Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Complete Glenn Miller and His Orchestra (1938-1942)
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
The Defintive Collection
Alan Glasscock | Dallas, TX | 04/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 13-cd set includes EVERY tune commercially released by the great Glenn Miller Orchestra by RCA. All the great #1 hits are here, as well as dozens of obscure tunes that musically show the evolution of this wonderful band. From the band's first recordings in 1938 when their style was still be refined, the novelty pop tunes, the gorgeous and mooody ballads, the blistering up -tempo "killer-dillers," through the final 1942 session that produced their famous version of Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue," and signaling the end of the Glenn Miller civilian band as Miller prepared to enter the service, a patriotic decision that cost him his life. This boved set features vocals by Ray Eberle, Tex Beneke, Marion Hutton, The Modernaires, Jack Lathrop, Ernie Caceres, Dorothy Claire and an 18 yr. old Kay Starr. Soloists and sidemen include Billy May, Ray Anthony, Al Klink, Willie Schwartz (on the famous trademark lead clarinet), Ernie Caceres,Hal McIntyre, Johnny Best and Babe Russin. The tunes feature arrangements by Jerry Gray, Bill Finegan, Billy May, Eddie Durham and, of course, Miller himself. This is the ultimate treasure-trove for any Miller fan! And worth the price to boot!"
A Box Set To End All Box Sets
K. Giorlando | Eastpointe, Michigan United States | 09/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now THIS is a box set! Every single Bluebird recording by the great bandleader, Glenn Miller, all in one convenient compact set. Thirteen CD's in all, and everyone packed to the max with music every bit as alive today as it was over 60 years ago. This is the sound that defined a generation and an era, all from one man who knew what the record buying and jukebox playing public wanted to hear.
Amazon has the complete listing, so there is no need to get into song titles. But, just so you know, every charted song Mr. Miller released is here - all 127 charted hits - except two: Solo Hop on the Columbia label, and Every Day's A Holiday which was on the Brunswick label (hence the reason for these two numbers not being included - they are not Bluebird or Victor releases!). Plus so many more songs that are, to me, every bit as good as the hits. Along with that there are some very good alternate takes on disc 13.
The main reason, however, to purchase this set above the others is the sound quality of the tunes. It is a truly remarkable sound that RCA has been able to pull off of the original (lacquer?) discs. You'd swear the songs were recorded 30 years after the fact - the sound is that good. A full bass, no ear piercing highs (nice and crisp as they should be), and the mid range sounds just right. Not a click or a pop within ear shot.
Is this set pricey? Well, yeah. I guess it is.
But is it worth the price being asked? Every penny!
This is one set that RCA did absolutely perfect, including the extremely informative booklet (141 pages!).
This is one set that, heaven forbid, if anything should happen to it, I would replace it in a heartbeat (house payment be damned!).
A treasure trove filled with gems from the past by the master of the WWII sound.
I'm sure Glenn would approve."
Good collection but could have been better...
Von Chaney | USA | 03/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a longtime Glenn Miller fan this is a set that I had wanted for a long while. Finding it was a problem because it is out-of-print. I bought it, here, a few weeks ago and really looked forward to hearing music from Glenn Miller that I was not familiar with. This set, 13-Discs in total, is complete and has it all.
For those of you who are tired of hearing the over-played "In The Mood", "Little Brown Jug', "Pennsylvania 6-500", etc. there is plenty here to listen to that will be new to you and very enjoyable. (Otherwise there are plenty of collections out there that have all of the over-played Miller favorites in a single-disc format at a fraction of the $150 price-tag).
That said, after listening to the set a number of times since it arrived, I have come to realize that for every Miller gem there are 2-3 novelty tunes that would have been better off not being recorded. It is a complete set but there is a lot of music here that I could just as soon do without ("Sweet Potato Piper"? "Booglie Wooglie Piggy"?). These tracks have altered my opinions of Miller's music in totality.
I love the Miller sound (I played on the band myself in the '90's for eight years in the reed section) and seldom heard or broadcast items like "Yesterday's Gardenias" or "I'm Thrilled" make the set worthwhile if only because the vast majority of this collection is not available on CD anywhere else.
I was disappointed with the cheap packaging. A musical icon like Miller should merit at least cases for each individual CD instead of 4 discs crammed into a double case (and there's 3 of them) with disc 13 being the odd-one out in it's own case. They are all packaged in a box with a flip-top that will probably fall off if you plan to play the set a lot.
The accompanying booklet, on the other hand, is very well done with a lot of good information and detailed listings of personnel, dates and arrangers for each selection.
The sound quality is not nearly as good as other recordings of the same vintage. Again, with Miller being such a huge figure in 20th Century Popular Music you would have figured a little more painstaking work would have gone into such a mammoth project.
There is some great music in this set and it is nice to finally hear some things that have, unfortunately, been over-shadowed by the same 12 songs that most of the public wants to hear over and over and over again. The band was always VERY polished, tight and was the most individual ensemble of the era. The recordings are a testament to the orchestra's musicianship and execution. Miller's vocalists, especially The Modernaires, were a huge asset to the success of the group. In short, Miller's music epitomizes the Big Band sound. To many people, Miller WAS the Swing Era.
For the casual Miller fan, this set is not for you. For the die-hard Miller fan, however, it is a must-have. 4 stars for completeness. Different packaging would have been more appropriate. Perhaps a newer version will correct this edition's shortcomings."