That's Entertainment! The Ultimate Anthology of M-G-M Musicals [TCM]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Turner Classics' ambitious if somewhat daunting six-CD box That's Entertainment: The Ultimate Anthology of M-G-M Musicals has it all over its predecessors -- including a more modestly proportioned compilation of MGM musical highlights released back in the late '80s -- in terms of scope, quality, and audio engineering. Indeed, at the time of its release in the mid-'90s, this was easily the most comprehensive overview of a movie studio's music output to be found on CD. Whether one is listening to Jimmy Durante clowning at the piano with Frank Sinatra (from It Happened in Brooklyn) or Lena Horne (backed by Benny Carter and his orchestra) singing "Honeysuckle Rose" from ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Turner Classics' ambitious if somewhat daunting six-CD box That's Entertainment: The Ultimate Anthology of M-G-M Musicals has it all over its predecessors -- including a more modestly proportioned compilation of MGM musical highlights released back in the late '80s -- in terms of scope, quality, and audio engineering. Indeed, at the time of its release in the mid-'90s, this was easily the most comprehensive overview of a movie studio's music output to be found on CD. Whether one is listening to Jimmy Durante clowning at the piano with Frank Sinatra (from It Happened in Brooklyn) or Lena Horne (backed by Benny Carter and his orchestra) singing "Honeysuckle Rose" from Thousands Cheer, the basses and percussion are deep and booming, the vocals are out in front, and the brasses and horns have the kind of bite that one often associates with high-fidelity recording, more than film soundtracks on home systems. In fairness, not every track here blossoms the same way -- "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" from the movie of the same name, featuring Gene Kelly and Sinatra, is little more than a cute novelty, high resolution or not, and some of the medleys -- especially "Singin' in the Rain" -- that are keyed to the actual That's Entertainment or That's Entertainment, Part 2 movie sequences, are easier to appreciate if you have seen the movies, and it's difficult to imagine anyone buying this set who has not seen both movies a lot more than once. June Allyson gets her moment in the sun ("Thou Swell") on disc one, as do Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart ("Easy to Love"), Clark Gable ("Puttin' on the Ritz"), and Jane Powell, but the best moments belong to the names you would expect, including Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. Discs one and two take listeners through That's Entertainment's musical highlights, while discs three and four are devoted to That's Entertainment, Pt. 2. In every instance on the material from those movies, the tracks represent complete numbers, rather than the edited excerpts used in the two anthology movies -- and considering that most of the movies represented here predate the late '40s and, thus, never had soundtrack releases of their own, that only enhances the value of this set (one can "square" its value for serious musical buffs). The fifth disc is a direct reissue of the 1994-vintage That's Entertainment, Pt. 3 soundtrack CD. And disc six in this original version of the set ties up some loose ends from all three movies, filling in a few holes that might not have held up as well musically or technically on the earlier discs, but which are still worth hearing. The sound throughout is amazingly consistent given the 60 years covered by the original engineering in some of the material and the need to substitute sources on some of the tracks -- "Easy to Love," for example, is an alternate take found in the vaults. The value of discs one through four is identical, the first two each being filled with enough serious musical value to match the other, and the complete eight-plus-minute "Fascinating Rhythm" from Lady Be Good and "Wedding of the Painted Doll" from The Broadway Melody are among the pleasant surprises here. One might also note that the sound elements for the new music recordings on That's Entertainment, Pt. 2 seem to be in better condition than those for the first That's Entertainment, despite there being just a few years between them -- in any case, the matching of the 1930s and early-'40s sound to the newer segments is what counts, and those work almost perfectly; it's only on a few moments, such as Judy Garland's entry on "For Me and My Gal" that you get some sense of the actual age of the recordings involved. Disc five was, of course, the only thing here ever originally planned for digital release, originating as it did in 1994 with That's