Search - Glenn Miller :: Popular Recordings

Popular Recordings
Glenn Miller
Popular Recordings
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #3

Trombonist/bandleader Glenn Miller was already a veteran big band player and orchestrator when in 1938 he assembled what would become one of the most popular groups in jazz history. Miller developed a lush sound via reed s...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Glenn Miller
Title: Popular Recordings
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 3
Label: RCA
Release Date: 10/20/1989
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Swing Jazz
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPCs: 078635978520, 035629041226, 078635978544, 078635978520, 0078635978520, 007863597852, 0078635978520

Trombonist/bandleader Glenn Miller was already a veteran big band player and orchestrator when in 1938 he assembled what would become one of the most popular groups in jazz history. Miller developed a lush sound via reed section arrangements pitting a clarinet against four saxophones, a sound that clicked for a series of massive hits, including "In the Mood," "Little Brown Jug," "Sunrise Serenade," and "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," all of which are included here, along with such staples as "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," "You Stepped Out of My Dreams," "Star Dust" and "Pennsylvania 6-5000." Closer to pop than swing, this is the music that served as the soundtrack to World War II and has since become synonymous with nostalgia for that era. --John Swenson

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CD Reviews

I'm Always IN THE (Miller) MOOD!
STEPHEN T. McCARTHY | a Mensa-donkey in Phoenix, Airheadzona. | 10/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This may be a bit more information than you want, but I first realized that Glenn Miller's MOONLIGHT SERENADE was my all-time favorite piece of music in 1990 while I was on a second floor "lavatory throne" at The Sundowner Hotel & Casino in Reno, Nevada. I was minding my own business when the song was piped into the men's room over the casino's sound system. I recognized the beautifully lilting melody as belonging to Glenn Miller, and the bygone Big Band era seemed to beckon me, transporting me back in time. I was almost convinced that when I exited the stall I would find a restroom attendant present, who would offer me a genuine cotton towel and ask if I wanted a shoeshine and a splash of Old Spice before rejoining the suit and fedora-wearing gentlemen, and sleek black dress and single strand pearl necklace-wearing ladies in the gambling parlor.

Instead it was my T-shirt and baseball cap-wearing Pa and Bro I found waiting for me at the slot machine infested snack bar. I hummed the melody and asked my Dad if he knew the title. He was pretty sure that it was MOONLIGHT SERENADE I was trying to imitate. When I got home, I realized that I had recognized the song because it was one that my girlfriend regularly played on the jukebox at our favorite watering hole. A week or two later I was in a record store debating whether to buy a single disc Glenn Miller compilation or this 3-disc set. I finally settled on this package, and have been rewarded generously ever since!

I can't praise this collection enough. Look at what you get: 60 songs and instrumentals presented primarily in their recorded chronology so you can track the orchestra's progression. It comes with a very nice 36-page booklet that contains 8 historic photos; an exhaustive discography that catalogs every track - its recording date, full personnel and master number; and extensive, insightful liner notes penned by Mort Goode. And what about the music? It's FABULOUS! I shudder to think that I might have missed out on such richness by settling for some cheap 10-song greatest hits compilation at $7.95 or so. Here's what the producer says about the sound: "We did not attempt to remove surface noise. We found that this made for dull recordings, lacking the spark and flair that must have characterized the original recording sessions...We clarified the bass somewhat and the high-end as well, but in general our changes were minimal. It was our intention to faithfully reproduce the music of one of the greatest popular artists the United States has ever produced." To be sure, at times the age of this music is aurally apparent - for instance, there is slight, but noticeable "crackling" on MOONLIGHT SERENADE, and I WOULDN'T CHANGE IT FOR THE WORLD! NO WAY! It only enhances the wonderful effect of this time machine whenever I play it. Many of these recordings are derived from the original sources, so this is the REAL Miller Sound! Why would you want anything else?

I love many of the Big Bands of yore. Benny Goodman may have had the most accomplished and exciting musicians, Count Basie may have had the most cohesive rhythm section, Duke Ellington may have been the most ambitious arranger, Artie Shaw may have been the most inventive, and Tommy Dorsey may have had the best singer, but Glenn Miller had "THE SOUND" - that lush, incredibly romantic musical dreamscape style. But make no mistake, his boys could also stomp on the accelerator when they were "In The Mood." Miller had it all, and that was well known in his time. Consider this excerpt from the liner notes: "The Glenn Miller sound was a 'sound for the times.' The band won honors in the Metronome 1940 Dance-Band Contest. The comment read: 'Miller hung on tenaciously throughout. Not only did he dog Benny's heels, but he also kept shoving Tommy Dorsey for top sweet honors. When the final smoke had cleared, the popular Glenn was perched on the second rung of all three ladders, the greatest example of all-around showing in the history of the contest.'"

And yes, it's all here! The beautiful ballads, the energetic dance romps, and the silly lyrics that speak of a far simpler and more playful time. Glenn Miller's THE POPULAR RECORDINGS (1938-1942) would have to be my choice if I could only carry one cd with me to that imaginary "island." (Has anybody ever explained how we're going to get electricity on this island in order to play our "island discs"?) This set would have to go, because I can't imagine never hearing MOONLIGHT SERENADE ever again. Plus it's just loaded with terrific tunes to daydream by. But you'd better hope that you aren't there with me because I'm gonna be pretty cranky on that island without my Pat Metheny Group recordings. I'll take it out on the macaws by blasting the rip-roaring GLENN ISLAND SPECIAL every time they're trying to sleep. That'll serve 'em right for driving me up the banana tree with their incessant squawking!
Great Glenn Miller Hits
Terry Stuart | State College, Pa., USA | 06/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This box set is a must have item for those who enjoy the original Big Band music of the 30's and 40's. Each song is SO GOOD! I had this box set in the past and I very much want to order it again. You will enjoy this one alot."
Maria Folsom | East Glacier Park, Montana USA | 01/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"You like Glenn Miller and swing? Get this disc. Immerse yourself in the 1930s! Just plain fun listening."