The Ultimate Collection
Throwing herself at the listener in some sort of weird Mermaid-like dress, the cover of Elaine Paige’s new CD invites us to join her in celebrating her best musical moments.
Paige’s career highs came in the 1980s with a string of musicals she was strongly associated with, hit singles in the charts and albums that were on shelves of music fans up and down the country.
A career boosted by the timely revival of the West End musical, Paige is one of the few names to make it big on stage alone and become a household name through her music. And she’s still the luvvie’s favourite today, hosting a show on BBC Radio 2 that plays songs from the shows, old and new, and even gives amateur operatic groups the chance of a shout out, immensely annoying though that section can be.
Three decades on, and particularly with the shadow of her radio show hanging over us, it’s easy to forget just what propelled Paige up there to be nation’s favourite show-stopper. The reminder is on this new CD. Twenty songs means this collection lasts nearly 1hr 20mins, and all the big shows of the era are covered; Cats, Evita, Chess, Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard.
Some of her finest moments arrive early on, kicking off with Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Memory and I Don’t Know How To Love Him. But look into the rest of the album to find Unchained Melody, La Vie En Rose, I Dreamed A Dream and the hit with Barbara Dickson, I Know Him So Well.
All in all, it’s better that it at first seems. If you’re into musicals. And you can get beyond the thought of Elaine Paige as a mermaid.