14 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the late '60s, Peggy Lee was gradually becoming one of the grand dames of American song. Thankfully, the generation of artists that had taken over believed in the central principle of sexual freedom, and even at age 50, Lee exuded more sexuality than almost any vocalist who appeared at Woodstock. Is That All There Is? is the work of an aging vocalist, but one who hasn't lost her place. Certainly, Lee could locate the exhaustion in sensuality; this is shown by her rendition of George Harrison’s “Something,” which equates lustfulness with a very specific feeling of drowsiness. Of all the great innovations happening in rock and soul music during this time, no other band or singer achieved the particular vision of eerie, gaunt funk shown in “Me and My Shadow.” The singer’s image on this album is that of a wise woman, one whose wisdom and talent have left her alone. Over the course of her career, Lee returned many times to “My Old Flame”; here, the song is read as a message not to an old lover but to a younger self. It’s a haunting, heartbreaking piece of introspection.

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the late '60s, Peggy Lee was gradually becoming one of the grand dames of American song. Thankfully, the generation of artists that had taken over believed in the central principle of sexual freedom, and even at age 50, Lee exuded more sexuality than almost any vocalist who appeared at Woodstock. Is That All There Is? is the work of an aging vocalist, but one who hasn't lost her place. Certainly, Lee could locate the exhaustion in sensuality; this is shown by her rendition of George Harrison’s “Something,” which equates lustfulness with a very specific feeling of drowsiness. Of all the great innovations happening in rock and soul music during this time, no other band or singer achieved the particular vision of eerie, gaunt funk shown in “Me and My Shadow.” The singer’s image on this album is that of a wise woman, one whose wisdom and talent have left her alone. Over the course of her career, Lee returned many times to “My Old Flame”; here, the song is read as a message not to an old lover but to a younger self. It’s a haunting, heartbreaking piece of introspection.

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