The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography:
A Gallery Of Serialized CD Compilations
From The Capitol-Emi Family Of Labels

by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Page generated on Feb 5, 2019


Scope And Contents

This page concentrates on the various series of digital releases that were put together by the EMI family of labels.  Each section is circumscribed to one such series, from Capitol Sings (I) and Capitol Lounge () to EMI's The Best ... Ever! (X), and some miscellanea (XI). Naturally, I have focused on Peggy Lee-featuring items, though I have also attempted to offer a brief overview of each full series. I should also point out that this is one of four Peggy Lee Bio-Discography galleries dedicated to Emi's various-artists compilations, including a vinyl counterpart and a potpourri of Christmas albums. 


I. THE CAPITOL SINGS SERIES




Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Over The Rainbow; Capitol Sings Harold Arlen / Format: CD & CS / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 29387 2 9 / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "Come Rain Or Come Shine" and "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe." Arlen wrote the former with Johnny Mercer, the later with E.Y. Harburg.

2. Title: Puttin' On The Ritz; Capitol Sings Irving Berlin / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 0777 7 98477 2 3 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of Berlin's "Cheek To Cheek." Though not part of the Capitol Sings series, another issue that deserves passing mention herein is the 1992 EMI Blue Note compact disc and cassette Blue Berlin; Blue Note Plays The Music Of Irving Berlin (#99095), which includes Lee's rendition of Berlin's "Maybe It's Because (I Love You Too Much)."

3. Title: It's Magic; Capitol Sings Sammy Cahn / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 29386 / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Please Be Kind," which Cahn co-wrote with Saul Chaplin.

4. Title: Stardust; Capitol Sings Hoagy Carmichael / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 32592 4 3 & 7243 8 32592 2 9 - / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Bubble-Loo, Bubble Loo," which Carmichael co-wrote with Paul Francis Webster.





Artwork Shown:

5. Title: Mood Indigo; Capitol Sings Duke Ellington / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 28106 2 9 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Jump For Joy," which Ellington co-wrote with Sid Kuller and Paul Francis Webster.

6. Title: Fascinatin' Rhythm; Capitol Sings George Gershwin / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 96792 2 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of George and Ira Gershwin's "They Can't Take That Away From Me."

7. Title: The Song Is You; Capitol Sings Jerome Kern / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 0777 7 99469 4 5 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of Kern's "I Won't Dance" and "Make Believe" - the latter a previously unissued master. In addition to Kern, the former is credited to Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach, Jimmy McHugh, and Dorothy Fields. Kern And Hammerstein also corroborated on "I Won't Dance."

8. Title: I Hear Music; Capitol Sings Frank Loesser / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 32567 2 3 / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of Loesser's "I Hear Music" (written with Burton Lane) and "I Believe In You" which Loesser wrote solo).





Artwork Shown:

9. Title: I Feel a Song Comin' On; Capitol Sings Jimmy McHugh / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 32565 / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of McHugh's "When My Sugar Walks Down The Street," co-written with Gene Austin and also credited to publisher Irving Mills.

10. Title: Anything Goes; Capitol Sings Cole Porter / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 0777 7 96361 4 3 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of Porter's "Always True To You In My Fashion" and "From Now On."

11. Title: Hello Young Lovers; Capitol Sings Rodgers and Hammerstein / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 28107 4 2 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "I Enjoy Being A Girl" and "Something Wonderful."

12. Title: Isn't It Romantic: Capitol Sings Rodgers & Hart / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 0777 7 98478 2 2 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of Rodgers And Hart's "The Lady Is A Tramp" and "My Heart Stood Still."





Artwork Shown:

13. Title: An Affair to Remember: Capitol Sings Harry Warren / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 32566 2 4 / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me," which Warren co-wrote with Al Dubin.

14. Title: Makin' Whoopee!; Capitol Sings Broadway / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 29384 46/22 / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "I'm Just Wild About Harry" and "Wish You Were Here."

15. Title: Singing in the Rain: Capitol Sings Hollywood / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 29385 / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Stormy Weather."

16. Title: And The Winner Is ... Capitol Sings The Best Movie Songs / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: Cdp 7 98475 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Days Of Wine And Roses."








Artwork Shown:

17. Title: Far Away Places; Capitol Sings Around The World / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 4235 7 80181 2 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Bali Ha'i."

18. Title: Route 66; Capitol Sings Coast to Coast / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 0777 7 80180 4 9 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Basin Street Blues" and "I Lost My Sugar In Salt Lake City."

General Note About The Series Under Discussion: Tracks by Peggy Lee were included in all but two of the 20-volume Capitol Sings series, which EMI inaugurated in 1992 and continued to produce until 1995. For the benefit of completists, pictures of the two non-Lee volumes have also been supplied above (last two images). After this series was completed, its volumes were re-printed for release on the company's Special Markets branch, with catalogue numbers that differed from the original printings. There is, for instance, a later cassette pressing of Fascinatin' Rhythm; Capitol Sings George Gershwin (originally #96792) that bears the catalogue number C 163734.


II. THE LADIES & GENTLEMEN OF SONG SERIES










Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Sweet And Lovely; Great Ladies Of Song / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: C4 0777 7 97802 & C2 0777 7 97802 4 2 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "As Time Goes By" and "The Glory Of Love."

2. Title: Sentimental Journey; Great Ladies Of Song / Format: CS & CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 07777 98014 4 2 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "I Don't Know About You" and "Why Don't You Do Right?"


General Note About The Series Under Discussion: This series bears a loose connection to the Capitol Sings series that was discussed in section I. The earliest volumes of that other series were released in 1992. The same year, EMI issued a companion miniseries entitled Ladies & Gentlemen Of Song, which is under discussion in the present section. Consisting of four volumes, Peggy Lee is well represented in the two CDs dedicated to female vocalists. Naturally, she is not to be found in the other volumes, which spotlight male vocalists. Pictures of all the volumes have been provided above.

In 1995 (as production of the aforementioned Capitol Sings series was coming to its closure), EMI started a new series which was essentially an expansion of the present Ladies & Gentlemen Of Song mini-series. I am referring to a 24-volume series titled Spotlight On ... Great Ladies / Gentlemen Of Song. Each Spotlight... volume was dedicated to a different Capitol artist, from Betty Hutton (#1) to The Four Freshmen (#24). Because it consists of single-artist rather than various-artists compilations, the Spotlight ... series will not receive any further coverage herein. But a picture of its 12th volume, dedicated to Peggy Lee, can be found in this discography's page for her Capitol compilations.


