This is essentially Basia's greatest hits performed live complete with band and backup singers. It was recorded back in 1994 on Broadway.
This brings me back to the time when Basia was at the top of the recording industry. Everyone remembers the massive hits 'Time and Tide' and 'Promises'. For me that was a rich and bizarre era in music, when a few jazz-inspired songs made it to mainstream.
She pulls out all the stops in this performance, with an all-female chorus backup, blaring trumpets, concert piano, and drums. This is the CD you play when you want to show off your stereo system. This is live music of very high quality.
Here are a couple of my favorite performances in this album:
Copernicus - This is the opening number and sets the tone of the entire album. It is an extremely fast song which jumps all over the place. Sounds a lot like the opening of a show or musical play.
Cruising for Bruising - Great voice, Basia sings in a low key the majority of the song. One thing I like about her is that she can sing low and powerful at the same time.
Third Time Lucky - One of the great melodies and cute background vocals. This live version also sounds better than the original studio recording.
Baby You're Mine - The song has a soft bossa nova guitar background and smooth tempo. I enjoyed the low/high pitch blending. This is probably the catchiest song in the album which you will find yourself humming to long after you stop listening.
Promises/Time and Tide - You already know these songs. The studio recordings sound better than the live ones, particularly for Time and Tide. But they are still Basia staples and fun to listen to.
Take Him Back Rachel - I've never heard this song before. I love it! It has a great title and I like straightforward simple lyrics. Plus it drones on and on with the 'take him back Rachel' part. Makes me wish I knew a Rachel that broke up with a friend of mine, so I could sing this to her.
Until You Come Back to Me - As they played the intro to this song, one excited Basia fan shouted out the title. One of her more popular tunes and an instant classic. This probably sounds better live.
Two of my favorite Basia songs weren't included here, notably 'Go For You' and 'Waters of March' (you know this as the Ayala Center song). I admit they probably wouldn't showcase her live singing abilities, but still it would be nice to have them in this compilation.
All in all, great CD, high quality feel-good music. Future generations will no doubt rediscover Basia.
Rating: 4/5 * * * *
Fun listening and top quality.