Harry Warren

Dames

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This unlicensed anthology draws music directly from the soundtracks of six Warner Bros. movie musicals of the mid-'30s. The other consistent element in addition to the film studio is a person whose contributions are not apparent on an audio disc, choreographer Busby Berkeley, who provided elaborate production numbers in each movie. One, two, or three of those numbers from those movies have been excerpted here, resulting in tracks with long instrumental passages during which one can only imagine the large-scale dancing configurations (sometimes with the help of some loud foot-tapping sounds). The most frequent songwriting team responsible for the music is that of composer Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin, and the most frequent performer is Dick Powell. Usually, the most popular songs from the films have been chosen, standards like "I Only Have Eyes for You," "Lullaby of Broadway," and "Hooray for Hollywood," though it's not clear why the sole selection from Gold Diggers of 1937 is the somewhat bizarre "All's Fair in Love and War" ("Love is just like war," goes the lyric) rather than the better-known "With Plenty of Money and You." The monophonic sound quality is variable, which is par for the course with this sort of legal bootleg, but the music holds up.

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