The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography:
A Gallery Of Decca Anthologies And Hits Packages

by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Page generated on Dec 12, 2018


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 opposed to Public Domain ones). Organizationally, the page divides all qualifying anthologies by their country of origin. Hence we have sections dedicated to issues from the United Kingdom, Germany (VI), Spain (VII), Australasia (VIII), Japan (V to IX) and, of course, the United States (II to IV). Preceding all those is a special section, within which the best of all such anthologies have been singled out.


I. RECOMMENDATIONS




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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.





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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








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1-6. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Decca / Cat. Num.: Dxb 164 (4024-4025) / Rel. Year: 1960 / Discs: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: The gatefold item shown in all six images above was the original edition of the frequently issued album under discussion. It is a monophonic release. Visually, it can be quickly distinguished from its reissues by the absence of a blue horizontal stripe on its front cover. (In American reissues, that stripe is consistently found on the very top of the front cover. See pictures immediately below. Bear in mind, however, that this point does not apply to foreign issues.)

I should also mention that this debut edition includes two notable elements that are dropped from some of the reissues, kept on the others. One: a gallery of six small color photos, all of which capture Peggy Lee live in performance (image #5). Two: lengthy and worthwhile annotation by Leonard Feather (image #6). Additional differences between this issue and its reissues will be pointed out under the other entries below.

On the matter of its release year, I should clarify that the album itself does not carry any issue date. Fortunately, I do have corroboration for its dating: a review on the August 4, 1960 edition of Billboard magazine, as well as one owner's testimony.

From 1960 onwards, this Best Of Peggy Lee spread throughout the world, producing numerous incarnations. During the LP era, it was probably responsible for introducing the largest number of casual listeners to the singer's catalogue of music -- especially outside of the United States, or internationally.

Researching the present item has proven a bit arduous. On that note, several caveats follow.

This anthology has enjoyed such an extensive reissue history that I might have very well missed some of its permutations -- potentially including some in plain sight. Besides all the reissues that I have listed in the present section, there are also Japanese compilations which could be reasonably described as abbreviated editions.

Also, and is the case all too often, the dating of reissue albums is hard to ascertain. Despite the extensive research that I conducted, I would not be surprised if a small portion of my release information eventually turns out to be slightly off the mark.

Even the above-chosen images raise dating questions. They actually showcase not one but two copies of the original album. One copy is seen on the first column (all three images), the other copy on the second column. There is one significant discrepancy between them: the words "Deluxe 2-Pocket LP" can be found on the first copy only. They are located near the top of the front cover, right below the quadrangular logo "Hi-Fi Decca Records." The second copy does not sport any wording at all under that quadrangular logo. (Let me add, in passing, that most subsequent reissues feature an alternate set of words, "Deluxe 2-Record Set.") I own a copy which is identical to the first one above, and which I know to have been released and purchased in 1960. Hence the mystery is the second copy, about which I have no dating specifics. perhaps we are seeing a slightly altered pressing, released in the five years (i.e., before the reissues to be discussed below). Or perhaps this is a foreign copy, in which case Canada would be one of the candidate countries.








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7-14. 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 fourth source) or 1964 (according to a fifth source, which I find less trustworthy) / Discs: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: Decca's electronically re-channelled or "stereophonic" reissue of its own monophonic 1960 anthology.

I have found two versions of this stereophonic item, each showcased on one of the columns above. Here are the two most notable differences between these versions: (1) on the front cover, the presence or absence of a sticker, and (2), on the vinyl itself, the alternate choice between the words "long play 33 1/3" and "stereophonic." We can also see variation in the positioning of the catalogue number (not on the front cover but on the vinyl).

Of course, there are other ways on which those two pseudo-stereo issues can be visually differentiated. The most obvious is the absence or presence of the word "stereo" on the label (images #13 and #14). There is also the catalogue number: Decca consistently added one digital prefix (a seven) to its pseudo stereo releases.

Incidentally, the words "long play 33 1/3" (image #14) are not unique to the reissue directly above. They are actually featured of the monophonic vinyl as well (see preceding images, #3).

As for the other components pictured above (back cover, inner sleeves), they are identical to one another, and also seem to be identical to those of the original 1960 issue. Note that, on both the original mono and these stereo items, the inner sleeves house the aforementioned notes by Leonard Feather, as well as a photographic gallery, spotlighting Peggy's facial expressions while performing in concert.

