1954 Soundtrack

A Star Is Born [1954 Soundtrack] [10" LP Version]

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The 1954 remake of A Star Is Born, starring Judy Garland, marked a major cinematic comeback for the actress, her first film since being dropped by MGM in 1950 and a major box-office hit that earned her an Academy Award nomination. The soundtrack album, which, in this, its initial release, consisted solely of Garland vocal performances (two of them, "Here's What I'm Here For" and "Lose That Long Face," cut from the film shortly after it opened), marked another kind of comeback for her. As with her film career, this was her first recording since 1950's Summer Stock soundtrack to achieve commercial success; it peaked at number four on Billboard's LP chart and never went out of print over the next 50 years, with an expanded version released in 1988 and an even longer one in 2004. 1954 was a transitional year in the record business, with formats in flux, and Columbia released the album as a 12" LP, as a set of 78 rpm records, as a set of three 45 rpm EPs, and in this 10" LP version. In order to fit the music onto the smaller LP, the label excised the 15-minute "Born in a Trunk" medley that was one of the soundtrack's highlights. So, this version consists of six tracks, all of them written by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin. Five of those are good tunes, but one, the Oscar-nominated torch song "The Man That Got Away," became a standard and a signature song for Garland. The album is basically a Garland collection, and a classic one at that, but the abridged 10" version naturally fell out of favor as the 12" LP became the standard album format, and it quickly went out of print.