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Eva Cassidy - Anniversary Song

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Eva Cassidy - Anniversary Song

The album sold more than 100,000 copies in the following months. The New York Times spoke of her "silken soprano voice with a wide and seemingly effortless range, unerring pitch and a gift for phrasing that at times was heart-stoppingly eloquent." Alexis Petridis in The Guardian wrote, "There's an undeniable emotional appeal in hearing an artist who you know died in obscurity singing a song about hope and a mystical world beyond everyday life". Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton were among her new-found fans. Jazz critic Ted Gioia writes, "you might be tempted to write off the 'Cassidy sensation' ... as a response to the sad story of the singer's abbreviated life rather than as a measure of her artistry. But don't be mistaken, Cassidy was a huge talent, whose obscurity during her lifetime was almost as much a tragedy as her early death." Songbird has since achieved significant chart success in Europe.

Featuring redefining orchestral versions of classic repertoire, including Songbird, Time After Time, Autumn Leaves and Ain't No Sunshine, the project was made possible by the recent advances in audio restoration technology used in The Beatles: Get Back film. The new orchestral arrangements are by Christopher Willis, except Autumn Leaves is by William Ross and Jochem van der Saag. The title song is by Eva's musical hero, Stevie Wonder.

With more than 11 million in worldwide sales and critical acclaim such as the Wall Street Journal praising her "perfect pitch, impeccable timing and vulnerability" and USA Today citing her "emotional ability to reach the depths of any song," her unerringly tasteful sense of material continues to propel interest in her recorded work all these years later.

Revisited for the first time since release, this special Songbird 20 anniversary edition contains Eva's most popular songs, including Fields of Gold, Over the Rainbow, Songbird, and Autumn Leaves. The ten re-mastered recordings from the original album are joined here by four bonus alternative acoustic Eva solo performances of songs from the Songbird album. These solo performances were first heard on the Simply Eva album, having surfaced long after the original Songbird was released.

The Blues Alley performances were recorded for what was to become Eva's only solo album released during her lifetime. The original Live At Blues Alley album only included 12 of the 31 songs recorded that night.

One day punishment, justice and revenge WILL come but in the meantime we can cherish the beauty of lives and loves taken from us by this scourge. Our Angel of song Eva's Beautiful voice can sooth and remind us of the Hope that lives in the Passion of True Art, an Art that has no place for auto tuners, greed or self aggrandizement and for that we must be forever be grateful. RIP Angel and sing your songs from that place where cancer cannot enter and the wicked drown eternally in their own depravity.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Eva Cassidy\u2019s death at age 33, and the passing of time hardly softens the blow. True, other music stars also die young, but they almost always enjoy a taste of fame and fortune before they leave us\u2014and Cassidy had none of that. Fans celebrate her posthumous renown and record sales, but her actual life brought her mostly rejection, financial struggles, and illness.

You\u2019ve heard this music, even if you don\u2019t own the album. You may have heard it on the radio or in a playlist. Or you have heard it in movies or TV shows, where it has been licensed\u2014everywhere from Love Actually to Maid in Manhattan. Or you have watched skaters competing with her music in the background in the Olympics. And it shows up in TV commercials, or gets sampled. Cassidy\u2019s admirers are legion nowadays, and the forthcoming release of a 25th anniversary edition of Live at Blues Alley is likely to expand their numbers further.

I spoke with Lundvall around the time of his retirement in 2010, and he said that the biggest regret of his career was not signing Eva Cassidy. A friend had brought her to his office, where she sang \u201CAmazing Grace\u201D unaccompanied. That\u2019s hardly the way to win a major label record contract\u2014solo renditions of 18th century hymns simply don\u2019t cut it\u2014but Lundvall was stunned by what he heard. Yet others at the label were put off by her eclecticism. Michael Cuscuna, sent by Lundvall to check out Cassidy in concert, came back with the verdict of \u201CNo direction\u201D\u2014almost certainly due to her willingness to sing any kind of song in any setting.

For example, I sit in rapt admiration when I hear Cassidy sing the old folk ballad \u201CWayfaring Stranger\u201D\u2014which she turned into a soulful groove number. If you want to know how strange that decision was, listen to the way this song was originally sung. It\u2019s one of the starkest traditional songs in the whole Anglo-American canon, and even though it has been updated, usually by country or folk singers, none of those versions even begins to prepare us for what Eva Cassidy achieves.

By the same token, I never hear anyone describe Cassidy as a blues singer. But listen to what she does with \u201CStormy Monday,\u201D and you will realize she could have built a whole career on raw, gritty songs of this sort.

Her ballad singing is so emotionally charged that her cover versions raise comparisons with the original hit records. Her renditions of Paul Simon\u2019s songs even got his attention, and he has publicly praised her version of \u201CKathy\u2019s Song.\u201D \u201CEva Cassidy is one of the best Paul Simon interpreters,\u201D music critic Geoffrey Himes has commented, and that claim is further backed up by her versions of \u201CAmerican Tune\u201D and \u201CBridge Over Troubled Water.\u201D And though I\u2019m an admirer of Sting\u2019s work, his song \u201CFields of Gold\u201D made no impression on me until I heard Cassiday\u2019s intimate reworking, which is heartbreaking in a way the more declamatory original simply isn\u2019t.

But her most unlikely success was achieved with a song that was more than sixty years old, and performed so often that few would expect it had any new secrets to share. But at Blues Alley that night, Cassidy decided to sing \u201COver the Rainbow\u201D from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Once again, this is the last thing you would do if you were aiming for a hit pop record in the digital age, but Cassidy picked songs because she loved them, not because they matched the items on an A&R executive\u2019s check list.

Like me, Cassidy had heard this song every year as a child, when The Wizard of Oz was broadcast as an annual ritual on network television. She had performed it previously at a high-profile Washington DC music award show and left the audience stunned. \u201CWhen she came out, I was just worried, you know, the audience was milling around and talking,\u201D the show\u2019s promoter Mike Schreibman later recalled. Eva\u2019s father said that he heard someone remark: \u201CDon\u2019t tell me that little girl is going to try \u2018Over the Rainbow\u2019 on THIS crowd.\u201D But they had never heard it sung like this before. \u201CWhen she started to sing, they just\u2026 stopped,\u201D Schreibman continues. \u201CSo many times I\u2019ve heard since then, that was the first time they heard her, and how great she was. Ron Holloway said that he was on the way out the door but when he heard Eva he came back in.\u201D

But in a way she did achieve that somewhere over the rainbow\u2014that place where, as the lyrics promise, \u201Cthe dreams you dare to dream come true.\u201D Her songs have given her the kind of immortality that Shakespeare and Villon and the poets have written about, and which only art confers. We benefit from it, even if she didn\u2019t. And still do after twenty-five years. I just wish she was here to see how it all turned out. 041b061a72


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