REVIEW BY "ALEXISBACKINTOWN"
First of all, I think it's a lovely CD set. It looks very
good, it's well crafted and has a very professional feel
about it. The booklet is nice too, with a few pretty pictures
and some interesting liner notes. I love it.
Now, about the songs. There are three complete original
albums here : Judy, Alone and Judy
In Love. Soundwise, the
first two sound very much like the previous releases (from
Collectables for Judy and SP Records for Alone).
The sound is slightly clearer (less muffled) and Judy's voice
is less "loud".
Nice, but not dramatically different. Judy
In Love is here
presented entirely in Mono unlike most of the previous releases
which were in Stereo. That choice is very interesting and
I find the sound very nice. A great way to re-discover those
songs. Just one thing though : the liner notes say this is
the first CD release of those Mono masters. I'm not quite
sure it's true... There's a Japanese CD out there that presents
all the songs from Judy In Love in an excellent
Mono sound... "Zing!" and "I Am Loved"
are also proposed
in Stereo on Disc Three. Note that the end of "Zing!" is
indeed different in the Mono version.
You'll find on Disc One the best tracks from Judy's first
album for Capitol, Miss Show Business. The tracks from that
album sound just like on previous releases.
Disc Two proposes the single "It's
Lovely To Be Back In London". The sound is awful, with lots of reverberation.
The liner notes mention that it was recorded that way and
it can't be corrected. So not true!!!! I have that song from
another Judy CD set and it doesn't sound that bad at all!
You'll also find one track from Garland
At The Grove, a personal
favorite of mine. It would have been great to hear more from
that album, but hey! it's better than nothing. Plus it sounds
great. There's one song from The Letter and it doesn't sound
good! They tried to erase the narration by John Ireland but
didn't do it well... you can definitely still hear him at
the beginning of the song and that creates a strange hiss.
Plus the song itself isn't great. I hope the complete CD
release of The Letter that's on its way will sound better
Ten tracks from That's Entertainment are presented. The sound
is better than the one from the previous Collectables release.
But not in a dramatic way. It just sounds clearer, less echoey
and Judy's voice sounds (once again) less "loud" and
The sound of the London Sessions tracks
is in every way similar to the one of the 1992 CD release
from Capitol. The two alternate tracks - "Over The Rainbow"
and "Stormy Weather"- are only "partially
alternate" : the songs used for the official release
were mixed from two takes... Here is the first take recorded
for each of those two songs.
You'll also find two songs from Carnegie
Hall. Nothing to
say about them.
The singles "Comes Once In A Lifetime" and "Sweet Danger" sound
better then the previous releases for the same reasons than
the That's Entertainment tracks mentioned before.
There's one interesting track from Judy
Live At Manhattan Center (and a typo in the booklet
), "Just In Time".
From I Could Go On Singing, you'll find here the "It
Never Was You" outtake released last year for the first
time. Sounds identical. You'll also find a new "remix" of
the title song. I don't find it very good... The sound quality
doesn't match the one of the previously restored ICGOS newly
Three songs from The Judy Garland
Show are included. They're
nice songs, with a good sound. "It's A Good Day" has always
been one my favorites from the show and to see it here is
Finally, two songs from Judy & Liza
At The London Palladium are included. The sound is good, but these songs are not
the best ones from that concert. It's nice to find them here
I think this CD set is a very fine one... for new Judy fans
who want to get a lot of her Capitol songs for a small
price. For the fans who already own all the previous releases,
there isn't much of interest here. With the presence of
three complete original albums, I don't think this set
can really be called a "Best of". It rather looks
to me like one more missed opportunity to create a big
set of all of Judy's recordings for Capitol, including
all the alternate takes. But it is a very well made set
and I advise it to those who still don't own everything
it offers or to completists like myself.