On the matter of the correct release year, the discussion should be prefaced with a general point about Decca's Best Of series, to which this Peggy Lee release belongs. Decca had been issuing electronically enhanced edition of its Best Of albums since as early as 1959. In the case of The Best Of Peggy Lee, however, I have come across no indication of a pre-1966 "stereo" edition. (Published by Billboard in 1965, an advertisement of the series showcases 18 of its titles, of which ten are listed as available on both mono an stereo. The Best Of Peggy Lee is one of the eight titles for which only the monophonic catalogue number is listed.)

Another note, this one concerning the edition with the sticker. Having never inspected a copy (and never having owned one), I do not know if the words "enhanced for stereo" are still under that sticker. As for its raison d'être, I suspect that the sticker was created in response to complaints made by the Federal Trade Commission. In its January 27, 1968 issue, Billboard magazine reported the FTC's objection to the fact that "too many altered monaural records [were] being sold to the public as genuine stereo." More specifically, the Commission voiced their dissatisfaction at what they deemed "deceptive" phrasing (e.g., "electrically enhanced for stereo"), recommending instead a more overt wording (e.g., "electronically altered to simulate stereo").

If MCA's sticker was truly created in response to FTC's demands (as seems very likely), perhaps the 1969 release year that I found for The Best Of Peggy Lee belongs to its sticker edition.

It should also be reiterated that any blue stripe on the front cover of a US Decca or MCA Best Of Peggy Lee serves as visual differentiation from the original edition (1960), which does not have it. Introduced with this "stereophonic" reissue, that stripe continued to be used on subsequent American reissues (but only rarely in foreign editions).





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15-17. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Mca / Cat. Num.: 2 4049 / Rel. Year: 1973 / Discs: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: The above-shown vinyl carries a 1973 copyright year is given and identifies its manufacturing company as MCA Records, at "Universal Plaza in Universal City, California." This 1973 edition was also pressed in Canada. The Canadian vinyl (not pictured here) carries the legend "made in Canada by MCA Records (Canada), all rights reserved, © 1973." As made manifest by the second image above, the inner sleeves of this Best Of Peggy Lee no longer house annotation or photography. Instead, a list of MCA's catalogue of 2-LP sets has taken over the sleeves (in both American and Canadian versions).







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18-25. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: CS & LP / Label: Mca / Cat. Num.: 2 4049 / Rel. Year: 1980; also 1982 / Discs: 2 / Tracks: 24 / Note: These pictures present more than one edition or reissue -- at least two, maybe three. I have lumped them together because they share the same MCA catalogue number (4049), and because I have not found any precise dating for them. I only know that the earliest of these (whichever one that is) dates from 1980. Another one might date from 1982.

The edition pictured in the last row is a gatefold album, thereby keeping up with the tradition of editions that preceded it. Its inner sleeves feature Leonard Feather's liner notes, but not the gallery of Peggy Lee photos.

The edition pictured on the first row is not a gatefold album. It is instead a standard jacket, within which both LPs are housed. In addition to the LPs, the jacket also houses an insert. Judging from the partial views above, it contains the track listing. Chances are that it also contains the photographic gallery and/or Feather's notes.

Images #18 and #19 present cassette edition(s). I do not know if there two editions, or just one, duplicated herein. Obviously, the two images differ in some of their coloring (clear blue or navy blue) and in the presence or absence of the phrase "2 record set." However, the first difference could be merely a result of discoloration with the passing of time. And, rather than an indication of different editions, the second difference could amount to a detachable sticker that some copies have kept, and others have lost.

I do not really believe the latter to be the case, though, My current belief run in the opposite direction: I am inclined to think that these are two distinctive reissues, with minor divergences. Perhaps the one pictured first (#18) is the only one dating from 1980.

I own a copy of the second cassette. I see no signs in it of a lost, detached sticker. Somewhat oddly, it carries two copyright dates: 1980 (on the tape itself) and 1982 (on the front cover). This dual dating contributes to my belief in the existence of two cassette editions. The 1980 date would be an indication of the very first release of the album on cassette, while the 1982 date would identify a reissue of the cassette.



Transitional Note:

So far, all the formally discussed items have been American editions. Foreign editions will be showcased in the remainder of this section. Bear in mind, though, that the foreign editions of this album are many and motley. Hence not all of them are covered immediately below. In fact, you can see a few more in a separate section, at the bottom of the page. That section is exclusively dedicated to Japanese issues, some of which qualify as "undercover" versions of Decca's The Best Of Peggy Lee. Though sporting different titles and different artwork, track-wise such "on-the-lowdown" Japanese issues are mildly modified reissues of the 1960 anthology under discussion.)






