Out of ideas for gifts this Christmas? Mambaonline brings you 10 CDs and 5 DVDs we believe to be great gift options, whether you buy them for yourself or for that someone special.



Marketed and distributed by Universal Music SA

Dame Shirley Bassey is to gays around the world what the stars are to the moon – inseparable! Her flamboyant, theatrical style of singing has delighted millions over the years, with her connection to the James Bond franchise adding danger and mystery to an already fabulous package. Dame Shirley returns just in time for Christmas with a brand new album aptly titled Get The Party Started. And yes, it does refer to Pink’s hit, which on this album gets a Shirley Bassey remake that works remarkably well, although in a very odd way. This new album takes Dame Shirley’s best-loved hits, remixes them slightly, and combines them with covers and new songs that fit her like a glove. There is a mind-blowing remix of Big Spender (I would’ve bought the album just for that, actually), and lovely new interpretations of This Is My Life and You Only Live Twice. Also worth a mention is Dame Shirley’s cover of Grace Jones’ Slave To The Rhythm, Lionel Richie’s Hello and Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive. Get The Party Started is probably the gayest album you can buy this Christmas. Brilliant!


Marketed and distributed by Universal Music SA

The world of classical music suffered a great loss this year with the death of the legendary Luciano Pavarotti, one of the immensely popular, original Three Tenors. Forever Pavarotti is a testimony to the man’s larger-than-life talent; an ode to the master. The double-album features 41 of his vocal masterpieces from the great musicals and the popular genres. Pavarotti performs Verdi’s La Traviata, Aida and Rigoletto, Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s La Boheme, Tosca and, of course, Turandot, from which Nessun Dorma, a Pavarotti standard, comes. You’ll also find another Pavarotti standard with ‘O Sole Mio, as well as Panis Angelicus, Caruso, Volare, Funiculi, Funicula and My Way with Frank Sinatra. A shorter, 20-track version of Pavarotti Forever is also available on DVD, giving you even more choice when shopping for presents. Pavarotti is one of very few true musical legends to have lived in our lifetime; with this collection of hits, his legend really does live on.


Marketed and distributed by Warner Music Gallo Africa

Faith Hill is one of country music’s most successful cross-over artists. The Hits features fifteen of her biggest hits from 1994 to date, including three brand new masterpieces. While the hits from her early career are pure country (such as the brilliant Piece of My Heart from 1994), the pop gems she is loved for are not forgotten. Think This Kiss and Let Me Let Go from 1998, The Way You Love Me and the Grammy-winning Breathe from 1999, There You’ll Be from the Pearl Harbor soundtrack in 2001, Cry from 2002 and Mississippi Girl from 2005. Of the new songs, Red Umbrella stands out as true pop brilliance, while the phenomenal Stronger – recorded live for this album – is an emotional tour de force. The album is nicely rounded off with Lost and I Need You (with her hunky husband, Tim McGraw, from his new album, Let It Go). The Hits also features a DVD with eleven music videos, adding value to the package.


Marketed and distributed by SonyBMG Music Entertainment

Bruce Springsteen is one of very few rock & roll icons that are still producing highly enjoyable, memorable music. Last year’s We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions may have been a far cry from the Springsteen we know, but with his new album, Magic, Springsteen returns to the style, pace and substance we know and love him for. In fact, Magic instantly became one of my favourite albums of the year, with many of the songs standing out as memorable tracks: Radio Nowhere, You’ll Be Comin’ Down, Gypsy Biker, I’ll Work For Your Love, Last To Die and Long Walk Home, on the more up-beat side of rock, are instantly recognisable as Springsteen and harken back to hits of yesteryear while still being magically up to date. There are not many songs with a slower pace, but be sure to listen to Devil’s Arcade. Bruce Springsteen is the epitome of a rock legend. In age he is far from his glory days, but his uncanny ability to create music that is true to the rock & roll genre while still being relevant and up to date is remarkable. As such, Magic is exactly that – magical!


Marketed and distributed by SonyBMG Music Entertainment

Not much can be said about Annie Lennox that hasn’t been said before. As part of the legendary 80’s group Eurythmics, Annie Lennox has been a household name for almost three decades, more recently though for her humanitarian endeavours and support of Nelson Mandela’s 46664 campaigns. Since breaking up with Dave Stewart and Eurythmics, Annie has only released three solo albums to date: Diva, Medusa and Dare, all three musical masterpieces. Until now, that is: her fourth solo album, Songs of Mass Destruction, has just been released and continues in her trademark tradition of brilliance. Songs of Mass Destruction features 11 brand new tracks written by Annie with an often subtle humanitarian stance, and is produced by the brilliant Glen Ballard (remember Alanis Morissette’s debut album?). Many of the songs reminded me of what she did on Dare (Dark Road, Love Is Blind), but others (like Ghosts In My Machine) feature Scissor Sisters-like piano sounds without losing authenticity. The ballads do however stand out, especially Smithereens, Through The Glass Darkly and Lost. Songs of Mass Destruction came out just in time to make my list of favourites in 2007.


Marketed and distributed by Universal Music SA

Little more than a decade ago the world was introduced to Andrea Bocelli, an Italian opera singer whose angelic voice more than made up for his lack of sight. His duet with Sarah Brightman, Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro) became an international smash hit and firmly put Andrea Bocelli on the global map of music superstars. His next prominent venture was with Celine Dion on The Prayer, but since those early hits, Andrea Bocelli has managed to carve for himself a place in the annals of music history as an artist in own right. He has performed everything from traditional opera song

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