according to three sources) or 1969 (according to a third source) / Pieces: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: Decca's reissue of its own original 1960 album. Notice the white sticker with the words "simulated stereo." Though this sticker happens to hides them, the words "enhanced for stereo" (i.e., electronically channelled) can also be found in the original cover itself, on the horizontal blue stripe. Notice as well that this cover differs from the cover of the 1960 original in the addition of that stripe at the top. The stripe primarily recurs in subsequent American reissues.

8 & 9. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: CS & LP / Label: Mca / Cat. Num.: 2 4049 / Rel. Year: 1980; also 1982 / Pieces: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: Mca's reissue of the original 1960 Decca album. The vinyl version (image #9) is a gatefold album, just like the 1960 original. It includes Feather's original liner notes but drops the photos of Peggy Lee. MCA released this particular reissue not only in the USA but also in various other countries, generally with the same artwork but a different catalogue number. For instance, the Australian edition (image #15 below) has a nearly identical front cover but bears another catalogue number.

I own a copy of the above-show cassette (image #8). Oddly, its front cover bears a 1982 copyright date yet the cassette itself has a 1980 copyright date. Presumably, the dual dating means that this reissue edition (i.e., MCA2-4049) was first released in 1980, and then re-pressed it in 1982. To further complicate matters, there is reason to cast doubt about the accuracy of both dates. One owner of the LP edition reports that it bears a 1980 date but that he remembers buying it in the 1970s. If his recollection is correct, one plausible explanation could be the existence of a typographical error in MCA's release year information. Another possible explanation would be that 1980 and 1982 are just two out of various years in which MCA re-released this album.

10. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Mca / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 24 / Pieces: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: Unlike the earlier editions of the album, this is not a gatefold LP. Instead, the 2 LPs are encased inside the same album jacket. Feather's liner notes and the aforementioned photos are missing.





Artwork Shown:

11. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Decca / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Jdl 5201 2 / Rel. Year: unknown; possibly around 1960 / Pieces: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: Japanese edition of the American original gatefold album.

12. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Brunswick / Cat. Num.: (Germany) 87056 Lpbm / Rel. Year: 1961 / Tracks: 12 / Note: Abbreviated German edition of the American Decca LP. Of the twelve songs included, two are new to the collection. The other ten songs are found in the original 24-song LP from the US. The newly added songs are "Let Me Go, Lover!" and "Johnny Guitar."





Artwork Shown:

13. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Festival / Cat. Num.: (New Zealand) Fl 30386-30387 [also F-AL 10-2] / Pieces: 2 / Rel. Year: probably 1961 / Tracks: 24 / Note: Straight reissue of the American original album (same tracks, same artwork, same notes). The packaging differs, however: this is not a gatefold but a boxed album, with the photos and notes in an insert.

14. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Calendar / Cat. Num.: (Australia) R66 430 / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 12 / Note: Abbreviated edition of the original double LP. Calendar was a division of Festival Records, the latter being the same company that issued the preceding item.

15. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Australia) Maps 1600 / Rel. Year: unknown; possibly 1980s / Pieces: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: This is an Australian edition of item #9 above. I have found it listed as both Map 1600 and Maps 1600. The dual listing suggests that the set was released in one edition that purported to be monophonic and in another that labels itself stereophonic (or "electronically channelled").

16. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Ariel / Cat. Num.: (Argentina) 4012 / Pieces: 2 / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 24 / Note: Leonard Feather's notes are offered in a Spanish translation, and so are the song titles: "Café negro," "Sr. Maravilloso," "Oh, ese beso," "Manzanas, duraznos y cerezas," "Mi corazón pertenece a mi papito," etc.)





Artwork Shown:

17. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee, Volume 1 / Format: LP / Label: Brunswick / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Lat 8355 / Rel. Year: 1961 / Tracks: 10 / Note: In the United Kingdom, the album under discussion was originally released in two separate volumes. Moreover, it was abbreviated release, since it featured 10 instead of 12 songs per LP. Still further, there were alterations to the track listing. Of the ten songs in this volume, only eight are the same as in the American edition of the album. The new added numbers are "He's A Tramp" and "I've Got You Under My Skin."

18. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee, Volume 2 / Format: LP / Label: Brunswick / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Lat 8356 / Rel. Year: 1961 / Tracks: 10 / Note: The same general comments that were just made about Brunswick Lat 8355 in the preceding entry apply to the present entry, too. The two bely added songs are "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" and "Just One Of Those Things."

19. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee, Volume 1 [& Volume 2] / Format: LP / Label: Coral / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Cp 25 and Cps 25 [Volume 2: Cp 37 and Cps 37] / Rel. Year: 1970 / Tracks: 12 / Note: Coral's reissue of the original album splits it into two separately sold volumes, just as Brunswick had previously done. Curiously, however, Coral did not copy Brunswick's track listing, but reverted instead to the track listing found in the original American version. (Hence the only significant difference between the albums on British Coral and American Decca is that the Decca original was issued as one gatefold 2LP set containing 24 tracks, whereas Coral split the tracks into two separately sold items, each containing 12 tracks.) The above-seen picture shows the first of the Coral volumes. As for volume 2 (cat. num. Cp 37 and Cps 37), its front cover is identical to that of the first volume -- except for the identification as volume 2, of course. (In the image above, the words "volume 1" can be found, printed in very small lettering, right under the title of the album.) These Coral volumes were issued in both mono (prefix Cp) and fake stereo (prefix Cps).

20. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee, Volume 1 [& Volume 2] / Format: LP / Label: Coral / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Cp 1075 and Cps 1075 [Volume 2: Cp 1084, Cps 1084] / Rel. Year: 1974 / Tracks: 12 / Note: Listed in the entry preceding this one was a 1970 two-volume Coral Records reissue of the original Decca album. The present entry is for a 1974 Coral reissue of that 1970 reissue. Except for their catalogue numbers, these two Coral volumes from 1974 would seem to be identical to the 1970 ones. (I should point out that I have never actually seen these 1974 reissues. Furthermore, I am not absolutely certain that the above-given catalogue number prefixes are correct. The prefixes Cp and Cps are certainly the ones given by the music guides that I have followed, but other sources list them instead under prefix Crl. Since I don't have copies of these albums, I cannot ascertain which set of sources is correct -- if any. It might be that the non-guides are using the abbreviation Crl on their own initiative, in an attempt at indicating that the issuing label is Coral.) Notice that only four years separate the 1970 volumes from these 1974 ones. If such release dates are accurate (I found them in the music guides), the short span between Coral's first reissue and this second reissue could be an indication that The Best Of Peggy Lee was enjoying healthy sales in British land.





Artwork Shown:

21 & 22. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP & CS / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Mcml 1632 & Mclc 1632 / Tracks: 16 / Rel. Year: 1981 / Note: This issue combines 11 tracks from the original The Best Of Peggy Lee (the American gatefold 24-song LP) with the 4 tracks that were added to the Brunswick versions (entries #17 and #18 above). For good measure, there is also one track that is brand new to the collection, "Easy Living."

23. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee ("Golden Greats" Series) / Format: LP & CS / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Mcm 5010 & Mcmc 5010 / Tracks: 16 / Rel. Year: 1985 / Note: Reissue of the items just listed in the two preceding entriesentries. Same tracks, different artwork. The 1981 date found in these issues is not their release date. It is instead their copyright date (℗).

24. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee ("Golden Greats" Series) / Format: CS & CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Mcld 19123 / Tracks: 16 / Rel. Year: 1991 / Note: Digital edition of the 1985 and 1981 issues mentioned in the three preceding entries.





Artwork Shown:

25. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee ("Super Evergreen Series") / Format: CS / Label: 747 Pop / Cat. Num.: (Saudi Arabia) unknown / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 15 / Note: Of the 15 tracks, 10 are the same ones as in the original American gatefold LP. The different tracks are "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me," "Easy Living," and "He's A Tramp."

26. Title: Peggy Lee ("Voces Y Sonidos De Oro" Series, Volumen 8) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Spain) S 21319 / Rel. Year: 1971 / Tracks: 12 / Note: Contains the exact same tracks as the first of the two LPs in the original American Best Of Peggy Lee album (item #1 above). Also uses the same photo, though downsized and with a golden framing around it.

