Time for Love: The Best of Julie London

Ah, Julie — those lips, those legs, that hair, that cleavage. Let’s face it, when she recorded her many albums between 1955 and 1967, lots of people bought them for the cheesecake on the cover: her auburn locks flowing down, her legs arching straight up. But the toy in her Cracker Jack box was the fact that she could really sing — if you remember the ’50s, you remember her ”Cry Me a River.” Her voice was small, but hey, that’s why the microphone was invented. Her timbre and phrasing had a candor, a savvy, a twinkle of innocent joy (even on double-entendre baubles, like ”Go Slow,” which would make Tipper Gore blush) that let you know she could probably deconstruct Finnegans Wake — by candlelight and in a shorty nightgown. This Rhino collection is a splendid introduction, complete with cheesecake. But I wish they would identify all the musicians — something the original LPs also failed to do — and I’m surprised they used only one cut from Julie, arguably her best album. Maybe a second volume of Time for Love: The Best of Julie London will follow; I’m ready if she is. A-

Time for Love: The Best of Julie London
  • Music