III. CAPITOL'S ULTRA-LOUNGE SERIES





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Wild Cool And Swingin' ("Ultra-Lounge" Series, Volume 5) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 72438 3597 2 2 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Fever" (stereo version). The full track listing of this CD was re-released by EMI on a CD with a different title, aiming at promoting a TV sitcom (Caroline In The City); further details in section V below.

2. Title: Wild, Cool & Swingin', Too! ("Ultra-Lounge" Series, Volume 15) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 53411 2 0 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "The Boy From Ipanema."

3. Title: Wild, Cool & Swingin', 3! ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: MP3 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2009 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "It's A Good, Good Night."





Artwork Shown:

4. Title: Ciao Bella! ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: MP3 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2009 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "When In Rome."

5. Title: Big Apple Martini!: East Side, West Side, Uptown, Downtown ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: MP3 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2009 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "New York City Blues."

6. Title: ¡Mucho Gusto! ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: MP3 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2009 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "My Small Señor."





Artwork Shown:

7. Title: (Rock 'n' Roll Hits) On The Rocks (Distilled For Easy Listening), Part 1 ("Ultra-Lounge" Series") / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 55161 2 2 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "A Hard Day's Night."

8. Title: (Rock'n'Roll Hits) On The Rocks (Distilled For Easy Listening), Part 2 ("Ultra-Lounge" Series") / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 55433 2 5 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Everyday People."

9. Title: Cocktails With Cole Porter ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 72435 9570 5 2 - / Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "Always True To You In My Fashion" and "Ridin' High."





Artwork Shown:

10. Title: Vegas Baby! ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 72435 39840 2 1 / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Big Spender."

11. Title: Vegas Baby Too! ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: MP3 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2009 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "A Lot Of Livin' To Do."

12. Title: Divas Las Vegas! ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: MP3 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2009 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Ridin' High."





Artwork Shown:

13. Title: Christmas Cocktails, Part 1 ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 52559 1 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Winter Wonderland." Also includes Peggy Lee's, Nat King Cole's, and Nancy Wilson's versions of the public announcement "Toys For Tots" -- the three of them edited into one hidden track.

14. Title: Christmas Cocktails, Part 2 ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 21457 2 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Happy Holiday."

15. Title: Ultimate Christmas Cocktails, Part 3 ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 78503 2 2 0 / Rel. Year: 2005 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "White Christmas." Also released earlier (2004), as part of a boxed set; see next column, first entry.

16. Title: Ultimate Christmas Cocktails, Part 4 ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: MP3 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2012 / Note: Opens with Peggy Lee's rendition of "Deck The Halls."





Artwork Shown:

17. Title: Ultimate Christmas Cocktails ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: 3CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 72435 78505 2 / Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: Packages the three CDs listed right above, and thus includes all three Peggy Lee renditions from those discs.

18. Title: TV Town ("Ultra-Lounge" Series, Volume 13) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 53409 2 5 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Bewitched."

19. Title: Nursery Rhythms! ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: MP3 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2009 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Listen To The Rocking Bird."







General Note About The (Ultra-) Lounge Series: Send out to stores in February 1996, the Ultra-Lounge CD series was EMI's foremost attempt at capitalizing on the lounge music revival which blossomed during the last decades of the twentieth century. The trigger came from Capitol's awareness of Bar/None Records' major success, with their reissues of Esquivel's Space Age Bachelor Pad Music (1994) and the label's sequel, Music From A Sparkling Planet (1995).

Reissue producer Brad Benedict and company turned out a total of 18 volumes in just two years. by 1998, healthy sales from 600,000 units were being reported. In 2003, Vegas Baby! ("Ultra-Lounge" Series), with its miniature roulette on its front cover, picked up a Grammy nomination for best packaging. In mid-2004, the series' Cocktails With Cole Porter would enter the top 15 of Billboard's Top Jazz Albums, and by the end of that year it could still be found within the top 20.

Nine brand new volumes surfaced in 2009, plus a belated holiday issue in 2012. The former were released as both compact discs and MP3 files, the latter only as MP3 files. In between these two dates, Capitol issued a variety of CDs that identify themselves as part of the series but were not given volume numbers (e.g., the above-shown Cocktails With Cole Porter). I should also point out that the year 2012 did not mark a complete end for the series. In 2014, and thanks to the vinyl revival fad, the first two Christmas Cocktails CD volumes were transferred to LP.

The pictures right above provide a sampling of six volumes, giving preeminence to the very first of them, Mondo Exotica. The colorful front and back covers are in display, along with a hint at the leopard skin design of the earlier volumes' inner tray inserts. As for the booklets, they were similarly designed. Typically, they included alluringly kitschy drawings, replicating the looks and icons of the 1950s-1960s lounge mystique. A regular feature, found in many of not all of the compact disc issues, consisted of a two page set bearing the titles Cocktail Hints and Glassware & Measures. They featured disk recipes along with advice suitable for any aspiring bartender. Liner notes were long in enthusiasm but variable in substance, as style was the main imperative. Track programs are often quite enjoyable, though very unfortunately marred by a very antiseptic approach to the remastering of the tracks (i.e., sound that has been cleaned for clarity or comprssed, at the expense of the warmth and presence characteristic of the same performances' original audio).






Of the 27 numbered volumes from the Ultra-Lounge series, 17 do not contain Peggy Lee tracks. Those are pictured immediately above -- except for the already pictured volume #1, Mondo Exotica. As for the 11 volumes that do have Peggy Lee vocals, those have naturally received discussion at the top of this section. Also discussed among those main entries: qualifying volumes that were part of the series but not given volume numbers (Christmas Cocktails, On The Rocks, Vegas Baby!).





The Ultra-Lounge series had a few branches or sub series, of which the largest one was Wild, Cool and Swingin'. The three primary volumes bearing that title are showcased at the top of this section. The other issues in the sub-series were dedicated to individual artists. Six of them were issued, and all of them are pictured immediately above. In 1996, EMI's plan of action was to continue the sub-series by releasing more discs by single artists, with the possibility of another six-batch to come out next. Unfortunately, such plans were cancelled, for reasons unknown to me; perhaps the sub-series sold poorly. (The artwork is certainly on point, but sorely lacking in the attractive quality of the main series.) Tracks for a volume dedicated to Peggy Lee had been picked before the cancellation took place; details can be seen here (Part IV, letter V).

Another Ultra-Lounge sub-series could be baptized (for lack of a specific identifier) as Moods And Sounds. It also concentrated on individual artists, but in this instance the chosen ones were instrumentalists from the lounge, space-age, and exotica fields. Three of them came out: The Exotic Moods Of Les Baxter, The Exotic Moods Of Martin Denny, and The Romantic Moods Of Jackie Gleason.