27. Title: Lover ("Golden Aces" Series) / Format: LP / Label: Brunswick / Cat. Num.: (Netherlands) Dz 177 001 / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 12 / Note: Contains the same tracks as item #10 above (including "He's A Tramp" and "I've Got You Under My Skin"). The photo used for the front cover is part of the same set of shots found inside the original American gatefold LP (entry #5 above), yet this particular photo is not among those found in the gatefold album.

28. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Pieces: 2 / Label: Decca / Cat. Num.: (Japan) As 7 (Dls 13/14) / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 24 / Note: Like the original USA album, this Japanese edition contains 24 tracks, but 3 of the original numbers ("That's What A Woman Is For," "You Let My Love Get Cold," "The Siamese Cat Song") have been replaced with 3 other songs to which Japanese audiences clearly were more responsive ("La La Lu," "Johnny Guitar," "Autumn In Rome"). As can be seen above, the cover is different. The front is bare and all red except for the text, which is in gold lettering. There is no photo, nor are there any drawings. In other respects, however, this issue sticks to the 1960 American original's design. For one, it is a gatefold album. Second, the same six photos found in the inner cover of the original USA album are also found inside this item -- along with text in Japanese which might or might not be a translation of the Leonard Feather notes.


III. LP COMPILATIONS FROM DECCA'S BRANCHES





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Crazy In The Heart / Format: LP / Label: Vocalion / Cat. Num.: Vl 7 3903 / Rel. Year: 1970 / Tracks: 10 / Note: Half of the tracks are from the album Black Coffee, the other half from the album Miss Wonderful -- a fact that is not acknowledged anywhere in this compilation from Decca's budget branch Vocalion. Simulated stereo.

2. Title: Then And Now / Format: LP / Label: MCA Special Markets & Kapp / Cat. Num.: 734728 / Rel. Year: 1970 / Tracks: 10 / Note: This compilation contains five Peggy Lee tracks on one side, five Jack Jones tracks on the other side. It is one of 3 LPs similarly devised by MCA Special Markets, in cooperation with other record labels. (One of the other LPs feature The Supremes and Neil Diamond, another Roger Williams and Bert Kaempfert.) Though they often ended up at used record stores, all three albums were originally intended as in-store promotional items for the Colgate-Palmolive company. After accumulating 4 of the coupons found in the boxes and containers of the company's products, a customer could exchange the coupons for a LP of their choice (out of those three) at participating supermarkets and drug chains.





Artwork Shown:

3. Back cover of item #1.

4. Back cover of item #2.





Artwork Shown:

5 & 6. Title: Crazy In The Heart / Format: LP / Label: MCA Victor / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mcl 1012 / Rel. Year: unknown; post-1969 / Tracks: 10 / Note: Japanese edition of item #1 (+ #3).


IV. CD COMPILATIONS ORIGINALLY RELEASED IN THE USA





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Black Coffee And Other Delights; The Decca Anthology / Format: CD & CS / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: 2 11122 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Parts: 2 discs or 2 tapes / Tracks: 46 / Note: Recommended issue; see note in this page's section I. The cassette version can be seen below.

2. Title: Black Coffee And Other Delights; The Decca Anthology / Format: CD & CS / Label: Jazz Heritage Society / Cat. Num.: 524865 M / Rel. Year: 1997 / Pieces: 2 discs or 2 tapes / Tracks: 46 / Note: A reissue of item #1. The cassette version can be seen below.

3. Title: Black Coffee And Other Delights; The Decca Anthology / Format: CD / Label: MCA Victor / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mcvm 32007 8 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Parts: 2 / Tracks: 46 / Note: Japanese edition of the original USA issue (item #1).





Artwork Shown:

4. More views of the MCA CD set (image #1). In addition to the jewel case that holds its two discs, the set's booklet (opened to its first page) is visible. This 24-page booklet is also included in MCA's tape edition (next item shown) -- naturally in reduced, cassette size, and with a few pictures missing. As for the Jazz Heritage Society CD edition (item #3 above), it has a 12-page version, which includes the booklet's original essay and track information but no pictures. I do not know if the Jazz Heritage Society cassette edition (items #4 & 6) comes with a booklet; I assume that the Japanese edition does.

