"I have many recordings of Judy Garland from the Capitol Years, but this is in my opinion 'One of Capitol's Best Albums' featuring this Legendary Performer!!! The sound quality is Excellent throughout, on the Studio Recordings as well as on the Great Live Performances! You would swear Miss Garland rose from the great beyond just to make these truly Spectacular Recording Performances!! Her voice sounds so clear and pure throughout all these Wonderful Songs!!
The Bands and Orchestra Accompaniment for this very Talented Artist, sound so Modern- it is Truly Amazing, and a Real Treat to Behold! Also, the more rare Garland Songs included in this album are simply 'Great'-especially, "I'm Old Fashioned", "Then You've Never Been Blue", "It's So Lovely To Be Back Again In London", "Purple People Eater" and "Comes Once In A Lifetime" all these songs are Superb!!
This Two CD Collection of "Judy at the Top of her Form" is one Album, I'll be listening to over and over again, with True Admiration and Pure Enjoyment!!
Yes, I do regard this album Very Highly, so I Strongly Recommend It, as a MUST for all Garland Fans, and also for people who just want to experience 'Excellent Singing' in general!!!"
YES!....just to have four magical songs
Old Legend Lover | Central Indiana | 09/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The ones you would fully expect to be here are here..."The Man That Got Away," "Swanee," "San Francisco," "Rockabye Your Baby," and, of course, "Over The Rainbow" (though at least it is the unique and beautiful version she recorded for her "Miss Show Business" album.) But there's a lot more than that, and how much you like the compilation will depend on your personal tastes. "Come Rain Or Come Shine" is, unfortunately for me, the too perfect studio recording, not her electrifying Carnegie Hall version, and ditto "By Myself," which was originally such a tame recording compared to her bombastic, belting treatment of it in "I Could Go On Singing." And there are some questionable choices of rare, seldom-heard material...."The Worst Kind Of Man," "The Red Balloon" and especially "Purple People Eater" could have remained obscure as far as I'm concerned, and perhaps replaced by the poignant "Gay Pur-ee" songs, "Little Drops of Rain" and "Paris Is A Lonely Town." And the Garland song I missed the most? "Hello Bluebird." How could the folks at Capitol omit "Hello Bluebird"???BUT....there are SOME great studio recordings included ("How Long Has This Been Going On," "It Never Was You") and some spectacular live numbers from television or the stage...."When The Sun Comes Out," "As Long As He Needs Me," "Just In Time," and even a heartbreaking version of "Why Can't I" when her magnificent voice was obviously almost gone. And I was excited to hear "Don't Rain On My Parade" (sung with Liza at the London Palladium) and her rousing "What Now My Love" from the same show (listen to the cheering, applauding, foot-stomping fans chanting "We want Judy! We want Judy!" when her high note reaches the sky at the end of that one!)AND FINALLY....here's why any Garland fan, young or old, will want this CD, regardless of what else is on it. I had an old '45 record 112 years ago with four songs from Lionel Bart's "Maggie May" that Judy had recorded in the mid-60's in London, and these four songs are truly classics....and they are all included on this CD! Never had Judy seemed to have so much fun singing, and never had she shown such a high level of exuberance and vitality, as she did when recording "Maggie May," "In The Land Of Promises," "It's Yourself," and "There's Only One Union." The numbers are obviously paying homage to a good-hearted prostitute, and are sung by my "favorite Garland"....just a little bit hoarse, vibrato just slightly out of control, and yeah, a couple of slurred words here or there....but you will never again hear the kind of emotional, spine-tingling belting embodied in these rare recordings joyously transferred to CD. Truly, you should buy this 2-CD set immediately, just to have these four magical songs in your home or in your car or wherever you may be when you want your spirits lifted to the heavens. You won't regret the trip!"
"Comes Once In A Lifetime" - Thank You Mr. Schechter
Rick | from the Florida Keys | 11/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another gem from the vaults of Capitol records due in no small part to Mr. Scott Schechter. I firmly believe that to do anything sucessfully in life you must have PASION. Whether it is your job, your relationship, or whatever you do. Mr. Schechter has that PASSION for Judy Garland. This is obvious in every thing he does. As someone who saw Judy in person many times, I am amazed by Mr. Schechter's knowledge and perception of Judy Garland. He was not even around when Judy made movies or did concerts or recorded music for Capitol records. However, pick up any recent release of Judy's material....some never before heard on CD and you will see Mr. Schechter's name. Without him, most of Judy's material would still remain in the vaults never to be heard by anyone. (Take "Here's To Us" from "The Show That Got Away.") Capitol records never really knew what to do with Judy's material. (How they could not release Judy singing Broadway show tunes when first recorded because her voice was a little rough is unconscionable.) After seeing her at Carnegie Hall I was disappointed by the recording of that evening. It did not capture the real excitement of the concert. Due in no small part to Mr. Schechter (and many others I am sure) the entire concert was restored in its entirety for the 40th anniversary of that historic event. Or take her television show that was considered a failure in 1963 and so grossly mishandled by CBS. Mr. Schechtor was the driving force behind all the many releases on DVD proving how brilliant she really was.This latest CD is another example of his passion. I have waited too many years to hear many of these songs all in one place. Take songs such as "It Never Was You" "Comes Once In A Lifetime" and of course the "Maggie May" songs. Some complain that the songs are uneven or should not have been included. That is absured. We all know Judy had her ups and downs. I saw her when she was not in top form, so trust me, Judy Garland on a bad day was far superior to virtually any other singer. This CD shows her at her best and when she was less than perfect. That was the essence of Judy. So, go buy this album now. Even if you find only one gem, and you will, it is worth the price. Get it just for Mr. Schechter's liner notes and you will learn a lot about Judy."
Some great tracks, some rarities, but poorly conceived.
Rick | 10/20/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Judy Garland was the greatest entertainer of the 20th Century, and she did some of her best work recording for Capitol in the '50s and '60s. This set draws from those recordings, and such a 2 CD set should be cause of rejoicing. Unfortunately, this is a decidedly mixed bag. Some of the tracks are essential, some of the tracks are collector rarities, but many are poorly chosen performances where Capitol had better ones in their vaults. Some of the poorer tracks are here for their collectable nature, which is welcome, but others clearly reflect a total ignorance on the part of Capitol. Bottom line, as is the collection is good, but like Judy herself it could have been, and should have been great...and sadly it's not.The sound quality is pretty uniform in its excellence, so hats off to Capitol there. Like their recent Carnegie Hall album, the liner notes are embarassingly amateurish and read like a childish newsgroup posting. It's a shame Capitol doesn't treat Garland's legacy better after all the money she has earned for them."
Go Garland, Go!
Bruce Aguilar | Hollywood, CA | 02/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm fairly new to Judy's music (this is only my third CD of hers) and I must say how impressed I was with her performing. usually you can say you like performer better in recordings or concert, but not with Judy. sh'e excells in both. Many tacks are from studio recordings, but there are also quite a few tracks taken from live performances and it amazing to hear how stong she is in both. What a powerhouse!A few of my favorites are I'ts So Lovely To Be Back Again In London, Judy's Olio Medley and The Man That Got Away. Oh, and any time you can hear a legendary performer sing the Purple People Eater song you've got to know you're in for a treat!Soound quality was terrific throughout and the liner notes in the booklet give newbies like me context. Judging by the positive reviews I'd say it's a great collection for long time fans, but I think it's especially good for people who want to learn more abut Judy. I'll be listening to this for a long time to come."