"I am surprised no one has reviewed this CD set. This is a two CD compilation focusing primarily on Judy's early MGM years. It is a combination of songs included in her movies and numerous outtakes. Per the liner notes, all songs except for five had never been released in audio format. Highlights from disc one include: two songs from Every Sunday (Judy's one-reeler MGM debut): Waltz With a Swing/Americana and Opera Vs. Jazz. Also worthwhile are the songs Why, Because! (a delightful duet with Fanny Brice reprising her famous Baby Snooks Broadway routine), It's A Great Day For the Irish, Danny Boy, A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow, and Singin' In The Rain.Disc two is the better of the discs. Selections from Ziegfeld Girls, Presenting Lily Mars, Thousands Cheer, and Till The Clouds Roll By are all well done. Why weren't all three of Judy's songs from the final cut of the latter film included? This was a bit of a disappointment. The songs from The Pirate are long and make for difficult listening; not included here is Be A Clown, the best song from this film. However, the absolute gems from this compilation are the eight songs from Annie Get Your Gun. In great contrast to Judy's sadly subpar performance per remaining film footage, the songs included here are absolutely extraordinary! This is probably because these songs were pre-recorded before filming began. They range from tender ballads to boisterously rousing songs. Her duet with Howard Keel in Anything You Can Do is simply outstanding. I feel it is the best of the bunch. Listen to the current Broadway recording with Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat- there is no comparison as to the superiority of the Garland-Keel rendition.The 43-page accompanying booklet is excellently done. Liner notes on Judy's career courtesy of John Fricke, whose every Garland project is super; represented filmography including release date, casting, etc. plus background film data are also very well done. Many pictures and film stills are included as well.Who should purchase this set? Anyone who is interested in hearing every song performed by Judy during her MGM years. I was a bit disappointed by some of the selections and would prefer more emphasis on those songs included in the final film cuts. Those interested in early Garland recordings would be better served by her Decca recordings. Still, this set remains a very good listening experience and was worth the purchase."
A priceless treasure of rare Judy Garland recordings
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 11/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This two-CD musical anthology of early Judy Garland film performances is nothing short of an absolute treasure to be loved and adored and, most importantly, played by all fans of Miss Show Business: 46 songs, over two and a half hours of music, restored beautifully in terms of sound quality, packaged with a most impressive and informative booklet. But wait - there's more. Of these 46 tracks recorded between 1936 and 1949, 41 had never been released whatsoever at the time, and the remaining five had never before been released on CD. Many of these are songs that were -gulp- cut from the final print of Judy's early films. Cutting Judy Garland songs from a movie strikes me as anathema if not a sin, but it happened quite frequently in the old M-G-M days. Fortunately for us, most of these "lost" recordings can still be heard and enjoyed right here in this collection. Although I know nothing about music technology, the digital restoration of these songs is almost miraculous; a significant number of them were actually remixed to stereo. Many are, of course, monaural, but given the states of existence of these recordings (all magnetic tape except for the Annie Get Your Gun songs, which existed only in acetate form) the sound quality of every single one of them is superb. I would dearly love to go through and expound upon every single song in this collection, but that is impossible to do here. The booklet, in addition to offering a nice summary of Judy's career, does an excellent job of describing each and every track and the movie from which it came. It tells you which songs were actually cut from each film and why, providing important details about each movie in turn. The movies from which these songs are taken, I should point out, are Everybody Sing (1936) which was a one-reel short featuring Judy and Edna Mae (soon to be Deanna) Durbin; Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) in which Judy's crooning over Clark Gable's picture helped her gain prominence; Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937), the first film to pair Judy with Mickey Rooney; Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938); Listen, Darling (1938); Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940); Little Nellie Kelly (1940); Life Begins For Andy Hardy (1941), a film from which all four of Judy's musical numbers were cut, including the wonderful song Easy to Love available on this CD; Ziegfeld Girl (1941); Presenting Lily Marrs (1943); Thousands Cheer (1943); Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) wherein Judy performed while pregnant with Liza; The Pirate (1948) with Gene Kelly; and Annie Get Your