5. Title: Black Coffee And Other Delights; The Decca Anthology / Format: CS & CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: 2 11122 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Parts: 2 / Tracks: 46 / Note: The CD version can be seen above (item #1).

6 & 7. Title: Black Coffee And Other Delights; The Decca Anthology / Format: CD & CS / Label: Jazz Heritage Society / Cat. Num.: 524865 M / Rel. Year: 1997 / Pieces: 2 discs or 2 tapes / Tracks: 46 / Note: A reissue of item #3. Consists of two tapes, the first shown in image #4, the second in image #6. Jazz Heritage Society's CD counterpart to this item can be seen above (image #2).






Artwork Shown:

8 & 10. Title: The Best Of The Decca Years / Format: CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: Mcad 11571 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Tracks: 16 / Note: Produced by Andy Mckaie. Compilation and track-by-track credits by Jim Pierson. Digitally remastered by Paul Elmore. Liner notes by Joseph F. Laredo. First CD release of "It Must Be So." First release of the duet "The Possibility's There" on a CD by Lee (it had previously appeared only on a couple of Crosby issues).

9 & 11. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee; The Millenium Collection ("20th Century Masters" Series) / Format: CD / Label: Universal Music Group / Cat. Num.: 112866 / Rel. Year: 2002 / Tracks: 12 / Note: Compiled and produced by Andy McKaie. Production coordination by Beth Stempel. Digital remastered by Erick Labson. Liner notes by David Torresen. Includes all the best-known recordings from Lee's Decca years, from "Lover" and "Mr. Wonderful" to "Black Coffee" and "Johnny Guitar."





Artwork Shown:

12. Title: Love Songs / Format: CD / Label: Universal Music Group / Cat. Num.: 0881131002 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Tracks: 14 / Note: Fine sound quality and a track listing noteworthy for its variety. Each of the years that Lee spent at Decca (1952-1956) is represented by one of more tracks. Some of the selections rank among Lee's rarer Decca masters ("Love You So," "The Night Holds No Fear"). Most of her original Decca albums are sampled, too. Recommended CD.

13. Title: Miss Peggy Lee ("Some Of The Best" Series) / Format: CD / Label: LaserLight / Cat. Num.: 12641 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Tracks: 13 / Note: Seven of the 13 tracks in this anthology were licensed from Decca. Also included are 6 non-Decca tracks, two from her big band years with The Benny Goodman Orchestra, one a MacGregor transcription recording, and the other three Lee renditions from episodes of Bing Crosby's radio show,

14. Title: Miss Peggy Lee ("More Of The Best" Series) / Format: CD / Label: LaserLight / Cat. Num.: 12642 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Tracks: 12 / Note: Half of the 12 tracks in this anthology were licensed from Decca. Of the non-Decca tracks, three are transcription recordings, one is a Capitol master, and two are Lee renditions from episodes of Bing Crosby's radio show.


V. UK RELEASES





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: 'perfect-lee' / Format: CS & LP & CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Mclc 1794 & Mcl 1794 & Dmcl 1794 / Rel. Year: 1984 & 1989 [CD] / Tracks: 16

2. Title: Classics & Collectibles / Format: CD / Label: Universal Music Group / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) 1130342 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Discs: 2 / Tracks: 52 / Note: Recommended issue, see note in this page's section I.





Artwork Shown:

3 & 4. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee, 1952-1956 / Format: CS & CD / Label: Music Club / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Mctc 157 & Mccd 157 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Tracks: 18 / Note: Licensed from MCA.

5. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee, 1952-1956 [Collectors' Edition] / Format: CD / Label: Music Club / Cat. Num.: (Germany?) Mccdse 157 04 998 / Rel. Year: 1994 or later / Tracks: 18 / Note: This collectors' edition is identical to the regular edition (item #4) except for a few but significant details. It is boxed, it comes with three Peggy Lee photo cards, and it has a different catalogue number. Furthermore, my collectors' edition identifies itself as manufactured in Germany instead of Great Britain.

6. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee, 1952-1956 / Format: CD / Label: Music Club / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Mccd 501479729 426 4 / Rel. Year: 2000 / Tracks: 18 / Note: Reissue of item #4.





