Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 01/26/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Definitive Collection Judy Garland CD gives us twenty tracks--but you must note that these songs are mostly from Judy's earlier years at MGM Studios. The title is definitely misleading; and any "definitive" collection of the great Judy Garland should have more than twenty tracks and be a more thorough instead of simply focusing on Judy's earlier years at MGM. Judy's concert years and albums for Capitol Records after MGM had so much quality it's a shame nothing from them is here! What we do get, however, is good quality--but it's just not enough.
The album starts off with Judy singing one of her signature songs, "Over The Rainbow." This is NOT from the soundtrack of The Wizard Of Oz; it is probably from a recording she made for a 78rpm single release of the song. Nevertheless, Judy's voice is in excellent form although the tempo is a bit too fast for my tastes. "Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart" features a very strong musical arrangement while keeping Judy's vocals squarely in the spotlight. Judy sings this with all her heart and soul and it shows.
"I'm Nobody's Baby" gets the royal treatment from Judy as she sings this to perfection; Judy handles the tempo changes like the pro she always was! "It's A Great Day For The Irish" features Judy belting this out with a big band arrangement that's just strong enough to enhance the song without taking away the spotlight from Judy. Great!
"F.D.R. Jones" is a peppy little number that Judy sings flawlessly and I like the arrangement. Judy never misses a note--it's awesome. "For Me And My Gal" is a sweet number that Judy makes heavenly with her fine voice; and listen also for "Embraceable You." Judy performs "Embraceable You" with panache and great sensitivity. Sublime!
"But Not For Me" is another tune that Judy delivers perfectly with all her heart; and "The Boy Next Door" stuns me with its beauty. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is a classic Christmastime tune by Judy that was featured in the movie Meet Me In St. Louis.
Of course, this is truly all wonderful. Judy Garland fans will enjoy this album. However, Geffen Records sure did make a big mistake calling this "The Definitive Collection" CD. If anyone wants a definitive collection, consider at least a couple of box sets like The Complete Decca Masters (Plus) as well as the Judy blue boxed set on the 32 Records label. In addition, the three CD box set of The Very Best Of Judy Garland: The Capitol Recordings 1955-1965 and the concert CDs of Judy at Carnegie Hall would also help to make a collection that is much, much more "definitive" than this single CD could ever be.
Three stars; it would have been five stars if the title reflected that these numbers are mostly from Judy's earlier years at MGM Studios. This is just NOT a "definitive" collection. Humph! "
Music Man | Boston MA | 08/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This retrospective / greatest hits package of Judy Garland's best moments from her DECCA Records performances is an unusual treat. It's certain that her earlier recordings on this label were more novelty and "teen-aged" angst dribble than anything adults would treasure, but this collection focusses on her more sophisticated and accomplished recordings. The treat is the almost complete accounting of her songs from her MGM musicals, which frequently surpass those glorious studio recordings. The most exquisite aspect of this set proves to be Garland's achievements as a vocalist. Garland is reknown for her powerhouse performances, but here she exhibits an ability to secure pitch, tone, diction and intonation that rival or suprass any singer of popular music (while in her twenties, no less).
Beginning with her recordings for "Little Nelly Kelly", showcased here by "It's a Great Day for the Irish" and "A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow", Garland exhibited a sophistication of singing that remained throughout her career. But what a thrill to hear the start of her talent. Garland exudes her interpretive powers through the enchanting choices from "Girl Crazy" (Irving Berlin at the top of his form) to the exquisite "Meet Me in St. Louis" collection, which allows Garland "the actress" to make her mark and then some. A bonus is the complete "soundtrack" Atchison Topeka that has never appeared in recorded form - amazing. We could continue from here: , "Friendship", the delightful "Yah-Ta-Ta-..." with Bing Crosby, the possibly definitive and totally sincere "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"...the list goes on and on. Suffice to say, anyone interested in the early and artist-forming work of Judy Garland cannot dispense with this recording. She had the goods from the start and only made them shine more beautifully in the coming years. Our luck."
Keep as a spare
Maribeth Brinson | Indiana | 11/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have nearly all these songs on another CD, but I keep this as a spare in the office or car and keep the other at home. Just in case a Judy mood comes over me, she'll be there. Besides the cover photo is so pretty of her."
James B. Rathbun | san diego | 01/21/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"most(13)of the songs are very early career and many are juvenile or obscure.the balance are mostly poor choices and hardly represent the best of her career.the definitive collection is a mis-leading title."