Saturday, 21 February 2009

Billy Fury - Classics & Collectibles (Universal 9849226 (2CD))

Tracklisting: - CD 1 - 1. Halfway To Paradise 2. Cross My Heart 3. I'd Never Find Another You 4. King For Tonight 5. You're Having The Last Dance With Me 6. Turn My Back On You 7. Maybe Tomorrow 8. Wondrous Place 9. Like I've Never Been Gone 10. Baby Come On Stereo [live] 11. Do You Really Love Me Too 12. I'm Lost Without You 13. Letter Full Of Tears 14. Turn Your Lamp Down Low 15. In Thoughts Of You 16. What Am I Living For 17. Somebody Else's Girl 18. Jealousy 19. Push Push 20. Last Night Was Made For Love 21. Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees) 22. Thousand Stars 23. It's Only Make Believe 24. Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I) 25. Once Upon A Dream 26. This Diamond Ring 27. I Will 28. Million Miles From Nowhere 29. Run To My Lovin' Arms 30. You're Swell 31. Forget Him

CD 2 - 1. Break Up 2. Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees) [alternate take] 3. Hippy Hippy Shake 4. Glad All Over 5. I Can Feel It 6. You Got Me Dizzy 7. Saved 8. You Better Believe It Baby 9. She's So Far Out She's In 10. Straight To Your Arms 11. Away From You 12. Am I Blue 13. That's Enough 14. Kansas City 15. From The Bottom Of My Heart 16. I'll Be So Glad (When Your Heart Is Mine) 17. Lovesick Blues 18. Keep Away 19. What Did I Do 20. Cheat With Love 21. I Can't Help Loving You 22. Candy Kisses 23. I'm Hurting All Over 24. Nobody's Child 25. Wedding Bells 26. Stick Around 27. Time Has Come 28. Let's Paint The Town 29. Begin The Beguine 30. I'll Never Fall In Love Again [alternate take] 31. I Will Always Be With You

The first thing to mention here is the stunning cover shot and the colour photo on the back. Billy Fury was a different class to his fellow Brits and it’s great to see him getting recognition with releases such as this. Whether it’s a compulsory purchase for Joe Public I’m not sure but for Fury pervs it’s an essential item. It might not the full quota of his hits like the comprehensive 40th Anniversary Anthology from a few years ago, but it does have some well chosen rarities and a handful of previously un-issued numbers.

Running at a generous 62 tracks the collection doesn’t run chronically which is a nice change. Collette, Margo and That’s Love are notable omissions from the early days but most fans will have them countless times over anyway. The first CD pretty much runs through the hits but a review of them is a bit pointless so I’ll concentrate on the lesser known gems. A Million Miles From Nowhere is one of those great vocals from Billy where he sounds like he’s either eating a sweet or his tongue is too big for his mouth, I love it. The song is okay without being any great shakes but Billy shows what a great singer he was.

The second CD starts with the unheard cover of Charlie Rich’s Break Up which bangs along nicely with Billy singing in 58 mode battling against an organist in 1963 May fair mode. Billy just about wins with a bit of help from the enthusiastic drummer and guitarist. Next up are half a dozen 60’s beat numbers which will need no introduction. I Can Feel It is a good 60’s rocker with an intro that felt like Elvis’ Flaming Star on speed. You Better Believe It Baby has a Motown feel and shows how effortlessly Billy could adapt to all forms of American music. The previously unreleased Straight To Your Arms is very of it’s time and despite some fine vocals from Billy, I'll Be So Glad (When Your Heart Is Mine) is just to jazzy for me. I love the bouncy, uptempo version of Lovesick Blues that even ol’ Hank would have approved of.

Keep Away isn’t a great song but Billy and the guitarist are good enough to save the day. Cheat With Love is a pretty good happy-go-lucky country number. The alternate take of I'll Never Fall In Love Again is virtually the same as the issued version that we know and love so much. So, all told, this is a mighty fine release that will appeal to fans and could find a broader audience with the general public who will identify track titles like Halfway To Paradise and be tempted.

Billy, you sum it all up for me yourself when you sing, “I think you’re swell”.


Mellow said...


I noticed you're writing articles about rockabilly artists. I set up a site about such music:

Maybe you're interested in writing articles for my site. There are a lot of work to do and I cannot do it alone!


Howard said...

What we need is a good book published about Billy by someone who loves his music and has a good style of writing. Interested?

guru said...

Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again
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guru said...

Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u
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