IV. CAPITOL'S ULTRA-LOUNGE SERIES: SAMPLERS




Artwork Shown:

1 & 2. Title: Tiki Sampler, Part 2 (aka The Bamboo Sampler) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: Cdp 7243 4 99144 2 1 / Rel. Year: 1999 / Note: Second of two CDs sampling Capitlol's Ultra-Lounge CD series, which consisted of 18 volumes (and additional, unnumbered titles). The CD samples from volumes 13 to 18, and picks Peggy Lee's rendition of "The Boy From Ipanema" as one of the numbers to showcase volume 15 (Wild, Cool & Swingin' Too!) Among the 25 tracks, there are also about eight which are bonuses, not included in the regular volume, thus further adding to the item's value for collectors of the series. (Moreover, tracks #24 and #25 are hidden ones, not listed with the rest of the programming.) The images above show the front and back sleeves. Made of plastic straw, the sleeve attempts to replicate a bamboo look. (As for Part 1, covering volumes 1 to 12 of the series, that sampler does not feature any Peggy Lee tracks. It also bears a different look and title: the sleeve of Welcome To The Ultra-Lounge attempts to replicate the look of leopard skin. Images have been provided at the end of this section.)





Artwork Shown:

3. Title: Tiki Sampler, Part 2 (aka The Bamboo Sampler) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: Cdp 7243 4 99144 2 1 V / Rel. Year: 1999 / Note: Promotional version of the preceding CD. Hence it also includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "The Boy From Ipanema," along with the other 24 tracks.

4. Title: Welcome To The Ultra-Lounge, Part 2 / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: Dprp 70876 12107 2 9 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Note: This is an earlier version of the already discussed 1999 sampler. It samples the same volumes (13-18), but it visually stresses the series' "lounge" concept, not the tiki/bamboo sub-concept of the later sampler. Differences from The Bamboo Sampler include not only the item's visual outlook but also a 24-track selection, which is only partially the same. Peggy Lee's rendition of "The Boy From Ipanema" is among the tracks shared by the two samplers.





Artwork Shown:

5. Title: Ultra-Lounge, With Knob Creek, Volume 2 / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: Dpro 70876 12107 2 9 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Note: Essentially, another version of the preceding sampler. Same 24 tracks, including Peggy Lee's rendition of "The Boy From Ipanema," but different artwork.

6. Title: Best Of Christmas Cocktails ("Ultra-Lounge" Series) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 502498 / Rel. Year: 2007 / Note: Opens with Peggy Lee's rendition of "Happy Holiday." All tracks are taken from the three Christmas Cocktails CD sets that were discussed in this page's previous section.






General Comments About The Ultra-Lounge/Tiki Samplers: Please note that the present section of this discographical page is restricted to discussion of samplers from Capitol's Ultra-Lounge series. The regular volumes of the series have been discussed in the previous section.

There were two samplers of the overall series, but each one had more than one incarnation. The first covered the series' first twelve volumes, while the remaining volumes were covered by the other two. The second sampler and some of its various incarnations have been discussed above.

The first sampler has not been included among this section's main, numbered entries because it lacks any Peggy Lee tracks. However, for the sake of comprehensiveness, I have still included pictures above, and this paragraph will showcase it. Called Ultra-Lounge, Part 1; The Leopard Skin Sampler, its sleeve replicates leopard fur. Also known as The Fuzzy Leopard Sampler, it design garnered considerable attention, culminating with a 2003 Grammy award for best album design. Perhaps for that reason, Capitol apparently went wild, issuing about ten collectors' incarnations of this sampler, each one sporting the same spotted feline-fur look, but differing in the color of the central "ultra-Lounge" logo. The tracks are the same ones on all incarnations, and ditto for the catalogue number (CDP 7243 8 38376 2 5).





Right above, I have supplied images of some additional , supplementary items from the series. None of them include Peggy Lee tracks. The item presented first for viewing is a 2002 UK boxed set that groups together five of the series' volumes (#1, #2, #9, #14, and #17). Next up are two promotional cassette samplers, one identifying itself as a "radio show" (1997), the other covering the first six volumes of the series (1995). I do not have specifics for that Ultra-Lounge Radio Show; perhaps it features pre-recorded disc jockey introductions before the picked tracks. The two remaining issues are 1996 promotional CD samplers. Known as The White Coaster Music Sampler, the first covers volumes 1 to 6. Volumes 7 to 12 are covered by the second, conversely known as The Green Coaster Music Sampler. Note that they have a sequel in entry #4 above (Welcome To The Ultra-Lounge, Part 2).






Samplers have also been issue abroad. Two of them will be showcased here. A 1998 Japanese contribution to the series is on display right above. Typically opting for design involving comely female models, Toshiba-EMI's Best Of Ultra-Lounge (Tocp 50039) offers 20 lounge-oriented tracks, not a single one by a female act. At least, it does include Peggy Lee's self-penned hit novelty "Mañana," in an instrumental version by jazz organist Jackie Davis.





And here is the Spanish contribution to the series. In concert with Capitol, Música Para Solteros (402499 2) was issued by Spain's Hispavox in 1996. It features Peggy Lee's rendition of "Fever." The booklet includes the above-shown pictorial gallery of volumes 5 to 12 of the Ultra-Lounge series.


V. CAPITOL'S LOUNGE SERIES




Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Puttin' On The Ritz ("The Capitol Lounge" Series, Volume 2) / Format: CD / Label: EMI-Music Special Markets / Cat. Num.: 7243 4 99340 2 3 / Rel. Year: 1999 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Fever." Ten-track item. See also next entry.

2. This image belongs to a CD that does not include any Peggy Lee tracks. It is being presented herein merely as part of my attempt at providing a comprehensive perspective of the so-called Lounge Series. Released in 1999, Ain't That A Kick In The Head identifies itself of the first volume of what is essentially a budget-minded sister to the Ultra-Lounge series. Unfortunately, this sister seems to have lived a very short life: I have found no traces of any volumes but the couple being showcased. It could be persuasively argued, however, that most of the titles in this section informally belong to Capitol's lounge and ultra-lounge series -- even if many do not identify themselves as such

3. Title: "Dry Ice" / Format: CD / Label: Capitol / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 39840 2 1 / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Some CDs from Capitol's Ultra-Lounge series were repurposed by the label -- i.e., reissued for distribution among certain target markets, and/or licensed to other companies. This is the first of two examples, presented consecutively. "Dry Ice" is actually a reissue of the already discussed CD Vegas Baby!, from the Ultra-Lounge series. Title and artwork were changed, but the tracks and their sequence were maintained. Hence Peggy Lee's version of "Big Spender" can also be found in this reissue.





