Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Billie Holiday: Classic Live Recordings [Telstar, 1990]
Columbia's complete Billie I file, reverently. This pieced-together live half hour I take away on romantic weekends. The "12 Hits" are prime--all right, kind of obvious, so what? And in the absence of annotation (though the sidemen who get announced are also prime), I'm assuming it documents the late phase when life started ravaging her voice, which I've always thought jibed with her specialty--flashing pain a sarcastic smile, twisting its arm till it sings her tune. A