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Lady in Satin is an album by jazz singer Billie Holiday released in 1958 on Columbia Records, catalogue CL 1157 in mono and CS 8048 in stereo. It is the penultimate album completed by the singer and released in her lifetime (her final album, Billie Holiday, being recorded in March 1959 and released just after her death). The original album was produced by Irving Townsend, and engineered by Fred Plaut.


The song material for Lady in Satin derived from the usual sources for Holiday in her three decade career, that of the Great American Songbook of classic pop. Unlike the bulk of Holiday's recordings, rather than in the setting of a jazz combo Holiday returns to the backdrop of full orchestral arrangements as done during her Decca years, this time in the contemporary vein of Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald on her Songbooks series. The album consists of songs Holiday had never recorded before.[1]

The arrangements were by bandleader Ray Ellis, Holiday familiar with his Ellis in Wonderland album.[1] Soloists on the album included Mel Davis, Urbie Green, and bebop trombone pioneer J.J. Johnson. The song "The End of a Love Affair" did not appear on the stereo release, CS 8048, the final track of side two being "I'll Be Around".


Template:Album ratings Reaction to the album has been mixed. Holiday's voice had lost much of its upper range in her 40s, although she still retained her rhythmic phrasing. The Penguin Guide to Jazz gave the album a three-star rating of a possible four stars, but expressed a basic reservation about the album, describing it as "a voyeuristic look at a beaten woman."[2]

However, trumpeter Buck Clayton preferred the work of the later Holiday to that of the younger woman that he had often worked with in the 1930s.[3] Ray Ellis said of the album in 1997:

I would say that the most emotional moment was her listening to the playback of "I'm a Fool to Want You". There were tears in her eyes...After we finished the album I went into the control room and listened to all the takes. I must admit I was unhappy with her performance, but I was just listening musically instead of emotionally. It wasn't until I heard the final mix a few weeks later that I realized how great her performance really was.[4]

Lady in Satin was reissued by Legacy Records on September 23, 1997, remastering using 20-bit technology with four bonus tracks. Reissue producer Phil Schaap located the unused master tape for the stereo version of "The End of A Love Affair," and included a stereo mix of the "I'm a Fool to Want You" take which had been used on the mono LP. Lady in Satin was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.[5]

Known personnelEdit

Track listingEdit

Side oneEdit

  1. "I'm a Fool to Want You" (Joel Herron, Frank Sinatra, Jack Wolf)  – 3:23
  2. "For Heaven's Sake" (Elise Bretton, Sherman Edwards, Donald Meyer)  – 3:26
  3. "You Don't Know What Love Is" (Gene DePaul, Don Raye)  – 3:48
  4. "I Get Along Without You Very Well" (Hoagy Carmichael)  – 2:59
  5. "For All We Know" (J. Fred Coots, Sam M. Lewis)  – 2:53
  6. "Violets for Your Furs" (Tom Adair, Matt Dennis)  – 3:24

Side twoEdit

  1. "You've Changed" (Bill Carey, Carl T. Fischer)  – 3:17
  2. "It's Easy to Remember" (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)  – 4:01
  3. "But Beautiful" (w. Johnny Burke, m. Jimmy Van Heusen)  – 4:29
  4. "Glad to Be Unhappy" (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)  – 4:07
  5. "I'll Be Around" (Alec Wilder)  – 3:23
  6. "The End of a Love Affair" (Edward Redding)  – 4:46 [mono CL 1157 only]

Bonus tracks 1997 reissueEdit

  1. "I'm a Fool to Want You" [take 3 stereo]  – 3:24
  2. "I'm a Fool to Want You" [take 2]  – 3:23
  3. "The End of a Love Affair" The Audio Story  – 9:49
  4. "The End of a Love Affair" [stereo]  – 4:46

Additional Tracks Not Released By Columbia or LegacyEdit

Roughly seventy minutes worth of material - including thirteen complete tracks, incomplete tracks, studio chatter, breakdowns, false starts and warm ups - exists from these sessions. All of it (except for those fragments without Billie Holiday) has been released by Michael Fontannes on his Kangourou/Masters of Jazz Label.[6]

  1. "You Don't Know What Love Is" (take 1) [Complete Take] – 3:41
  2. "You Don't Know What Love Is (take 3) [Incomplete Take] – 1:10
  3. "I'll Be Around" (take 2) [Complete Take] – 3:26
  4. "I'll Be Around (take 3) [False Start] – :35
  5. "I'll Be Around (take 4) [Complete] – 3:30
  6. "I'll Be Around (take 5) [False Start] – :32
  7. "I'll Be Around (take 6) [False Start] – :17
  8. "I'll Be Around (chatter) – :31
  9. "For Heaven's Sake (take 1) [Complete] – 3:29
  10. "For Heaven's Sake (take 2-chatter) – :21
  11. "But Beautiful (take 1) [False Start & Warm Up] – :55
  12. "For All We Know (take 1) [Complete] – 3:14
  13. "For All We Know (take 2) [Complete] – 3:12
  14. "For All We Know (take 3) [Complete] – 2:59
  15. "It's Easy to Remember (take 1) [Breakdown] – 3:20
  16. "It's Easy to Remember (take 2) [Complete] – 4:05
  17. "It's Easy to Remember (take 5) [Breakdown] – :31
  18. "It's Easy to Remember (take 6) [Breakdown & Warm Up] – 1:05
  19. "It's Easy to Remember (take 7) [Incomplete] – 1:18
  20. "I'm a Fool to Want You (chatter & warm up) – :23
  21. "I'm a Fool to Want You (take 1) [Breakdown] – 3:21
  22. "I'm a Fool to Want You (take 2) [Short version, Complete] – 2:36
  23. "I'm a Fool to Want You (take 3) [Edit Piece] – :52
  24. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 1) [Incomplete] – :33
  25. "Glad to Be Unhappy (warm up) – :16
  26. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 3) [Breakdown] – :49
  27. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 4) [Complete] – 4:16
  28. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 7) [False Start] – :21
  29. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 8) [Incomplete] – 1:10
  30. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 10) [Breakdown] – 1:27
  31. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 7) [False Start] – :46
  32. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 8) [Incomplete] – 1:10
  33. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 10) [Breakdown] – 1:27
  34. "Glad to Be Unhappy (take 11) [Breakdown – :46
  35. "You've Changed (take 2) [False Start] – :22
  36. "Studio Chatter – :15
  37. "You've Changed (take 3) [False Start] – 2:29
  38. "I Get Along Without You Very Well (take 1) [False Start] – :16
  39. "I Get Along Without You Very Well (take 2) [Breakdown] – :37
  40. "I Get Along Without You Very Well (take 3) [Complete] – 3:09
  41. "I Get Along Without You Very Well (chatter) – :16
  42. "I Get Along Without You Very Well (take 5) [Breakdown] – :27
  43. "I Get Along Without You Very Well (take 6) [Complete] – 3:06
  44. "Violets For Your Furs (chatter) – 1:51
  45. "Violets For Your Furs (take 2) [Complete] – 3:25
  46. "Violets For Your Furs (take 4) [Complete] – 3:25


  1. 1.0 1.1 Townsend, Irving. Lady in Satin, Columbia: 1958, original liner notes
  2. Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed. ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 653. ISBN 0-14-102327-9. 
  3. Schaap, Phil. Lady in Satin, Columbia Legacy: 1997, reissue liner notes, p. 15
  4. Ellis, Ray. Lady in Satin, Columbia Legacy: 1997, reissue liner notes, p. 12
  5. Grammy Hall of Fame
  6. Billie Holiday Masters of Jazz Volume 27

Template:Billie Holiday

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