Artwork Shown:

4. Title: Swing City Music! (Caroline In The City) / Format: CD / Label: Capitol / Cat. Num.: Cdp 7243 8 35972 2 2 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Note: Identifying itself as being "from the Ultra-Lounge collection" and "for promotional use only," this CD was prepared on behalf of the TV sitcom Caroline In The City, which ran on NBC during the second half of the 1990s. The CD might have been distributed only among a selected few, and pressed in a small quantity. It is actually a reissue of the already discussed 1996 Capitol CD Wild, Cool, And Swingin' (same 18 tracks in the same sequence; different title and artwork), from the Ultra-Lounge series. Contains Peggy Lee's hit version of "Fever."

5. Title: Martini Lounge (Pottery Barn) / Format: CD / Label: Emi Capitol Music Special Markets & Pottery Barn & Rock River - / Cat. Num.: Pb _& 7243 8 19246 2 4 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Note: Another example of how EMI's lounge material was licensed and re-used by other labels, this Pottery Barn exclusive includes Peggy Lee's Capitol recording of "Fever." I have actually dedicated a separate section to Pottery Barn discs; you can find here (section VII).

6. Title: Late At Night; The Velvet Lounge (Volume 3) / Format: CD / Label: EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 39323 2 9 / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee and George Shearing's rendition of "Do I Love You." I have not been able to locate the other two volumes of this set, nor any additional information about it. It must also be noted that the set seems to be another version of the 3CD release that will be discussed next. As far as we can farther from an inspection of this volume 3, there are many visual and nominal similarities, yet the track listings appear to be very different.





Artwork Shown:

7 & 8. Title: The Velvet Lounge / Format: CD / Label: EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 36149 2 8 / Discs: 3 / Rel. Year: 2001 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "The Boy From Ipanema." While not terribly appealing from a visual or graphic standpoint, this release features a terrific song program, combining lounge staples with less common but equally suitable swing standards. Starting with "That Old Black Magic" (Louis Prima & Keely Smith) and finishing with "Cheek To Cheek" (Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald), the 36-track collection features numbers such as "Sunday In New York" (Mel Tormé), 'It Had Better Be Tonight" (Lena Horne), "Something Cool" (June Christy), "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" (Sammy Daivs, Jr.), "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" (Dinah Washington) and "Something's Comin' " (Vic Damone).

9. Title: Lounge Fever / Format: CD / Label: EMI Special Markets & Cornerstone Promotions / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 21352 2 6 / Discs: 2 / Rel. Year: 1999 / Note: Disc two opens with Peggy Lee's hit rendition of "Fever."

10. Title: Mambo Lounge; Cool Latin Rhythms / Format: CD / Label: EMI Special Markets / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 42633 2 3 / Discs: 3 / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: The back cover of this 3CD set is shown herein. I have not seen the front cover. I presume it to be a boxed set, with each disc counting with its own jewel case, along with front and back cover sleeves. Contains three Peggy Lee vocals, one per disc. To be showcased below, all three CDs have the same catalogue number as the set.





Artwork Shown:

11 & 12. Title: Mambo Lounge; Cool Latin Rhythms, Volume 1 / Format: CD / Label: EMI Special Markets / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Caramba! It's The Samba."

13. Title: Mambo Lounge; Cool Latin Rhythms, Volume 2 / Format: CD / Label: EMI Special Markets / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Mañana."

14. Title: Mambo Lounge; Cool Latin Rhythms, Volume 3 / Format: CD / Label: EMI Special Markets / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Closes with Peggy Lee's rendition of "Olé."


V. CAPITOL'S GREAT JAZZ VOCALISTS SING SERIES








Artwork Shown:

1. Title: The Great Jazz Vocalists Sing Hoagy Carmichael / Format: CD / Label: Capitol Jazz / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 23566 2 1 / Rel. Year: 2000 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Just A Shade On The Blue Side."

2. Title: The Great Jazz Vocalists Sing the Gershwin Songbook / Format: CD & CS / Label: Blue Note / Cat. Num.: B2 80506 (or 7777 80506 2 9) & B4 80506 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Aren't You Kind Of Glad We Did?" Apparently released with two different covers. I am familiar with the second. As for the first, I have seen it online only. Since this issue is identified as Canadian in some sources, it might be that one of the covers belongs to a Canadian edition, whereas the other is that of the American edition.

3. General Note About Capitol's "Great Jazz Vocalists Sing" Series: I have found only three issues in this series. Shown in this image is the third, a 1997 Ellington-Strayhorn volume (Blue Note Cdp 7243 8 55221 2 3) which does not include any Peggy Lee tracks. Admittedly, I might be stretching the term "series" in the case of these three items, which were issued several years apart from one another. I hope that viewers will appreciate the sight of them all the same.


VI. CAPITOL'S DEFINITIVE AMERICAN SONGBOOK SERIES





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: When Swing Was King ("The Definitive American Songbook" Series) / Format: CD / Label: EMI Publishing's Castalian and Liberty / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman's Columbia rendition of "Why Don't You Do Right?"

2. Title: First Ladies Of Song ("The Definitive American Songbook" Series, Volume 9) / Format: CD / Label: EMI Publishing's Castalian and Liberty / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Alright, Okay, You Win."

3. Title: A Vintage Christmas ("The Definitive American Songbook" Series) / Format: CD / Label: EMI Publishing's Castalian and Liberty / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 75313 2 4 / Rel. Year: 2005 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "The Christmas Waltz" and "I Like A Sleigh Ride."





Artwork Shown:

4. Title: The Best Of The Definitive American Songbook, I-Z (Volume 2) / Format: CD / Label: EMI Publishing's Castalian and Liberty / Cat. Num.: 72435 92820 2 2 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's Decca rendition of "Just One Of Those Things."

5. Title: Hollywood Hit Parade ("The Definitive American Songbook" Series) /Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Cheek To Cheek."

6. Title: The Best Of The Definitive American Songbook, A-H (Volume 1) / Format: CD / Label: EMI Publishing's Castalian and Liberty / Cat. Num.: 72435 92819 2 2 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Note: This CD contains Peggy Lee's Capitol version of "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe."