Artwork Shown:

7. Title: Black Coffee; Best Of The Decca Years / Format: CS & CD / Label: Half Moon / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Hmncd 023 / Rel. Year: 1998 / Tracks: 24 / Note: Licensed collection.

8. Title: Black Coffee; The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: CD / Label: Music Club / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Mccd 619 / Rel. Year: 2007 / Discs: 2 / Tracks: 50 / Actually contains masters from various labels. There are 18 Decca tracks, 16 Capitol tracks, 7 Columbia tracks (from Lee's big band years with The Benny Goodman Orchestra), and 9 radio transcriptions (including a few from Capitol's transcription service). Whereas Music Club releases from earlier years had been licensed, this one seems to have been a Public Domain collection.





Artwork Shown:

9 & 10. Title: Unforgettable ("15/16 Golden Classics" Series) / Format: CD & CS & LP / Label: Castle Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Uncd 27 & Unmc 27 & Unlp 27 / Rel. Year: 1987 / Tracks: 15 / Note: This release appears to be a licensed compilation; song copyright credits are given in the back cover. My thanks to Jarl Ingves for kindly supplying the CD's image.

11. Title: Perfect-Lee / Format: MP3 / Label: Hallmark / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) __ / Rel. Year: 2011 / Tracks: 12 / Note: An abbreviated Public Domain reissue of item #1. Prospective buyers should beware of Hallmark releases; their sound quality has proven to be reprehensibly poor in quite a few cases. (Nevertheless, and in all fairness, I have not listened to this particular MP3 item.)


VI. GERMAN RELEASES





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: My Greatest Songs / Format: LP / Label: Brunswick / Cat. Num.: (Germany) 87092 / Rel. Year: 1963 / Tracks: 14

2. Title: My Greatest Songs / Format: CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Germany) Mcd 18346 / Rel. Year: 1991 / Tracks: 14 / Note: CD issue of the LP My Greatest Songs (item #1).

3. Title: Peggy Lee ("Star Portrait" Series) / Format: CD / Label: Universal Music Group / Cat. Num.: (Germany) unknown / Rel. Year: 2005 / Tracks: 14 / Note: Another reissue of the previously listed album My Greatest Songs.


Related Issues, Not Shown Above:

4. Title: My Greatest Songs ("Gema American" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Germany) Blk 86 024P / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 14 / Note: Reissue of item #1. Uses the same artwork.


VII. SPANISH AND LATIN AMERICAN RELEASES





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: A Woman Alone With The Blues / Format: CD / Label: Blue Moon / Cat. Num.: (Spain) Bmcd 3034 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Tracks: 18 / Note: Releases from the Spanish label Blue Moon generally have very good sound quality, and this one is no exception. Includes two of Peggy Lee's best-known lyrics ("Johnny Guitar," "Where Can I Go Without You?"), a couple of seldom released treats ("Bouquet Of Blues," "That's Him Over There"), all four masters from Lee's debut Decca session, and six of the eight numbers from the 10" LP edition of Black Coffee. All 18 tracks are from the artist's first two years with Decca (1952-1954). Recommended issue; see also note in this page's section I.

2. Title: A Woman Alone With The Blues / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: (Korea) unknown / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 18 / Note: Asian edition of item #1.





Artwork Shown:

3. Title: Peggy Lee ("Voces Y Sonidos De Oro" Series, Volumen 8) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Spain) S 21319 / Rel. Year: 1971 / Tracks: 12 / Note: Already discussed in section II above; see note therein.

4.  Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee ("Jazz Odissey" Series)  / Format: LP   /  Label:  MCA International   /  Cat. Num.: (Brazil)  127.013 / Rel. Year:  unknown (post-1975) / Tracks:  11  / Note:  Distributed by EMI-Odeon.


VIII. AUSTRALASIAN RELEASES





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Very Special ("Premium Masters" Series) / Format: CD / Label: Castle / Cat. Num.: (Australasia) Pcd 10016 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Tracks: 16 / Note: Licensed from MCA.

General Note
See also above, under Spanish issues, item #2.


