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The Centennial Collection
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  • Liner Note Author: Arthur Levy .
  • A hundredth birthday is a good reason to release a new Billie Holiday collection, but it's also true that it's been a little while since Legacy has returned to this particular well. As of 2015, it's been 14 years since the complete box Lady Day and eight years since the nice double-disc distillation, so a single-disc set like The Centennial Collection is indeed welcome. Legacy didn't limit itself to the Columbia catalog for this set, either. Drawing from sides recorded for Brunswick, Vocalion, OKeh, Commodore, and Decca between 1937 and 1945, this 20-track collection contains the original (and often best-known) performances of many of her best-known songs, including "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)," "The Very Thought of You," "Them There Eyes," "God Bless the Child," "Gloomy Sunday," and "Strange Fruit." This by no means touches on everything the great Holiday recorded -- there is nothing from Verve, for instance -- this is nevertheless better than most single-disc sets on touching upon her best work. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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