Burn My Candle: The Complete Early Years 1956-58

Shirley Bassey
FORMAT: Audio CD - 2 Disc
Release date: 23 Feb 2009

CAT No: FVDD003UPC TEXT: 5055311000039

Full details

Dame Shirley Veronica Bassey, DBE, is probably the most famous, female pop singer ever to have emerged from the UK, an internationally-acclaimed performer who has accumulated more than 20 silver discs for sales in Britain, Europe and the Middle East, 50-plus gold discs for international record sales, and countless greatest-hits collections including one gold and two platinum. She is the only singer to have recorded more than one James Bond theme song, she sang the movie themes to “Goldfinger” (1964), “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), and “Moonraker” (1979). Shirley emerged from the tough, working class dockland area of Tiger Bay in Cardiff, South Wales, in 1953, at the age of just 16, and within three years was topping bills at prestigious venues in London’s West End. She registered her first hit records during 1957 and finally got her really big, career-changing break in December 1958 when she was asked to appear as a last-minute substitute on “Sunday Night At The London Palladium”, after another singer dropped out. Shirley decided to sing ‘As I Love You’, the B-side to ‘Hands Across The Sea’ (a disc which had been dead in the water for some four months) and stole the show. A week later it entered the charts and, early in 1959, climbed all the way to No. 1.

She nowadays enjoys venerable, iconic status – she even stole the show at Glastonbury a couple of years back – and has recently released an acclaimed new album, “Get The Party Started”. From the very first track – her controversial debut single Burn My Candle (At Both Ends)’, which was so raunchy that it was promptly banned by the BBC – to the last, this compilation oozes class all the way, in much the same way as does Ms Bassey herself.

Disc One comprises her nine singles issued on the Philips label between February 1956 and October 1958, and includes her earliest hits, ‘The Banana Boat Song’, ‘Fire Down Below’, ‘You, You Romeo’, the epic ‘As I Love You’ (which topped the UK charts) and ‘Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me’. Disc Two comprises two absolute rarities: the five-track “Shirley Bassey At The Café De Paris” live EP, which includes the highly-controversial ‘Sex’, plus the aforementioned 10” LP “Born To Sing The Blues”, a sublime collection of jazz and blues standards, of which only two tracks have ever previously been released on CD.



  1. Burn My Candle (At Both Ends)
  2. Stormy Weather
  3. The Wayward Wind
  4. Born To Sing The Blues
  5. After The Lights Go Down Low
  6. If You Don’t Love Me
  7. Banana Boat Song
  8. Tra La La
  9. If I Had A Needle And Thread
  10. Tonight My Heart She Is Crying
  11. Fire Down Below
  12. You, You Romeo
  13. Puh-Leeze! Mister Brown
  14. Take My Love, Take My Love
  15. As I Love You
  16. Hands Across The Sea
  17. Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me
  18. There’s Never Been A Night


  1. Born To Sing The Blues
  2. Somebody Loves Me
  3. My Body’s More Important Than My Mind
  4. Sex
  5. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
  6. Born To Sing The Blues
  7. Beale Street Blues
  8. Wabash Blues
  9. Basin Street Blues
  10. The Birth Of The Blues
  11. Careless Love Blues
  12. Blues In The Night (My Mama Done Tole Me)
  13. The St Louis Blues