Judy could "change her tune" anytime she wanted--she'd alway
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 04/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Changing My Tune - The Best of the Decca Years, Vol. 2 is an excellent and yet again another unbelievably sweet album from the incomparable Judy Garland. Judy could sing so sweetly she could make you dance for joy--or break your heart with a torch song. This album gives us many more great hits from Judy recorded during her years at MGM; and the sound quality is excellent. I also like the artwork. Great!
"On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe" begins the track set; and Judy sings this brilliantly with the MGM Studio chorus. Judy sings flawlessly and the MGM singers harmonize perfectly. Judy's voice is again rich and vibrant; she never misses a note on any of these fine numbers!
"Falling In Love With Love" has Judy singing so well with an excellent piano accompaniment; the piano arrangement is extremely elegant and we get a hint of what Judy's more mature voice would sound like. Judy sings this very well. In addition, there's an alternate take of "This Heart Of Mine;" Judy sings this sweetly and the melody is extremely pretty--I could listen to this over and over again (and I have).
"Love" is a very beautiful number that Judy sang even after she left MGM; and here the ballad gets a royal treatment from Judy. The drums and percussion enhance the musical arrangement nicely and Judy handles tempo and key changes like the pro she always was! Listen also for an alternate take of "Yah-Ta-Ta, Yah-Ta-Ta (Talk, Talk, Talk);" this duet with Bing Crosby works well in both the published take and the alternate take. After all, we're talking about Judy Garland with Bing Crosby here. SMILE
There's also an alternate take of Judy's masterpiece entitled "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" from the movie Meet Me In St. Louis; she sings this with panache and no one could ever match this performance. Judy sings this so well it tugs at my heartstrings every time I hear her sing it. Gee, do you get the impression I'm a Judy Garland fan?
"Smilin' Through" again features Judy's vocals front and center--awesome! The album closes with Judy performing a fantastic version of "You've Got Me Where You Want Me." Judy again teams up with Bing Crosby and the big band style arrangement makes excellent use of the brass.
Judy Garland had talent of such a magnitude that a performer like her occurs only once in a lifetime--if even that often! She will always be fondly remembered as Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz; and hopefully enough kids watching that film will be so struck by her performance that great CDs like this will sell way into the future.
Best suited for the already established Judy Garland fan
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 10/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This second volume of Judy Garland: The Best of the Decca Years is quite different from its predecessor. While Volume One features hit songs, Volume Two delves into the less familiar recordings of Judy Garland from the mid-1940s, including six numbers previously unreleased. The version of Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe included here is a studio version with Judy taking the lead on all the parts (even called upon to do so in one silly bridge by the bland backup singers); this version of the song really doesn't work in my opinion, as it has no atmosphere whatsoever. Changing My Tune is a nice little song by George Gershwin recorded for a musical of previously unpublished Gershwin tunes.The alternate take of 1945's This Heart of Mine included here is a sweet but somewhat unremarkable song featuring the accompaniment of noted conductor Victor Young and his orchestra. Love, another Young and his orchestra number, is in contrast a strikingly radiant musical force that lifts the viewer up by the ears and cuts a rug with you around the room. In my opinion, it is the best song found in this collection. While a much more up-tempo version of If I Had You was incorporated into the score of Garland's dramatic film The Clock, this album features a much dreamier alternate version of the song. Nothing But You is billed as a little-known recording, and it is a nice sweet ballad sure to please the ear of any Garland fan. The alternate take of Don't Tell Me That Story included here is noteworthy for the upswing in tempo injected into the ballad. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is a beautiful tune, and the alternate track found here does not differ significantly from the version Judy sang in Meet Me in St. Louis. I Wish I Were in Love Again is most famous as a Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney duet from 1937's Babes in Arms; the alternate, Rooney-less take included here just lacks the magic of that collaborative version. Smilin' Through is a nice tune that the otherwise excellent liner notes try to make more significant than it really is. This album features three songs arising from a couple of 1945 recording sessions with Bing Crosby: an alternate take of Connecticut, an even less structured version of Yah-Ta-Ta, Yah-Ta-Ta (Talk, Talk, Talk) than the original, and a wonderful little song called It's Where I Want To Be, wherein Bing's and Judy's voices mesh wonderfully. Falling in Love With Love is, in one sense, the most significant song on the album because this undocumented 1947 recording basically did not exist until it was discovered during the process of putting this collection together. Sadly, though, Judy's voice just doesn't seem up to the challenge of this song; it's hard for me to admit a bad Judy Garland song (and, in her defense, I think it came at the end of a long recording session), but this one, rare though it may be, seemed to be quite a struggle for Garland. Overall, this is an excellent collection of songs from the latter part of Judy's Decca years, but this isn't a CD I reach for very often when I want to listen to Judy Garland. Thus, I strongly believe that established Garland fans will find much more pleasure in this album than will those less familiar with her incredible body of work."