Entertainment, Pt. 3, and it flows the most smoothly. And while no one is going to pretend that disc six, made up of afterthoughts and loose ends as well as material that just couldn't be sequenced with the rest of the set, is a match for what appears before, it does work on its own terms, and it's only in juxtaposition with the rest that it seems at all weak. On a technical level, one must point out the inevitable weaknesses in a set like this. Most important, there is always going to be some compression on music of any kind recorded before the end of the 1940s, even if it is preserved perfectly, but the Turner Entertainment archivists and engineers have put together a remarkably satisfying body, several hundred artists and tracks strong, covering territory from the 1920s to the 1970s. Secondly, although the musical credentials involved with 99 percent of what's here are impeccable, this was, at root, an effort to make visually stimulating material, so there will be some element missing from the allure of much of what is here, in terms of what it was intended to do. But that doesn't mean that, divorced from the visuals, elements of the music can't blossom in their own right. The whole collection makes for quite a few days' -- even a week's -- worth of listening to be properly absorbed, and is annotated with a 96-page booklet that is as profusely illustrated as it is thoroughly informative. Indeed, when one compares this with the original LP soundtracks for That's Entertainment and That's Entertainment, Part 2, those collections don't even seem to come from the same planet as this set, which is one of the marvels of the box set boom of the mid-'90s; additionally, on an engineering level, this is one of the most ambitious multi-artist sets ever released. The 1995 edition of the set pleased the audience it was aimed toward, as far as it went, and might even have won over a few converts; the songwriting is so prodigious that's it's difficult not to appreciate individual tracks, one after the other, even if one doesn't happen to be a fan of the musical format. The only caveat is that the relentlessly upbeat exuberance of the performances and performers may be off-putting to some modern fans, and others may find that the depth and seriousness of the effort here runs counter to the light-as-air sensibilities of some of the actual music and movies represented. In 2006, Rhino issued an updated edition of this set, housed in a new package design, in which disc six was completely altered -- in place of the loose ends that comprised the last disc in the original, the last disc in the new set was comprised of outtakes from the MGM vaults, making that set even more alluring, at least for the hardcore collector and enthusiast.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/24/1995
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227218225
  • Catalog Number: 72182

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Overture - MGM Studio Orchestra (3:13)
  2. 2 Singin' in the Rain (2:16)
  3. 3 Main Title from "That's Entertainment" - MGM Studio Orchestra (2:19)
  4. 4 Broadway Melody - Charles King (2:29)
  5. 5 Indian Love Call - Jeanette MacDonald (2:08)
  6. 6 A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody - MGM Studio Chorus (2:09)
  7. 7 The Song's Gotta Come from the Heart - Jimmy Durante (4:14)
  8. 8 Honeysuckle Rose - Benny Carter & His Orchestra (2:48)
  9. 9 Take Me out to the Ball Game - Frank Sinatra (2:04)
  10. 10 Thou Swell - June Allyson (3:54)
  11. 11 The Varsity Drag (4:52)
  12. 12 ABA Daba Honeymoon - MGM Studio Chorus (3:12)
  13. 13 It's a Most Unusual Day - Jane Powell (1:16)
  14. 14 On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe (8:37)
  15. 15 Gotta Feelin' for You - MGM Studio Chorus (2:38)
  16. 16 Easy to Love - James Stewart (2:49)
  17. 17 Puttin' on the Ritz - MGM Studio Chorus (0:54)
  18. 18 Dear Mr. Gable: You Made Me Love You - Judy Garland (3:56)
  19. 19 Babes in Arms (4:31)
  20. 20 They Can't Take That Away from Me - Fred Astaire (4:32)
  21. 21 Dancing in the Dark - MGM Studio Orchestra (3:28)
  22. 22 I Wanna Be Loved by You - Helen Kane (1:32)
Disc 2
  1. 1 I've Gotta Hear That Beat - Ann Miller (3:51)
  2. 2 I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan - Jack Buchanan (1:58)
  3. 3 Be My Love - Kathryn Grayson (2:57)
  4. 4 Make 'Em Laugh - Donald O'Connor (3:13)
  5. 5 Ol' Man River - William Warfield (3:41)
  6. 6 By Myself - Fred Astaire (1:28)
  7. 7 New York, New York (4:05)
  8. 8 The Worry Song - Gene Kelly (2:56)
  9. 9 Singin' in the Rain - Gene Kelly (3:57)
  10. 10 Over the Rainbow - Judy Garland (2:44)
  11. 11 But Not for Me - Judy Garland (2:30)
  12. 12 The Trolley Song - MGM Studio Chorus (4:03)