General Note About The Great American Songbook Series: EMI Publishing initially released this series on its direct-response (sub)label Castalian, as a set of 10 CDs. At that time (late 2004 and early 2005), the CDS were advertised through infomercials and sold via phone and via a company website. An 11th CD titled A Vintage Christmas made its appearance belatedly -- presumably during the 2005 holiday season. At the present time, the CDs are no longer available from EMI or Castalian; they can instead be found at selected online music websites, where their label is usually identified as Liberty, not Castalian. Although the bulk of the series' tracks naturally came from the EMI vaults, tracks were also leased from Atlantic, Sony, Universal, and other companies. Shown right above are the volumes that do not feature Peggy Lee tracks.


VII. CAPITOL'S FROM THE VAULTS SERIES





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Vine Street Divas ("From the Vaults" Series, Volume 2) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 72435 25543 2 (United States) / 72435 27728 2 (United Kingdom) - / Rel. Year: 2000 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "Everybody Loves Somebody," "Golden Earrings," "I Don't Know Enough About You," and "It's A Good Day."

2. Title: Capitol From The Vaults, Advance CD / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 70876 10937 2 8 / Rel. Year: 2000 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Everybody Loves Somebody." This promotional sampler actually features 18 selections culled from the first three CDs of the series.

3. Title: Capitol Jumps 1944-53 ("From the Vaults" Series, Volume 3) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 25544 2 (United States)/ 7243 5 27729 2 (United Kingdom) / Rel. Year: 2000 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Don't Smoke In Bed."

General Note About The From The Vaults Series: In addition to the items listed immediately above, this series included five more volumes. Their titles are The Birth Of A Label; The First Year, 1942-1943 (Volume 1), Love Letters (Volume 4), Roots Of Rock 'n' Roll (Volume 5), Best Of '56 (Volume 6), and Capitol Goes To The Movies (Volume 8)). None of them feature Lee tracks. All CDs in the series bear the same artwork, which attempts to replicate the looks of 78-rpm singles.


VIII. REMEMBER THE FORTIES (CD SERIES FROM CEMA, CAPITOL'S BUDGET BRANCH)





General Note About Cema's "Remember The 40's" Series: As will be made amply evident by the entries to be presented, this series was re-pressed, and reconfigured reissued multiple times. The earliest release date is 1990. Various later dates are listed for copies auditioned online: 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998, etc. Also, copies were made available in both Canada and the United States, with some variations in the track listings and catalogue numbers. The convoluted and undocumented history of this series greatly complicates attempts at supplying specifics about it. I hope to have covered at least the main items, including original ones. I will appreciate receiving corrections and additions to the data.

Artwork Shown Above:

1 & 2. Title: Stagedoor Canteen, 1941-42 ("Remember The Forties; Music Of The War Years" Series, Volume 1) / Format: CS & CD / Label: Cema Special Markets / Cat. Num.: 4xl 57012 & Cdl 57267 / Rel. Year: 1988 (CS) & 1990 (CD) / Note: Contains Peggy Lee's Capitol rendition of "Why Don't You Do Right?" There are some significant variations between the two configurations shown here. The CD edition (image #2) contains 12 tracks; the cassette edition shortens the number of tracks to nine (among which Lee's rendition is included, fortunately). Moreover, the cassette edition changes the time span covered; its title is Stagedoor Canteen, 1941-43 ("Remember The Forties; Music Of The War Years" Series, Volume 1). This release is known to have been available in both the United States and Canada.

3. Title: It's Been A Long Time; Homecoming ("Remember The Forties; Music Of The War Years" Series, Volume 3) / Format: CS & CD / Label: Cema Special Markets / Cat. Num.: 4xl 57014 & Cdl 57269 / Rel. Year: 1988 (CS) & 1990 (CD) / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's hit rendition of "Waitin' For The Train To Come In."





4 & 5. Title: Music Of The War Years / Format: CD / Discs: 3 / Label: Cema Special Markets / Cat. Num.:unknown; perhaps 57267 / Rel. Year: 1990 / Note: The year applies to the longbow. It might also applied to the 3CD pak as well, but I have no corroboration on the matter.

6. Title: Music Of The War Years / Format: CD / Discs: 5 / Label: Cema Special Markets / Cat. Num.:unknown / Rel. Year: 1990 / Note: In 1990, Cema offered various options to those interested in acquiring digital copies of Music Of The War Years. One option was a 3CD set with 36 tracks (e.g., image #4), the other option a 5CD set that expanded the song program to 60 tracks (image #6). Both options were offered in the longbox packaging that was momentarily fashionable at the time. I assume that Cema also prepared a regular, non-longbox edition of the 5CD set item seen in this image (for which I do not have details such as track listing). Even with the absence of a track listing, it can be safely stated that this item contains the aforementioned Peggy Lee renditions of "Why Don't You Do Right?" and "Waitin' For The Train To Come In." It is also likely to contain her Capitol renditions of "Golden Earrings" and "Mañana."

7. Title: Music Of The War Years; Remember The Fabulous 40's / Format: CD-DVD Combo / Discs: 4 / Label: Timeless Media Group & Edi Video / Cat. Num.: 79192 / Rel. Year: 2007 / Note: Adds a DVD documentary about WW2, called "World In Conflict, and advertised as consisting of nearly three hours of archival footage and historical newsreels. This set is presumed to have been licensed from Cema. Contains the aforementioned Peggy Lee renditions of "Why Don't You Do Right?" and "Waitin' For The Train To Come In."





Artwork Shown:

8. Title: Music Of The War Years / Format: Cassette / Tapes: 4 / Label: Cema Special Markets / Cat. Num.: unknown for the set picture; individual tapes carry a 1990 date / Rel. Year: unknown / Note: Cassette counterpart of the 3CD pak seen in one of the preceding images. Both the CDpak and this tape set contain 36 tracks, distributed among three compact discs in one case (twelve tracks per disc), among four cassettes in the other case (nine tracks per tape). The cassette seen at the start of this section (image #1) is believed to be part of this set, though all four tapes were probably sold separately as well.

9. Title: These Were Our Songs; Musical Memories Of The War Years / Format: LP & CD / Pieces: 3 / Label: Cema Special Markets / Cat. Num.: Slc 57598 & Cd3l 57598 / Rel. Year: 1991 / Note: Reissue of the item under discussion, in its 3-piece option. Released not only in the United States but also in Europe and Canada. Includes Lee's Capitol recordings of "Why Don't You Do Right?" and "Waitin' For The Train To Come In."





Artwork Shown:

10. Title: Remember The Fabulous Forties / Format: CS / Tapes: 5 / Label: Cema Special Markets / Cat. Num.: 15504 (tapes individually numbered from 57012 to 57014 ) / Rel. Year: 1988 / Note: Tape counterpart to the 5CD longbox. Two of these five tapes contain Peggy Lee vocals, and both will be itemized next. These additional volumes in the series appear to have been issued on cassette only. They might reshuffle the tracks or expand the previous track listings. Note the addition of the word "fabulous" to the main title.

