Billie Holiday

Her best songs are as tragic as her voice; has anyone ever sung with so much emotion? Billie Holiday is a cornerstone of American pop music


  • An Evening with Billie Holiday (1953), A-
    • Only an evening? (Highlights: “Yesterdays,” “Tenderly”)
  • Lady Sings the Blues (1956), A
    • After two lackluster LPs (Music for Torching and Velvet Mood), late-period Holiday gets back on track with one of the most moving albums of her career. Sterling renditions of “God Bless the Child,” “Strange Fruit” and, of course, the title track make Lady Sings the Blues one of Lady Day’s great masterpieces.
  • Body and Soul (1957), B+
    • Cool, calm and casual.
  • Songs for Distingué Lovers (1957), A-
    • Billie Holiday’s Sinatra record.
  • Stay with Me (1958), B+
    • Puts the jazz in vocal jazz.
  • All or Nothing at All (1958), B+
    • All or Nothing at All isn’t much. But only when compared to Lady in Satin.