  13. 13 The Boy Next Door - Judy Garland (3:28)
  14. 14 Under the Bamboo Tree - Margaret O'Brien (1:37)
  15. 15 Get Happy - MGM Studio Chorus (2:46)
  16. 16 Going Hollywood - MGM Studio Chorus (0:39)
  17. 17 Hallelujah (3:28)
  18. 18 Barn Dance (Bless Yore Beautiful Hide) - MGM Studio Orchestra (5:51)
  19. 19 Gigi - Louis Jourdan (3:01)
  20. 20 An American in Paris Ballet - MGM Studio Orchestra (16:32)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Overture - MGM Studio Orchestra (2:52)
  2. 2 Main Title from "That's Entertainment" (2:26)
  3. 3 For Me and My Gal - Gene Kelly (4:19)
  4. 4 Fascinating Rhythm (8:57)
  5. 5 I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin' - MGM Studio Chorus (5:22)
  6. 6 I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man - Fred Astaire (4:04)
  7. 7 Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo - Mel Ferrer (1:55)
  8. 8 Be a Clown - Gene Kelly (2:36)
  9. 9 From This Moment On (3:57)
  10. 10 All of You - Fred Astaire (6:06)
  11. 11 The Lady Is a Tramp - Lena Horne (2:55)
  12. 12 Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - Kathryn Grayson (2:46)
  13. 13 Easter Parade - MGM Studio Chorus (2:40)
  14. 14 Temptation - Bing Crosby (1:46)
  15. 15 Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart - Judy Garland (3:11)
  16. 16 Taking a Chance on Love - Ethel Waters (3:22)
  17. 17 Swingin' the Jinx Away - MGM Studio Chorus (7:23)
  18. 18 Lover, Come Back to Me - Jeanette MacDonald (3:37)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Inka Dinka Doo - Harry James & His Orchestra (2:12)
  2. 2 I Got Rhythm (8:12)
  3. 3 The Wedding of the Painted Doll - James Burroughs (3:23)
  4. 4 Manhattan - Mickey Rooney (2:35)
  5. 5 Good Morning - Donald O'Connor (3:15)
  6. 6 Triplets - Nanette Fabray (2:12)
  7. 7 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland (2:37)
  8. 8 Steppin' out with My Baby - Lyttle Sisters (6:19)
  9. 9 I Got Rhythm - Gene Kelly (3:42)
  10. 10 Ol' Man River - Frank Sinatra (2:54)
  11. 11 I Fall in Love Too Easily - Frank Sinatra (1:34)
  12. 12 I Begged Her - Frank Sinatra (3:23)
  13. 13 Girls, Girls, Girls! - Maurice Chevalier (3:23)
  14. 14 The Last Time I Saw Paris - Dinah Shore (1:12)
  15. 15 Love Is Here to Stay - MGM Studio Orchestra (3:51)
  16. 16 I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise - Georges Guétary (2:42)
  17. 17 A Couple of Swells - Judy Garland (4:23)
  18. 18 There's No Business Like Show Business (2:30)
  19. 19 I Like Myself - Gene Kelly (3:37)
  20. 20 I Remember It Well - Hermione Gingold (2:21)
  21. 21 Bouncin' the Blues - Ginger Rogers (2:10)
  22. 22 That's Entertainment! (Finale) - Gene Kelly (2:46)
  23. 23 End Credits - MGM Studio Orchestra (1:42)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Overture - Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (5:00)
  2. 2 Good Morning - Mickey Rooney (1:55)
  3. 3 The Three B's (5:33)
  4. 4 Just One of Those Things - Lena Horne (1:24)
  5. 5 I'm an Indian, Too - MGM Studio Chorus (1:34)
  6. 6 Shaking the Blues Away - Lyttle Sisters (3:19)
  7. 7 Pass That Peace Pipe - Joan McCracken (4:31)
  8. 8 The Heather on the Hill - MGM Studio Chorus (5:53)
  9. 9 I Wish I Were in Love Again - Mickey Rooney (2:25)
  10. 10 You Are My Lucky Star - Debbie Reynolds (3:39)
  11. 11 Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man - Ava Gardner (3:19)
  12. 12 Doin' What Comes Natur'lly - MGM Studio Chorus (2:32)
  13. 13 Baby, You Knock Me Out - MGM Studio Chorus (2:01)
  14. 14 Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks - Dolores Gray (3:38)
  15. 15 Who? - MGM Studio Chorus (5:44)
  16. 16 You Stepped out of a Dream - MGM Studio Chorus (3:19)
  17. 17 Ain't It the Truth - Lena Horne (2:30)
  18. 18 March of the Doagies (2:48)
  19. 19 Anything You Can Do - Betty Hutton (3:09)
  20. 20 Mr. Monotony - Judy Garland (3:12)
  21. 21 That's Entertainment (Finale) (1:14)
Disc 6
  1. 1 Swing Trot - MGM Studio Chorus (1:50)
  2. 2 I Got out of Bed on the Right Side (2:05)
  3. 3 Swing, Mr. Mendelssohn - Judy Garland (4:20)
  4. 4 Please Don't Monkey with Broadway - George Murphy (3:15)
  5. 5 Buds Won't Bud - Ethel Waters (3:07)
  6. 6 I'll Take the High Note (5:40)
  7. 7 Too Darn Hot (3:25)
  8. 8 How About You? - Mickey Rooney (4:52)
  9. 9 The Opposite Sex (Prologue) - MGM Studio Orchestra (3:03)
  10. 10 Friendship - MGM Studio Orchestra (2:42)
  11. 11 Too Late Now - Jane Powell (3:35)
  12. 12 Lydia, the Tattooed Lady - MGM Studio Chorus (3:01)
  13. 13 A Lady Loves - MGM Studio Chorus (2:56)
  14. 14 Baby, It's Cold Outside - Esther Williams (2:00)
  15. 15 If You Can Dream - Lena Horne (1:44)