11. Title: A Tree In The Meadow ("Remember The Fabulous Forties; Music Of The War Years" Series, 1946-48) / Format: CS / Label: Cema Special Markets / Cat. Num.: (Canada) 4xl 57224 / Rel. Year: 1988 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Golden Earrings." I have not been able to locate a CD counterpart to this cassette; see, however, note for entry #6.

12. Title: Mañana Is Soon Enough For Me ("Remember The Fabulous Forties; Music Of The War Years" Series, 1948-49) / Format: CS / Label: Cema Special Markets / Cat. Num.: (Canada) 4xl 57225 / Rel. Year: 1988 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Mañana." I have not been able to locate a CD counterpart to this cassette; see, however, note for entry #6.





Artwork Shown:

13-16. Title: Music Of The War Years, Volumes 1 & 2 ("Remember The 40's" Series) / Format: CD / Label: Cema [Madacy: distributor] / Volumes: 4 / Cat. Nums.: (Canada) S21 57965, S 21 57966, S 21 57967, and S 21 57968 / Rel. Year: 1992; possibly reprinted in 1995 / Note: Reissue and reconfiguration of the of the series under discussion. I have not seen physical copies. Online details about them have proven confusing. These CDs obviously use different artwork and they also might feature re-organized track listings. They items identify themselves as a volume 1 and a volume 2, each volume consisting of two discs. Peggy Lee's Capitol rendition of "Why Don't You Do Right" could be in the first of these discs (image #13), but I have not found its track listing. Her renditions of "Mañana" and "Golden Earrings" might not be part of this reissue series.

15. Title: Music Of The War Years, Volume 2, Disc 1 ("Remember The 40's" Series) / Format: CD / Label: Cema [Madacy: distributor] / Volumes: 4 / Cat. Num.: (Canada) S21 57967 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Note: Reissue of CD#3 from the series. Hence it includes Peggy Lee's recording of "Waitin' For The Train To Come In."


IX. EMI'S LADY SINGS THE BLUES SERIES





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: Lady Sings The Blues / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Discs: 2 / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 80738 2 9 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Here's That Rainy Day." The former closes the first disc; the latter starts the second CD. Besides the tracks taken from Capitol's vaults, this collection also features quite a few numbers taken from labels such as Concord, RCA, and Verve. 28 tracks. (Incidentally, I have decided to open the present section with this particular issue because I consider it a very satisfactory compilation. It is not, however, the earliest release from the Lady Sings The Blues series, nor is it necessarily one of its mist representative. (For more general commentary about the series, scroll down to the last third of this section.)

2. Title: Lady Sings The Blues, Volume 2 / Format: CD / Label: Liberty-EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 71460 2 9 [confirmed as correct; unconfirmed numbers are 7243 8 29946 2 6 and 7243 8 13337 2 3] / Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "If You Could See Me Now." Identified in some online sites as an official sequel to item #1. The issue itself makes no such assertion, and I am lacking official documentation or confirmation on the claim. Still, the claim seems likely. Note that, on the two front covers, the typesetting of the title is in the same style. No liner notes. 20 tracks. (This is one of only three items from this series that I have personally inspected and auditioned. A very fine selection of performances. Unfortunately, the Peggy Lee track is one of just two or three numbers which, unlike the majority here, have not yet been submitted to a high-quality, superior remastering. As a result, those two or three tracks do not carry the aural punch of its companions.)

3. Title: Lady Sings The Blues Again / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Discs: 2 / Cat. Num.: (Canada) 72435 97751 2 8 / Rel. Year: 2005 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "As Time Goes By." 32 tracks. EMI's publicity described Lady Sings The Blues Again as "the follow-up to the well-received first volume of two years ago, once more featuring a stellar line-up of many of the greatest female vocalists of all time, singing timeless standards from the R&B, Blues, Jazz and Pop repertoires ..." Being a Canadian issue, this set is likely to have been a follow-up not to the 2003 American edition (image #1) but to a 2003 Canadian edition. A candidate can be seen a couple of rows below (image #10, or thereabouts).

4. Title: Lady Sings The Blues, Volume 2 / Format: CD / Discs: 2 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: (Australia) 7243 5 76624 2 0 / Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "As Time Goes By." 35 tracks. Perhaps the sequel to the item which will be shown next.





Artwork Shown:

5. Title: Lady Sings The Blues / Format: CD / Label: Circa - EMI / Discs: 2 / Cat. Num.: (Australia) 7243 5 8134 2 1 / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "Fever" and "The Man I Love." 42 tracks. Some listings give a different catalogue number, 989482.

6. Title: Lady Sings The Blues / Format: CD / Label: Circa-Virgin-EMI / Discs: 2 / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Vtdcd 426; also 07243 8 11700 2 1 / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Opens with Peggy Lee's rendition of "Fever." Also includes her interpretation of "A Taste Of Honey." 46 tracks.

7. Title: The Best Of Lady Sing The Blues / Format: CD / Label: EMI & Virgin TV / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) 577059 & Vtdcd 426/ Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "A Taste Of Honey." 44 tracks.

8. Title: Light My Fire; Lady Sings The Blues / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: (Norway) 7243 5 63442 2 8 / Discs: 2 / Rel. Year: 2005 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "A Taste Of Honey." 28 tracks.





Artwork Shown:

9. Title: Lady Sings The Blues / Format: CD / Discs: 2 / Label: Circa-EMI / Cat. Num.: (Europe) 7243 5 43008 2 0 / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: The 42 tracks in this European edition include Peggy Lee's renditions of "Fever" and "The Man I Love." On a separate but related matter, I should add that there are at least two abridged versions of this 2CD set. Both consist of a single CD, and both have covers identical to that of their parent set. One of those versions will be showcased in the next entry. Bearing catalogue number 7243 5 80284 2 3, the other version does not feature any Peggy Lee selections.

10. Title: Lady Sings The Blues, Volume 2 / Format: CD / Discs: 2 / Label: EMI Music Canada / Cat. Num.: (Canada) / 7243 5 43008 2 0 (also, on the barcode, another number, 72435 81486 2 6) / Rel. Year: 2003 / Note: Opens with Peggy Lee's rendition of "Fever." 32 tracks.