Gun (1949). As any Judy fan knows, Judy's health problems and a number of other factors led to her exit from the Annie Get Your Gun production, but she did not leave before recording the entire score of the film - none of these rare Annie recordings had been available until the release of this very special compilation album. This two-CD set is not packed full of true classics by any means, as many of the songs from Judy's earliest films - while beautiful and entertaining - are not works of musical art. A few of the tracks will be familiar to fans, songs such as In Between and It Never Rains, But What It Pours from Love Finds Andy Hardy, Alone from Andy Hardy Meets Debutante, and A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow from Little Nelly Kelly, but by and large this album offers you music you have really never heard before. Several tracks, such as Why, Because? From Everybody Sing (and, several years later, Annie Get Your Gun) suffer from the lack of visual context from the film. This is especially true in the case of Voodoo, one of the numbers cut from The Pirate; this song and dance number featuring Judy and Gene Kelly seems highly unusual in and of itself; it would be especially interesting to see the actual film, though, as the first shot was deemed too erotic by Louis B. Mayer. I probably stand at odds with many Judy Garland fans on the subject of Annie Get Your Gun. I am actually pleased that Judy did not make this film because it does not seem to suit her at all. Having said that, it is still a great and thrilling privilege to be able to finally hear the songs Judy recorded for that role that was not to be.If you are a Judy Garland fan, you simply must own this collection. These are rare tracks you will most likely have never heard before; even if you've seen all of her movies, there are plenty of deleted songs that were simply unavailable for listening before this collection was released. Truly, this is an invaluable treasure trove for Judy Garland fans."
A plethora of riches and rarities show why Judy was tops!
Daniel Jolley | 06/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 2 CD set is the Judy Garland fan's dream come true. You won't find OVER THE RAINBOW or THE TROLLEY SONG on this album.
That's because Turner and Rhino have assembled the rarities from Judy's mostly-unreleased M-G-M soundtrack performances. Every track on here made its CD debut, and most had never been released at all in any format. There are even many outtakes that weren't even used in her finished films.All of this has been presented with class and panache. Beautiful packaging, excellent liner notes, superb sound quality. The highlights include a young Judy warbling from BROADWAY MELODY OF 1938, a 21 year old Judy belting out a huge medley intended for PRESENTING LILY MARS (but only heard in the film in truncated form), and the famous recordings made for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, the film Judy never got to finish.Between this and Rhino's exceptional JUDY GARLAND IN HOLLYWOOD, you have the essential Garland recordings made during her MGM years. We can only hope that one day Rhino will give us EVERYTHING in a boxed set!"
I can't get enough!
JudyFan | Chicago, IL United States | 06/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Today is Judy's 80th Birthday. What a better way to celebrate it then by listening to this CD set.I just can't get enough of this CD set. When I'm done I just start it over. It's very well put together. It's neat to hear songs that didn't make the final films.Judy is fantastic as always. This is a treat for all Garland fans"
Music Man | Boston MA | 02/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This anthology of mostly unavailable Garland studio recordings is definitely a mixed bag, but it also exposes the richness of her precociously developed talent in all its extraordinary glory. The regretful aspect of Garland's early career is that she was saddled with so many trite or campy songs that it sometimes threatened to overwhelm her subtler abilities. However, there's enough amazing stuff here to showcase her brilliance as an interpreter of song. The earliest selections here are the most easily dismissable - adolescent takes on being an "In-Between" vie with her early "Hep Cat" phase in which she belts out the word "swing" over and over. However, the selections from the early 40's begin to show Garland's growing mastery over art and form. The songs from "Little Nellie Kelly" in particular betray a subtler phrasing and shading of tone, and her intensity on ballads is beginning to approach the beauty which ultimatey made her the queen of emotional expression. Yes, there are still a few clunkers to come: "Paging Mr. Greenback" must stand as one of the dumbest World War II "rousers" ever put to tape, and even Garland's enthusiasm can't overcome the ridiculous lyric. However, by the time of "The Pirate" and, especially, the lost recordings from her try at "Annie Get Your Gun", you realize what a treasure you hold. These songs are "must hears" for anyone who wants to understand the development of that awesome talent that graced so many stages in the years ahead. Thanks Rhino, for giving us a timeless gift in the timesless talents of this long-missed legend."