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

27. 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 1960 original American album. Out of the twelve songs included, two are new to the collection ("Let Me Go, Lover!" and "Johnny Guitar"). The other ten songs are found in the original 24-song gatefold album. Single jacket (not a gatefold album). Also features a new set of liner notes, on its back cover, viewable in the last row of this section.





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28. 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 original 1960 US 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. For a picture of that insert, check this section's very last row of images.

29. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Calendar / Cat. Num.: (Australia) R66 430 / Rel. Year: unknown (1969, according to one source with no stated corroboration) / Tracks: 12 / Note: Essentially a reissue of the 1961 Brunswick LP Lat 8355 (showcased below), and thus an abbreviated edition of the original 2-LP set. Calendar was a division of Festival Records, the latter being the same company that issued the preceding item.

30. 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 the album's under scrutiny. The pictured copy is a "stereophonic" edition. Nevertheless, I have found this issue listed as both Map 1600 and Maps 1600. The dual listing suggests that the set was released not only in its "electronically channelled" version but also on the original, monophonic one.

31. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP / Label: Ariel / Cat. Num.: (Argentina) M 4012 (Mg 7574 to Mg 7577) / Pieces: 2 / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 24 / Note: Straight reissue of the original 1960 US album. The few differences pertain to language and location. 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. The title of the album itself is given in English on the front cover but translated into Spanish (Lo mejor de Peggy Lee) on the labels of each vinyl disc.





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32. 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, each volume was abbreviated, featuring 10 instead of 12 songs. Still further, there were a few 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 newly added numbers are "He's A Tramp" and "I've Got You Under My Skin.") Published on behalf of these Brunswick LPs, an ad was contemporaneous published; see the last row of this section.

33. 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."

34. 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).

35. 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.





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36-39. Title: The Best Of Peggy Lee / Format: LP & CS / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Mcml 1632 & Mclc 1632 (Also Australia?) / 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 (discussed directly above). For good measure, there is also one track that is brand new to the collection ("Easy Living"). The navy blue vinyl and tape editions are British. I am less certain about the baby blue editions. They could be British, too, or the could be Australian. (One Australian seller was auctioning the baby blue LP online once, but his description did not provided specifics about the copy on display.)





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40-42. 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 preceding entries. Same tracks, different artwork, but now incorporated to a budget series (showcase on the LP's back cover, first image above). A couple of typographical errors can be found on the physical label: the last name of songwriter Jerry Bock is misspelled as "Block," and the word "siamese" has been misprinted as "simaese." The 1981 date found in these issues is not their release date. It is instead their copyright date (℗).

43. 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. Also issued on cassette (not pictured).





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44. 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."

45. 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.

46. 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.

47. 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 three 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.





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48. 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: Festival Records album, already pictured and showcased several rows above. Unlike the American original, this Kiwi item is a boxed set, not a gatefold album. In the absence of inner sleeves, such an insert houses the same photos and notes that can be found on the original US gatefold album.

49. Back cover of a German LP already shown above, on Brunswick (image #27, or thereabouts). Though also in English, the visible liner notes are not the regular ones by Leonard Feather, but new ones by (?Bob) Borchardt.

50. Advertisement for the 1961 Brunswick LPs The Best Of Peggy Lee, Volume 1 and The Best Of Peggy Lee, Volume 2, discussed several rows above.




Miscellanea

The first of the above-listed items is a gatefold album that offers colorful photography and detailed annotation in its inner sleeves. Conversely, the last of the listed items offers the same material on an insert. Those are not the only alternatives in existence. Other variations include (1) an insert in which the photos are in black & white instead of color, and (2) a second boxed set, with the photos on the inner cardboard cover. (My vague awareness of these particular items is the result of fragmentary information online. Currently, I am missing photos of either item.)


III. LP COMPILATIONS FROM DECCA'S BRANCHES





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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.





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3. Back cover of item #1.

4. Back cover of item #2.





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5 & 6. Title: Crazy In The Heart / Format: LP / Label: MCA Victor / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mcl 1012 / Rel. Year: 1973 / Tracks: 10 / Note: Japanese edition of item #1 (+ #3).


IV. CD COMPILATIONS ORIGINALLY RELEASED IN THE USA





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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).





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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).






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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."





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12. Title: Love Songs / Format: CD / Label: Universal Music Group / Cat. Num.: 0881131002 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Tracks: 14 / Note: Features a track listing that is 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. Opinion on its sound quality vary. (My own has shifted over time. Having one ranked it as fine, in more recent years I have downgraded it to adequate.)

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 / Note: See also this section's last item.

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. The cassette version is pictured below.