IX. JAPANESE RELEASES






Artwork Shown:

1 - 4. Title: Peggy Lee ("Super Deluxe" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA Victor / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mca 10016 / Rel. Year: 1973 / Tracks: 14





Artwork Shown:

5 - 10. Title: The Very Best Of Peggy Lee ("Twin Deluxe" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) 9056-9057 / Pieces: 2 / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 24 / Note: MCA LP 9056-9057 was released at least twice, each time with different artwork. The front cover of one edition can be seen in image #5 (along with its back cover, on image #8). The front cover of the other LP version is seen in image #7 (and its back cover in image #10). Since I do not know the release year of either LP edition, I am not sure which one is the original and which one is the reissue. As for images #6 and #9, they show the inner sides of this gatefold LP set. (To be more specific, these inner pictures belong to the album set seen in images #5 and #8.) It is also worth noting that this "Twin Deluxe" album is essentially an expanded reissue of the "Deluxe"/"Excel"/"Golden Disc" albums shown directly below (i.e., they share the exact same tracks).






Artwork Shown:

11 & 14. Title: Peggy Lee ("Golden Disc" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Vim 10013 / Rel. Year: 1973 / Tracks: 14 / Note: The first image shows this album's front cover. Its back cover is displayed in the image directly below.

12 & 15. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) 7023 / Tracks: 14 / Rel. Year: possibly 1978 / Note: This album seems to be a qualified reissue of the aforementioned album, The Best Of Peggy Lee ("Golden Disc" Series). Ten of this album's tracks are the same as in that other album. (Incidentally, three of the four new tracks are placed at the very end of the LP -- i.e., tracks #5, #6, and #7 of side B.) The top image displays this album's front cover, the image directly below its back cover.
On another note, this particular album is sometimes (mis)identified by online vendors as The Best Of Peggy Lee; Johnny Guitar ("Johnny Guitar" being the album's first track).

13 & 17. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee ("Excel One" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Vim 7514 / Tracks: 14 / Rel. Year: 1982 / Note: Reissue of the above-mentioned Peggy Lee ("Golden Disc" Series) (different catalogue number, same tracks). The first image shows the cover and the obi. The back of the obi is displayed in the image located directly below.





Artwork Shown:

18. Title: Louis Armstrong And Peggy Lee ("The Big Stars" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Vfc 1608 / Tracks: 10 (5 by Armstrong, 5 by Lee) / Rel. Year: unknown / Note: One side of this LP is entirely dedicated to Peggy Lee's recordings, the other side to Louis Armstrong recordings. There are no duets.

19. Title: Peggy Lee And Bing Crosby ("Sound Stream Selection" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Vim 8019 and Vim 8020 / Tracks: 24 (12 by Lee) / Rel. Year: unknown / Pieces: 2 / Note: One of the two LPs (#8020) is entirely dedicated to Peggy Lee's recordings, the other (#8019) to Bing Crosby recordings. There are no duets.

19a. I do not have many specifics about this various-artists 2LP compilation, which i believe to include at least one Peggy Lee track. It is obviously part of the same series as the previously discussed MCA 2LP album Peggy Lee And Bing Crosby. I am including the compilation's picture here chiefly to expose that connection, and to raise the possibility that the Crosby-Lee release might have been part of a boxed set of sorts, which would have also included this various-artists primer.





Artwork Shown:

20. Title: Peggy Lee ("Deluxe" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) P 11546 / Rel. Year: 1985 / Tracks: 15

21. Title: Black Coffee ("Spectrum" Series) / Format: CD / Label: Universal - MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Ejs 4145 / Tracks: 12 / Rel. Year: 2000

22. Title: Peggy Lee ("Best Selection" Series) / Format: Cassette / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Pkh 7051 / Tracks: 22 / Rel. Year: 1986 / Note: Presumed to also exist in CD and/or LP configurations. I have seen but not listened to this item. Its back cover lists the tracks in Japanese. I would appreciate receiving English translations for the eight titles that I have not been able to figure out yet (tracks #3, #4, #6, #8, and #9 on side 1; tracks #1, #7, and #9 on side two).

23. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee ("A Thousand Yen Jazz" Series) / Format: CD / Label: Universal Music Group / Tracks: 10 / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Uccu 9176 / Rel. Year: 2006





Artwork Shown:

24 & 25. Title: Peggy Lee ("Best 22 Songs" Series) / Format: CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) 35 Xd 510 / Rel. Year: 1986 / Tracks: 22 / Note: For a different 1991 CD from a similarly titled series, see next entry.

