I'm not sure, but this album seems to have been recorded already 1965/1966. Shirley Bassey had left EMI 1966 and signed with United Artists. Autumn 1966 she had already released I've Got A Song For You as her debut album for the United Artists label and 1967 And We Were Lovers. 1968 she was already preparing the next album on United Artists, when this EMI album became released and therefore it is very unlikely that she returned to EMI's studios to make an additional album with them in 1968. For the track "Moon River" on some collections you can even see the publishing year 1965 printed, and for "A House Is Not A Home" 1966 is stated as the recording year. Maybe the two tracks "The Boy From Ipanema" and "More" are from the same recording session, because March 1966 is stated as year of the recording, but they've not been released before 1994. Maybe EMI has not released these tracks earlier, because Shirley Bassey was no longer under contract with them?
by Sean Connery
A new collection of songs recorded by Shirley Bassey, like a new James Bond film, is an event.
Miss Bassey once honoured a film of mine by singing the title song of the picture - "Goldfinger - and the song became a raging success in its own right. Now I can return the compliment by introducing this, the latest of her LPs. I certainly don't intend to sing - we can leave that to the quite overwhelming talent of Miss Bassey. But maybe I can say a few things about this album before you settle down to listen to it.
To generalise a bit, for openers, you can guarantee to hear every word of every song that Shirley sings. That, in itself is a bit of a novelty these days! There is a reason for this. The real Shirley Bassey comes through, clearly and unmistakably, in her songs. As she once told David Frost in a revealing interview (clad in an equally revealing gown) on television, she is able to explore and explain her many moods through the words and music of her songs in public far better then she ever could in private.
Every time I hear Shirley Bassey sing - and that includes the playing and re-playing of the same record - I am always thrilled and surprised by her extraordinary vocal range. There are notes on these tracks which catch at your heart by the very ease with which she reaches them. She seems lo pluck them out of the air and hit them exactly, unerringly. You never have to worry in case she won't reach the high ones. She always does. When Shirley does a number it is hers, completely. Even if you have heard it before, sung by somebody else, she still seems to get an extra meaning, an extra dimension into the familiar words and out of the familiar tune. And when you next hear someone else sing it, you think "Ah, but you should hear what Shirley does with this". On this record you can.
No single album could completely capture ALL the many moods of the fantastic personality called Shirley Bassey, but in this collection, cunningly chosen by Shirley herself and produced by Norman Newell - the acknowledged master of his craft - you do get most of them, from the brittle-bright to the softly lyrical; from the big brassy show-business songs to the intimate numbers she is singing only for you - personally.
As for The individual numbers on this particularly well-balanced bill, Come Back To Me is exciting as only Shirley Bassey can make a number exciting and thrilling. Then comes the dramatic I'm A Fool To Want You which is Bassey at her superb best. The mood changes in the wistful A House Is Not A Home before it comes to a song which could have been written for her - If Love Were All. We know that it comes from Noel Coward's "Bitter Sweet" and composed before she was even born, but it tells as few songs could of the inner heartaches of the gifted entertainer. Noel knew as if by some instinct what it is to have "a talent to amuse" and his song is re-born by her singing of it. Moon River is next and with it a fresh approach to a very familiar number. Shirley takes it both as a challenge and as an opportunity. Her approach, as in all her numbers, is personal. As a result, it is unique. Side one closes with the number which the bewitching Miss Bassey uses as her opener in her cabaret performances these days - Don't Rain On My Parade from the hit-show "Funny Girl". It tells its own story from the inside and in it the girl never gets a breath wrong - she never does, even with the tricky cross-rhythms of Something's Coming, which opens Side Two with its variations of pace and its great feeling of latent power held surely in check as the voice and the orchestra balance, as if on a knife-edge of thrilling sounds. A great track this and one of my favourites. Days Of Wine And Roses gives us Shirley the Singer - so beautiful that it catches your breath. When I say "Shirley sings" I mean just that. Every shade of feeling, every ounce of meaning, all are suggested and expressed as in all her songs.
The next number is Call Me - warm and tender (like the song itself says), but with undertones of something more. Is it desperation, perhaps? Then Charade, a self-styled sad little serenade yet sung with power to give yet another apparent contradiction in the make-up of this amazing artiste - tantalising yet satisfying.
Shirley next sings I Wish You Love with a warmth and sincerity of feeling that she must surely feel in order to put it across so very beautifully, but you could say that about all these numbers and it would still be true. Finally One Of Those Songs, which gives this album its title, is as exciting a number as one could wish for to close with.