5 & 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 the preceding item.






Artwork Shown:


7-9. 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. And each bears its own collector's number (no. 04650 in the case above).





Artwork Shown:

10. Cassette version of item #4.

11. 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.





Artwork Shown:

12 & 13. 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.





Artwork Shown:

14. 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.

15. 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: Peggy Lee ("My Greatest Songs" Series) / Format: LP / Label: Brunswick / Cat. Num.: (Germany) 87 092 / Rel. Year: 1963 / Tracks: 14

2. Title: My Greatest Songs ("Decca American Series") / Format: LP / Label: Teldec Telefunken / Cat. Num.: (Germany) Blk 86 024P / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 14 / Note: Reissue of item #1. Uses different artwork.





Artwork Shown:

3. 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. Uses the same front cover as item #2 above.

4. Title: Peggy Lee ("Star Portrait" Series) / Format: CD / Label: Sonocord / Cat. Num.: (Germany) 370924 (also 982 68179) / Rel. Year: 2005 / Tracks: 14 / Note: Another reissue of the previously listed album My Greatest Songs. Licensed by Sonocord from Universal.



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:

1-6. Title: Peggy Lee ("Super Deluxe" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA Victor / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Mca 10016 / Rel. Year: 1973 / Tracks: 14 / Note: Apparently, this album has come with an obi strip in three different colors. I do not know if the colors are indicative of pressings from different years. The above-shown vinyl and cover belong to the pressing with the green strip.





Artwork Shown:

7-12. Title: The Very Best Of Peggy Lee ("Twin Deluxe" Series) / Format: LP / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) 9056-9057 / Discs: 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 #7 (along with its back cover, on image #10). The front cover of the other LP version is seen in image #9 (and its back cover in image #12). 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 #8 and #11, 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 #7 and #10.) 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. (That is to say: the expanded set under discussion contains the same 14 tracks as the issue below, plus 10 additional tracks.)






Artwork Shown:

13 & 16. 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.

14 & 17. 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).

15 & 18. 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:

19. 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.

20. 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.

20a. 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:

21. 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 on 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 and #7 on side two).

22. Title: Peggy Lee ("Best One '82" Series) / Format: Cassette   /  Label: MCA  /   Cat. Num.: (Japan) Vcm 3648  / Tracks: 20 /  Rel. Year: 1981 / Note: This issue might have also been issued on LP, although I have not found traces of it yet.





Artwork Shown:

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

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





Artwork Shown:

25. Title: Black Coffee: The Best Of Vocal Standards ("The Golden Era Of Vocal Standards" Series) {Peggy Lee, Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday, Others} / Format: CD   /  Label: MCA  /   Cat. Num.: (Japan) Fdpa 1028  /   Rel. Year: 1989 / Tracks: 6 by Peggy Lee (14 by other artists) / Note: This 20-track Japanese collection opens with six tracks credited to Peggy Lee. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of this CD, and I have seen but have not been able to decipher much the track listing on the back cover. I do know that the opening track is "Black Coffee." My identification of track 5 as "The Gold Wedding Ring" is more tentative. Following the six Lee tracks, there are two from Mildred Bailey and fine front Billie Holiday. The remaining seven tracks are credited to seven other artists.

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





Artwork Shown:

27 & 28. 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.

29. 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 1986 MCA CD seen in the preceding images. 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:

30. 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.

31. 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.

32. 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.

33. 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:

34. 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

35 & 36. 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.

37. 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.





Artwork Shown:

38. Title: Brenda Lee & Peggy Lee ("20" Series) / Format: 8-Track Cartridge / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: (Japan) D8s 7030 / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: 20 / Note: Consists of 20 tracks, half of them by Peggy Lee, and the other half by Brenda Lee. I have corroboration of the existence of a 8-track version only. I am awaiting for verification on the alleged existence of a LP counterpart.

39 & 40. Title: Peggy Lee ("Jazz Vocal Collection" Series) / Format: CD / Label: Universal / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Shjz 324 / Rel. Year: 2017 / Tracks: 10 / Note: Each volume of this "Jazz Vocal Collection" series comes housed in a slender box that measures approximately 9" by 12". Shown above are the boxes of the the first and twenty-fourth volumes. Inside each box, there is a 10-track CD and an 18-page booklet with notes and photos of the artist(s). The front cover of the CD usually features the exact same photo seen in the front cover of its box. There are 26 volumes in the current series (2016), with more potentially coming out next year.


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).


X. General Explanatory Notes

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 -- up above, near the top of the page, in blue -- will give you access to my email address.)