Shirley Bassey herself describes her musical style as "classical pop" or as "a cross of international pop with operatic overtones".
If you don't like classical female singing, you may only like a few moderner songs of her, but if you like good voices, you'll find out that she improved so many well known songs with her extraordinary voice. Sean Connery wrote:
For a nice introductory biography with the most important information read this programme note.
Though her musical style sometimes is counted to "Easy Listening" her interpretation is sometimes very sophisticated and therefore you may have to listen many times to the same song until you come into the right mood and you begin to like the song and finally it may become one of your favorites. That may be one of the the causes why Shirley is not so popular today. Her songs will never bore you, even if you hear the same record again and again.
Listen to the lyrics. If you don't know what she is singing about you may sometimes not understand why Shirley Bassey is emphasizing that way. She puts her soul into a song, and so much meaning, power, feeling and emotion into every single word.
Begin with a collection. There are many, many available on the market, but some of them are of very low quality.
A new high-quality collection is for example The Greatest Hits - This Is My Life (EMI EU 2000: 5 25874 2).
But you can also take one of the less expensive collections like the 3CD's Diamonds Are Forever (Disky Netherlands 1997: HR 883252) and great would also be I'm In The Mood For Love (EMI MFP England 1989 CDB 7 92037 2, CC 241), or simply take what is available via your local retail CD shops. Click here for more collections.
To get an idea which songs to look out for, have a look at my favorites.
Earlier or later you'll not come round to buy her albums.
Older great albums that have been been completely re-issued on CD digitally remastered are:
And, of course, the following albums, which have been released on CD from the beginning on and they're available under many different names:
There are many more albums - click here for all albums.
Read this about the possibility of a new album in 2003.
If you'll ever have the possibility to see Dame Shirley Bassey live don't spare the cost - take the best places you can get. It will become an event in your life, you can never forget again. When I saw her first I had no flowers with me and during concert I became so crazy over her, but had nothing to give her. You must know that it's often possible and common practice at most of her concerts that her fans present her many gifts. (On some concert venues it is not allowed that fans come directly to the stage.)
For 2003 the Thanks for the Years - 50th Anniversary Tour is planned and tickets are available.
The last tour was the UK summer tour 2001 and have a look at some of her last recent appearances in 2002.
Some concerts have been recorded and released on video. Try to get An Audience With Shirley Bassey from 1995. It's worth every effort to get a copy. (I have a double for sale.) For more videos look here.
There's only one book available on the market approved by Shirley Bassey and with parts written by her personally:
It exists no approved biography, because Shirley Bassey is not interested in making every thing of her private life public. She has told some things in interviews and that should be enough to know.
Well, there exists a book by Muriel Burgess about the private life of Shirley Bassey, but if you've read it, you should know that is not approved by Shirley Bassey - she refused to acknowledge it. It contains many errors and unintended lies since it is not well recherched. (Most of the research is done from newspaper clippings.) Shirley Bassey herself did not take any part in the research and compilation of this book. But however, it can give an interested fan an impression and background information about the experiences and problems Shirley Bassey had in her earlier years.
Because it is asked very often, it exists no official fan club of Shirley Bassey. But I recommend the Shirley Bassey list and the message board to come into contact with other fans.
If you've more questions, ask me.