11. Title: Lady Sings The Blues; Night And Day / Format: CD / Discs: 2 / Label: Virgin TV & EMI / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Vtdcd 498 [CD 1] & Vtdcd 499; also Lc 03098; also 7243 8 13337 2 3 [CD #1: 13338; CD #2: 13339] / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "The Man I Love" and "As Time Goes By." 46 tracks. This Night And Day set ends with a nice, thematically joined threesome. The sequence starts off with "As Time Goes By," continues with " 'Round Midnight," and ends with "Night And Day." The interpreters of these songs are, respectively, Peggy Lee, Julie London, and Billie Holiday. This is one of only three items from this series that I have personally inspected and auditioned. Includes advertisement for item #6 above. No liner notes.)

12. Title: Lady Sings The Blues, Volume 2 / Format: CD / Discs: 2 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: (Europe) 7243 5 96140 2 1 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "As Time Goes By." 37 tracks. The minimal notes tell us that, "[f]ollowing on the success of volume 1, Lady Sings The Blues, Volume 2 brings together some of the best-known artists and songs, encapsulating the rawness and vocal talent recognized by the first Ladies of Blues." Note that the Peggy Lee selection had already been included in volume 1 (see preceding entry). The same is true of several of thos set's other tracks. Such tracks are by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, and Nancy Wilson, all of whom counted with extensive discographies from which fresh selections could and should have been picked.

12a. The first CD from the preceding 2-disc item is sometimes separately sold. It has the exact same front cover, song sequence and title as it does within the 2CD set, differing only in having its own, slightly different catalogue number (7243 5 96144 2 7). " The disc opens with Aretha Franklin's recording of "All Night Long" and closes with Joss Stone's debut, a version of "The Chokin' Kind." Peggy Lee's interpretation of "As Time Goes By" is sequenced second among the 18 tracks.







Artwork Shown:

13. Title: Lady Sings The Blues, Volume 2 / Format: CD / Discs: 2 / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: (Thailand) 7243 5 97502 2 4 / Rel. Year: 2003 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "As Time Goes By." 35 tracks.

14. Title: Torch Songs / Format: 2CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 72435 97582 2 0 / Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's renditions of "I Wanna Be Around" and "Oh, You Crazy Moon." Although not identified as part of (or named after) the Lady Sings The Blues series, this set follows the same concept. An American release, it was issued one year after item #1, also an American release. Both feature the same main production team, the same total number of tracks (28), et cetera. These points of mine notwithstanding, the US issue of Lady Sings The Blues seems to have its own, actual sequel (item #2 above).

15. Title: Lady Sings The Blues / Format: Cassette / Label: PT EMI Indonesia - Circa / Cat. Num.: (Indonesia) Ev 481; also 7243 5 80284 4 7 / Rel. Year: 2002 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's hit rendition of "Fever." 12 tracks.

16. This CD entry from the Lady Sing The Blues series does not feature any Peggy Lee tracks amidst its minimal, 12-selection program. It is thus pictured here only in the interest of offering a comprehensive pictorial overview. Titled After Hours; Lady Sings The Blues 2, it was released by EMI's on one of its imprints, Liberty Records, in 2004 (cat. num. 7243 5 71459 2 3). It comes off as an offshoot to item #1, and "baby sister" companion to item #2.


General Note About The Lady Sings The Blues Series

In the world of jazz and pop music, the allure of the phrase "lady sing the blues" grew out of its use as the title of an iconographic Billie Holiday (pseudo)autobiography, as well as a contemporaneous album of hers (1956). The allure would be further heightened by the 1972 film based on the book, a vehicle for the then very popular Diana Ross. The fact that the phrase has been (over)used for so many albums should come as no surprise. In addition to colonizing the album world of Holiday, Ross, and artists who have paid tribute to them, the title (the) lady(ladies) sings the blues is favored among compilers of albums of female vocals, too.

In 1995, the British label released its own interesting entry in this saga. (See images below.) In what was a relatively novel idea around that time, It combined blues-oriented tracks from both legendary and modern-day female singers, and crossed music genres. Dinah Washington and Peggy Lee thus stood next to Annie Lennox and Sinead O'Connor, who in turn shared album space with Tina Turner, Joan Armatrading, Gladys Knight, and many another luminary. Though no confirmation is likely to ever be forthcoming, I suspect that this Telstar release served as the direct inspiration for the EMI series under discussion, which seems to have originated in the United Kingdom as well.

The series' international scope and duplicative nature makes it difficult to trace its development -- not to say anything of tracking down its full catalogue. Several branches and affiliates of EMI were involved -- most commonly, Virgin and its Circa sub-label in the UK, Liberty in the US.

Among the issues that I have located, the earliest release year is 2002. Were I asked to make an educated guess as to which of the pictured releases started the series, I would lean toward CD #9 above.

The abundance of issues and their wide distribution suggest that the series' concept was successful, generating a worthwhile amount of sales and customer interest. Further indication of the series' success can be gleaned from the subsequent appearance of Public domain CDs and MPs that bear the same or similar titles, along with parallel concepts and artwork. Among the various qualifying examples that could be mentioned, suffice it to point to Ladies Sing The Blues, from Metro Triples (2010), and Ladies Sing The Blues, from Not Now (2013).

Given the difficulties already expressed, I expect my research of this series to remain a work in progress for years on end. Errors in the gathered data are certainly possible; after all, most of my information about these issues comes from internet sites of variable reputation. Still, for all its complications, the Lady Sings The Blues series is worthy of inclusion herein. Peggy Lee tracks can be found in almost all of its issues, and several of her interpretations (rather than just one or two) are part of the full catalogue of selections.





Artwork Shown:

17-18. Title: The Lady Sings The Blues / Format: CS & CD & LP / Label: Telstar's Pure Music / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Pmmc 7001 & Pmcd 7001 & Pmlp 7001 / Rel. Year: 1994 / Note: Peggy Lee's version of "Fever" is listed second among the 21 numbers in this compilation.

19. Title: The Lady Sings The Blues / Format: LP / Label: Luiggi / Discs: 2 / Cat. Num.: (Spain) Lr 11231 / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Same 21 tracks as in the preceding Telstar issues, in the same sequence. The back cover of this two-LP gatefold album lists Luiggi's office in Madrid and claims that the contents were licensed from Free Records Germany.


X. BEST ALBUM IN THE WORLD ... EVER!, FROM CIRCA AND VIRGIN MUSIC SERIES (LICENSED THROUGH EMI)





Artwork Shown:

1. Title: The Best Smooth Jazz ... Ever! / Format: CD / Volumes: 4 / Label: Virgin Emi / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom? Poland?) Vtdcdx 570 & also 7243 5 79991 2 0 and (Japan) Tocj 66275 / Rel. Year: 1995 (original) & 2005 (Japanese reissue?) / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's Capitol recordings of "Here's That Rainy Day" and "I'm A Woman." Found with other release dates as well (presumably indicating reprints); my own copy bears a 2004 date. Furthermore, my copy does not indicate any involvement from Virgin, and includes only one of the aforementioned catalogue numbers (7243 5 79991 2 0).