  16. 16 Didja' Ever! - Tony Martin (2:51)
  17. 17 There'll Be Some Changes Made - Dolores Gray (2:23)
  18. 18 The Stanley Steamer (3:34)
  19. 19 Mr. And Mrs. - José Ferrer (1:21)
  20. 20 You Can't Do Wrong Doin' Right (3:15)
  21. 21 I'm Gonna Live Till I Die - Julie Wilson (1:36)
  22. 22 Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet - MGM Studio Chorus (3:10)
  23. 23 I Don't Care - Judy Garland (2:06)
  24. 24 There's Beauty Everywhere - MGM Studio Chorus (5:08)
  25. 25 End Credits - Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (2:45)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Don Williams Track Performer
Fred Astaire Track Performer
Rosemary Clooney Track Performer
Bing Crosby Track Performer
Judy Garland Track Performer
Gene Kelly Track Performer
The Pied Pipers Track Performer
Debbie Reynolds Track Performer
Dinah Shore Track Performer
Frank Sinatra Track Performer
Children Track Performer
Don Ellis Track Performer
Lena Horne Track Performer
Ethel Waters Track Performer
Helen Forrest Track Performer
Oscar Levant Track Performer
Julie Wilson Track Performer
Vic Damone Track Performer
Nelson Eddy Track Performer
Maurice Chevalier Track Performer
Allan Jones Track Performer
Mario Lanza Track Performer
Connie Haines Track Performer
Tony Martin Track Performer
Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards Track Performer
Nancy Walker Track Performer
Jimmy Durante Track Performer
Dolores Gray Track Performer
Kathryn Grayson Track Performer
Jane Powell Track Performer
Jack Buchanan Track Performer
Howard Keel Track Performer
Louis Jourdan Track Performer
Groucho Marx Track Performer
José Ferrer Track Performer
Georges Guétary Track Performer
Ray Bolger Track Performer
Hermione Gingold Track Performer
Leslie Caron Track Performer
Joan Crawford Track Performer
Buddy Ebsen Track Performer
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Track Performer
Carmen Miranda Vocals
Benny Carter Track Performer
Ralph Brewster Track Performer
Clark Burroughs Track Performer
Eugene Cox Track Performer
Tommy D Track Performer
Van Johnson Track Performer
Helen Kane Track Performer
Peter Lawford Track Performer
Bill Lee Track Performer
Jeanette MacDonald Track Performer
Ann Miller Track Performer
Donald O'Connor Track Performer
Eleanor Powell Track Performer
Carol Richards Track Performer
Ginger Rogers Track Performer
Mickey Rooney Track Performer
Robert Taylor Track Performer
MGM Studio Orchestra Track Performer
Ava Gardner Track Performer
Marjorie Main Track Performer
Agnes Moorehead Track Performer
Margaret O'Brien Track Performer
Virginia O'Brien Track Performer
William Warfield Track Performer
Stumpy Brown Track Performer
Janis Paige Track Performer
Hal Hopper Track Performer
Lucille Ball Track Performer
Clark Gable Track Performer
Frances Langford Track Performer
George Murphy Track Performer
Kay Armen Track Performer
Gloria DeHaven Track Performer
Betty Hutton Track Performer
Bobby Van Track Performer
Cyd Charisse Track Performer
Nanette Fabray Track Performer
Bob Fosse Track Performer
Tommy Rall Track Performer
Keenan Wynn Track Performer
Benny Carter & His Orchestra Track Performer
Harry James & His Orchestra Track Performer
Ray Anthony Orchestra Track Performer
Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra Track Performer
Red Skelton Track Performer
Ralph Blane Track Performer
June Allyson Track Performer
Trudy Erwin Track Performer
Buddy Moreno Track Performer
Bob Wacker Track Performer
Barbara Whiting Track Performer
Music Maids Track Performer
Mel Ferrer Track Performer
MGM Studio Chorus Track Performer
Charles Walters Track Performer
Ricardo Montalban Track Performer
Hermes Pan Track Performer
Lyttle Sisters Track Performer
James Stewart Track Performer
Harry Stanton Track Performer
Esther Williams Track Performer
Technical Credits
Leonard Bernstein Composer
George Gershwin Composer
Maurice Jarre Composer
Miklós Rózsa Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
Vincent Youmans Composer
Nacio Herb Brown Composer
Betty Comden Composer
Ken Darby Composer
Gene DePaul Composer
Howard Dietz Composer
Arthur Freed Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Mack Gordon Composer
Adolph Green Composer
Bernard Herrmann Composer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Leo Robin Composer
Arthur Schwartz Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Alfred Newman Composer
Marilee Bradford Producer
George Feltenstein Producer, Liner Notes
Bradley Flanagan Producer
Edgar Leslie Composer
Clifford Grey Composer
James V. Monaco Composer
George W. Meyer Composer
W. Benton Overstreet Composer
Joseph McCarthy Composer
Billy Higgins Composer
E. Ray Goetz Composer
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