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Lady in Satin was released in 1958 on Columbia Records, catalog CL 1157 in mono and CS 8048 in stereo. It is legendary singer Billie Holiday’s penultimate album completed by the singer and released in her lifetime (her final album, Billie Holiday, being recorded in March 1959 and released just after her death).
AllMusic says: ‘The feeling and tension she manages to put into almost every track set this album as one of her finest achievements. ‘You’ve Changed’ and ‘I Get Along Without You Very Well’ are high art performances from the singer who saw life from the bottom up.’ The song material for Lady in Satin derived from the usual sources for Holiday in her three-decade career, that of the Great American Songbook of classic pop. Unlike the bulk of Holiday’s recordings, rather than in the setting of a jazz combo Holiday returns to the backdrop of full orchestral arrangements as done during her Decca years, this time in the contemporary vein of Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald on her Song Books series. The album consists of songs Holiday had never recorded before. Bandleader Ray Ellis used a 40-piece orchestra, complete with horns, strings, reeds and even a three-piece choir. It would turn out to be Holiday’s most expensive music production. Soloists on the album included Mel Davis, Urbie Green, and bebop trombone pioneer J. J. Johnson. Now with our 45 RPM release, mastered from the original analog tape by Bernie Grundman, and pressed by our own Quality Record Pressings, the best-sounding version of this historic album gives listeners an even richer sonic experience. The dead-quiet double-LP, with the music spread over four sides of vinyl, reduces distortion and high frequency loss as the wider-spaced grooves let your stereo cartridge track more accurately.