Some REALLY good songs that rank amongst Hollywood's best
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 06/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hollywood's Best: The Forties - '40s - Motion Picture Soundtrack Anthology may not have every last great hit from the movies of the `40s; but wow, how this CD is great to listen to anyway! This is music that will bring back memories for those of us who saw these numbers in the cinemas and heard them on the radio when they were first released; and these days a whole new generation can still be introduced to these fine tunes. The quality of the sound is rather good considering the age of these recordings and I like the artwork even if it is somewhat standard for this CD series.
Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra start things off with their fantastic "Opus One." "Opus One" uses the brass and piano to great advantage and this is truly timeless music. Tommy always insisted on the most from his band and wow, how just one listen proves that these guys were at the top of their game when they recorded this number! "Paper Doll" from "Two Girls and a Sailor" gets the royal treatment from Lena Horne; she sings this to perfection--and beyond! Lena does this one up right; and Jimmy Durante's "Inka Dinka Doo" which also comes from "Two Girls and a Sailor" is all in good fun.
"Don't Fence Me In" showcases the marvelous talents of The Andrews Sisters; and they do this without ever letting go of a superfluous note! The Andrews Sisters certainly could harmonize perfectly; and "Don't Fence Me In" gets the justice it deserves. Judy Garland also does "The Trolley Song" without a flaw; Judy gave blood whenever she sang and this song is no exception. Indeed, "The Trolley Song" from "Meet Me in St. Louis" is a major highlight of this album. "This Heart of Mine" features Fred Astaire squarely front and center--which is quite all right by me! "This Heart of Mine" charms me with its beauty.
"Chattanooga Choo Choo" has a very spirited arrangement; and "Baby, it's Cold Outside" is just wonderful. "Baby, it's Cold Outside" has a great arrangement for the strings and this enhances the sweetness of this playful ballad. Even Bette Davis gets in on the act with "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" from "Thank Your Lucky Stars!"
"It's a Most Unusual Day" sparkles brighter then silver and gold combined when Jane Powell delivers this faultlessly; she really delves deep into this ballad to bring out the emotions of the lyrics. Dooley Wilson performs his unforgettable "As Time Goes By" from "Casablanca;" he does this so well that I really can't think of too many others outdoing him here, even if he just sang but didn't really play piano in the movie!
The CD ends nicely with James Cagney singing his heart out on "You're a Grand Old Flag" from "Yankee Doodle Dandy;" James sings this very well and it left me wanting more!
And more is exactly what I (and you) can get when searching for other CDs of movie music from this 1940s. I highly recommend this CD.