Hip-O Select (Universal), US
Released December 9, 2005
Long described as “ahead of its time” and a “cult classic,” Peggy Lee’s audacious, sumptuously-produced 1975 A&M Records album Mirrors — featuring ten diverse, boundary-blurring songs by the legendary songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and masterful arrangements by Johnny Mandel — has been one of her most sought-after albums throughout the CD era. Its first appearance on CD, in 1989, was of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it variety; within a year of its release copies were nearly impossible to locate. A Japanese reissue in 2003, although easier to find internationally through the Internet, is prohibitively priced.
In terms of sound quality, none of the previous Mirrors LP or CD incarnations have satisfied the discerning ears of Leiber and Stoller themselves. Thanks to their involvement with Hip-O Select’s new Peggy Lee Sings Leiber & Stoller CD, we can finally hear Mirrors as the album’s songwriters/producers have long wished, utilizing mixing techniques unavailable in the mid-1970s. Peggy’s vocals — and the arresting, witty, poignant, provocative lyrics — are brought to the forefront.
Peggy Lee Sings Leiber & Stoller is supplemented with five tracks not found on the original Mirrors album, including two songs from the 1975 Mirrors sessions that are previously unreleased in any format: Don Juan and I Ain’t Here. Also included are three well-known Capitol recordings from the 1960s:Kansas City (from the hard-swinging 1962 album Blues Cross-Country), I’m a Woman (the Grammy-nominated 1962 single), and Is That All There Is?, the Grammy-winning 1969 signature song that most famously embodies the enduring and often brilliant collaborations of Lee, Leiber, and Stoller.
This CD, which features extensive liner notes by Peter Stoller and previously unseen photos in a colorful 20-page booklet, is a limited edition of 5,000 copies available directly from the Hip-O Select website (unavailable in stores).
1. Kansas City
2. Some Cats Know
3. Don Juan
4. I Ain’t Here
5. I’m a Woman
6. Ready to Begin Again (Manya’s Song)
7. Professor Hauptmann’s Performing Dogs
8. A Little White Ship
10. I’ve Got Them Feelin’ Too Good Today Blues
11. The Case of M.J.
12. I Remember
13. Say It
14. Longings for a Simpler Time
15. Is That All There Is?