William Price Meets some Legends – Dame Shirley Bassey – 1980s and 1990s.

We left Dame Shirley Bassey back at the top of the charts and back in the UK in 1970. William Price King now takes us through the next two decades and shares some of the hightlights.

After the stunning 1970s and now well and truly on track with her career, Shirley Bassey spent most of the 1980s working with charities and performing sold out concert tours of Europe, Australia and the United States.

Her contract with United Artists came to an end and her albums and singles in this decade were released by a number of different lables. The album “All By Myself” was released in 1982 by Applause records and apart from the title track, the album featured classics such as New York State of Mind, He’s Out of My Life and Solitaire.

“I Am What I Am” is from the Tony Award winning Broadway Show “La Cage Aux Folles,” 1983 – 1987. This song quickly became an anthem of the gay and lesbian community. As sung by Dame Shirley the song takes on a different color and becomes an affirmation of that which is extraordinary in each and every one of us. Dame Bassey recorded this powerhouse performance “live” with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carl Davies, in 1984. The album was released in 1984 by Ariola Records.

Despite being in semi-retirement Dame Shirley Bassey was busier than most artists and recorded nine albums in the 1980s. She also supported organisations in the UK such as the London Tourist Board by recording the single “There’s No Place Like London”. Not all the recordings from the decade were released, as in the case of the album of James Bond Themes called “The Bond Collection” in 1987. Shirley Bassey was not happy with the finished album and refused to release it. However, to cash in on the 30th Anniversary of the Bond films, Icon Music Group released the CD in 1992. Shirley Bassey sued them and all unsold copies were withdrawn.

It was clear that her fans felt the same way and backed her judgement of the recording.

sibisi73   September 5, 2009

The Bond Collection was one of many releases in 1992 to cash-in / celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of the official series of James Bond films with Dr. No (1962). These releases were of varying quality and interest, but the chance to hear Shirley Bassey’s first take on some legendary 007 theme songs was highly anticipated. The album contains 12 tracks, including new recordings of Shirley’s three original Bond themes (Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker), alongside her take on nine more, from 1963’s From Russia With Love to Duran Duran’s A View To A Kill (1985). Unfortunately, this album is a shambles. Whilst Shirley’s voice is in fine form the production and ‘orchestration’ is well below par. The synthesized backing tracks give the feel of a homemade recording and the sound is tinny and lo-fi. Everything about this album feels amateur, even down to the liner notes and credits which contain a number of errors and spelling mistakes.

In the mid -1980s Shirley Bassey developed a new style to showcase to her fans. She began working with a former opera singer as her vocal coach and her album “Keep the Music Playing” was released in 1991 by Freestyle records on vinyl, cassette. The CD was issued by Dino Records in the UK . It was recorded in the UK and also in the Netherlands and is a mixture of Jazz, and contemporary pop ballads such as Foreigner’s “I want to Know What Love Is“, “Still” by Lionel Richie, the Beatles “Yesterday” and the hit “The Power of Love” by Jennifer Rush.

Dame Shirley Bassey was in her mid 50’s when she recorded “The Power of Love,” Her robust low vocal register and her high notes are amazing. The album was a commercial success and entered the UK album charts in May 1991, peaking at #25. It is also notable as being the last Shirley Bassey album to be issued on a vinyl LP format

EMI released the five-CD box set “Bassey – The EMI/UA Years 1959-1979” in 1994. The accompanying booklet opened with a poem by Marc Almond. Bassey collaborated with Chris Rea in the film “La Passione” (1996), appearing in the film as herself and releasing the single “Disco’ La Passione”. The remix of this single charted just outside the UK top 40.

“History Repeating” is a retro style song written by Alex Gifford and originally performed by the group Propellerheads featuring Shirley Bassey in 1997. This song is a fusion of several different styles of big beat (an electronic music genre with synthesizer-generated loops and patterns), breakbeat (a genre of dance-oriented music with drum loops that were sampled during a “break” in the music), and jazz – combined with the powerful vocals of Shirley Bassey. This piece became a #1 hit on the UK Dance Chart and was Dame Bassey’s first top ten appearance on any U.S. chart since “Never Never Never,” in 1973, climbed to #10 on the U.S. Dance Chart.

Shirley Bassey celebrated her 60th birthday in 1997 with two open-air concerts, at Castle Howard and Althorp Park, and another TV special. The resulting live album “The Birthday Concert” received a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.” On 7 October 1998 in Egypt, Bassey performed for a benefit at an open-air concert close to the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid.

The following year, she performed the official song for the rugby World Cup, “World in Union,” with Bryn Terfel at the opening ceremony at The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, wearing a gown designed on the Welsh flag. Their single made the Top 40, and Bassey contributed two more songs to the official album “Land of My Fathers,” which reached No. 1 on the UK compilations chart, and went silver.

Her influence, longevity, and iconic stature led her to be named Dame of the British Empire by the Queen in 1999. “It’s the greatest honour,” she says. “For a little girl from Cardiff’s Tiger Bay, I’ve come a long way.” It was another mark of distinction in a career that has seen her sell over 135 million records.

Dame Shirley Bassey was the subject of several television specials in the last two decades and has been invited to perform at many major events. A testament to the high regard that she is held by those in the music industry and her fans. You can find all her albums in CD format on Amazon. At 80 years old her voice is as commanding as ever and we look forward to more wonderful performances in the future

Buy Dame Shirley Bassey’s music: https://www.amazon.com/Shirley-Bassey/e/B000AQ2D9K


Additional material

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

Previous Legends can be found here:


You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.


And for the Jazz in this directory.


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the show.. Please feel free to share.


25 thoughts on “William Price Meets some Legends – Dame Shirley Bassey – 1980s and 1990s.

  1. This has been a very detailed and interesting series of articles. I don’t feel I have done enough justice to them and having reached the end want to go back and read them again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you did this series on such an Icon William. A chance for those who haven’t heard the Queen of Tiger Bay to get acquainted. Shirley is undoubtedly a Superstar and deservedly so.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: William Price Meets some Legends – Dame Shirley Bassey – 1980s and 1990s. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  4. I am a 70’s child. I don’t know much about her, but I have listened to her music, she is a singer that no woman in the modern world can overtake her. No Beyonce and her shouting here haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fantastic life and a fantastic series William and Sal. I was a little miffed at the fact that all the Bond songs were promoted with sub par standards and don’t blame Dame Shirley for not wanting them produced and for suing. But why wouldn’t they take the originally produced songs to make the albums where they were beautifully done? 🙂 xx


  6. Exactly. I guess that’s the way the music and film industry did things in those days, particularly when artists usually didn’t have much say about anything. At any rate, I am so happy that you enjoyed the series and it was great doing it. All the best to you.


  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  8. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Evolution, Rebellion and The Colour of Life | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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