26. Title: Peggy Lee ("Best 22" Series) / Format: CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mvcm 28009 / Rel. Year: 1991 / Tracks: 22 / Note: Although it identifies itself as being from a "Best 22" series, this MCA item is not a reissue of the above-shown 1986 MCA CD. Neither the track listing nor the artwork are the same. Also not identical: the title of the series -- "Best 22" in this case, "Best 22 Songs" in the case of the previously discussed series. See also items immediately below.





Artwork Shown:

27. Title: Peggy Lee ("Best One" Series) / Format: CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mvcm 2505 / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 22 / Note: Curiously, the track listing and the way it has been sequenced are identical to the preceding CD (the one from the "Best 22" series). Also identical: the manner in which the track listing is printed on the front of the disc. Hence this "Best One" CD can be deemed a reissue of the "Best 22" CD, though using different artwork and under a different series.

28. Title: Peggy Lee ("Best One" Series) / Format: CD / Label: MCA Victor / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mvcm 28023 / Rel. Year: 1993 / Tracks: 22 / Note: Straight reissue of the preceding item, differing only in its obi and catalogue number.

29. Title: Peggy Lee ("New Best One" Series) / Format: CD / Label: MCA Victor / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mvcm 28023 / Rel. Year: unknown; after 1993 / Tracks: 22 / Note: Reissue of the two preceding items.

30. Title: Peggy Lee (aka The Best Of Peggy Lee) / Format: CD / Label: Universal / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Uicy 1534 / Rel. Year: 2001; reprinted 2002 / Tracks: 22 / Note: Reissue of the three preceding items. Unfortunately, I do not have an obi for this item. It might have been reprinted again after 2002.






Artwork Shown:

31. Title: Peggy Lee ("Best Of Best" Series) / Format: CD / Label: MCA Victor / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mvcz 15007 / Rel. Year: 1994 (or 1996, according to a second source) / Tracks: 10

32 & 34. Title: Peggy Lee ("Very Best" Series) / Format: Cassette / Label: Warner Pioneer / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Pkf 5483 / Rel. Year: possibly 1985 / Tracks: 16 / Note: In addition to cassette tape, at least one more configuration (LP, CD) is presumed to exist. However, I have confirmation for the cassette tape only.

33. Title: Johnny Guitar ("The CD Club") / Format: CD / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Fvcp 40015 / Rel. Year: 1998 / Tracks: 22 / Note: This CD gives its track listing in Japanese, a language in which I am not fluent. Still, I believe I have correctly translated 20 of the 22 titles. The ones about which I am highly doubtful are どこに行こうと and すてきなお月様 . I would appreciate being told which Peggy Lee numbers these two titles are.


Additional Items, Not Listed Above:
There are probably more Japanese Decca compilations of which I am unaware at the present time. I would appreciate receiving any information about the albums that I am missing (or corrections to the above-given information).


Scope And Contents

This page focuses on Peggy Lee anthologies which meet the following criteria: (a) they contain primarily Decca masters and (b) they qualify as either official or licensed releases. An official issue is one made by the company that owns the masters, or by a branch of that company. In this case (and taking into account name changes over the years or across continents), the official companies are Decca, MCA, Universal, Brunswick, Ariel, and Vocalion. Also qualifying as legitimate releases are those by record labels that have paid a fee (to either MCA or Universal) for the right to use Decca tracks. Two such licensing labels are Jazz Heritage and Laserlight. Other labels walk a thinner line. In their earlier years, companies such as Blue Moon, Castle, and Music Club did license tracks from MCA and Universal, but in later years some of them opted to take the "Public Domain" route.

As for my organization of this page, I began by recommending the anthologies that strike me as above average (section I). The rest of the page was organized by the anthologies' country or origin, starting with the United States (sections II to IV) and proceeding to the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Australasia, and Japan (sections V to IX).

I should also mention that my goal is to make the present gallery of album covers as complete as possible. Currently, tracking down Japanese anthologies is proving particularly difficult. I would appreciate receiving missing album scans from fellow fans and kind souls. (Clicking my name -- above, in blue -- will give you access to my email address.)