2. Title: The Best Smooth Jazz ... Ever!, Vol. 2 / Format: CD / Volumes: 4 / Label: Potamon EMI / Cat. Num.: (Poland) 0946 3 11957 2 3 & (Japan) Tocj 66294 - 66297 / Rel. Year: 1996 & 2005, 2006, 2008 (reprints?) / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's Capitol recordings of "Fever," "As Time Goes By," and "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me."

3. Title: The Best Smooth Jazz ... Ever!, Volume 3 / Format: CD / Volumes: 4 / Label: / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Tocj 66437 / Rel. Year: 2008 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's Capitol recording of "The Folks Who Live On The Hill," "The Boy From Ipanema," "Somethin' Stupid," and "A Taste Of Honey."

4. Title: The Best Smooth Jazz ... Ever! / Note: Shown in this image are all 4 releases in this series, which appears to have been a branch within the extensive "Best Album Ever!, released by Circa in conjunction with Virgin and EMI. However, specifics about this sub-series are not fully clear to me. As shown in the other three entries, online data suggests that these volumes were printed in various international markets, with different catalogue numbers. Notice that all these releases were 4 CD sets. The fourth and last one did not include any Peggy Lee tracks.





Artwork Shown:

5. Title: The Best Jazz Album In The World ... Ever!, Volume 2 / Format: CD / Label: Virgin Tv / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Vtcd 93 & 72343 8 49153 2 2 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's Capitol recording of "Fever."

6. Title: The Best ... And Friends Album in the World ... Ever! / Format: CD / Volumes: 2 / Label: Virgin-Circa-EMI / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Vtdcdx 286 & 7243 8 48590 2 2 / Rel. Year: 1999 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's Capitol recording of "Fever."

7. Title: The Best ... And Friends Album in the World ... Ever!, Volume 2 / Format: CD / Volumes: 3 / Label: Virgin-Circa-EMI / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Vtdcdx 333 & 7243 8 49762 2 4 / Rel. Year: 2000 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's Capitol recording of "The Boy From Ipanema," "The Folks Who Live On The Hill," "Happy Holiday," and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." The last two tracks come from the set's last CD, a bonus disc entirely dedicated to holiday numbers.

8. Title: The Best Easy Album ... Ever! / Format: CD / Volumes: 2 / Label: Virgin-Circa-Emi / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Virgin Vtdcd 296 & Emi 7243 8 49162 2 0 / Rel. Year: 2000 / Note: Includes Peggy Lee's Capitol recording of "Fever."





Artwork Shown:

9 & 10. Title: The Best Christmas Album In The World...Ever! (New Edition) / Format: CD / Volumes: 2 / Label: Virgin - Emi / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Vidcd 347 & 7243 8 49811 2 9 (2000); also Vidcd 648 & 7243 8 64886 (2004) / Rel. Year: 1996 (partially different track listing), 2000, 2004 / Note: This 44-track CD set seems to have been issued three times, beginning with the 1996 edition (Vtdcd 103 & 7243 8 42320 2 3). That edition does not include any Peggy Lee tracks. In addition to including Peggy Lee's Capitol recording of "Winter Wonderland," the New Edition (2000; item #9) differs from the original one in the substitution of about a third of the 1996 tracks. Curiously, a few of the substitutions show that the same number was picked both times, but the singer of choice was changed: "Mary's Boy Child" (Harry Belafonte in 1996, Cliff Richard in 2000), "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (Perry Como in 1996, Ella Fitzgerald in 2000), and "Winter Wonderland" (Doris Day in 1996, Peggy Lee in 2000). The 2004 edition (item #10) has the same track listing as the so-called New Edition from 2000.

11. Title: The Best Disney Album In The World ... Ever! / Format: CD / Volumes: 3 / Label: Circa - Virgin - Disney - EMI International / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom?) Vtdcd 819 (also 09463731122) / Rel. Year: 2006 / Note: Contains Peggy Lee's original soundtrack versions of "He's A Tramp" and "The Siamese Cat Song."


General Note About the Best Album ... Ever! Series: The first issues in this prolific series appeared in 1993 -- one year after Virgin Records was sold to EMI. The series was released under the imprint Circa, which was in turn a Virgin subsidiary. By 2007, when EMI dropped both the Virgin and Circa names and incorporated incorporated those labels' back catalogues to the newly created imprint Capitol Music Group, there had been well over a 100 CD sets in the Best Album ... Ever! Series. From opera, disco, and punk to Arabic, girl power and belly dance, the series covered just about every music genre at its reach. I have tried to include herein every single issue that included Peggy Lee tracks, but I would not be surprised if there are still more of which I remain unaware.


XI. MISCELLANEA: OTHER CAPITOL-EMI CD SERIES




Artwork Shown:

1 & 2. Title: High Rollers! From Las Vegas ("The Las Vegas Centennial Collection" Series) / Format: CD / Label: EMI / Cat. Num.: 7243 8 75935 2 7 / Rel. Year: 2005 / Note: High Rollers! (image #2) includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "This Could Be The Start Of Something (Big)." The CD is part of EMI's 8CD Las Vegas Centennial Collection (image #1), which also includes discs by Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Wayne Newton, Elvis Presley, Louis Prima with Keely Smith, and Frank Sinatra, as well as a disc entitled Live From Las Vegas. Some time before the appearance of this series, a press article listed Peggy Lee among the various other artists for whom unreleased Las Vegas concert performances were available at the time. Unfortunately, no Peggy Lee Live In Las Vegas CD has ever materialized.

3 & 4. Title: Jumpin' Like Mad; Cool Cats & Hip Chicks Non-Stop Dancin' (#19) / Format: 2CD / Label: Capitol / Cat. Num.: Cdp 7243 8 58051 2 5 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Note: Jumpin' Like Mad (image #4) includes Peggy Lee's rendition of "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah." The CD is volume #19 of Capitol's Blues Collection Series, which consisted of at least 20 volumes, if not more. Two promotional samplers were issued, too, one on vinyl (image #3) and the other on CD. "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" is Peggy Lee's only appearance in the series, which highlights blues singers such as Amos Milburn, Julia Lee, T-Bone Walker, and Muddy Waters.