British bandleader Ted Heath and his orchestra recorded for Decca Records for some 20 years beginning in the late '40s, applying a modernized big band swing approach to anything and everything that the ever-shifting pop music culture could toss up. In the process, Heath and his band became a comfortable institution on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly in the late '50s, when they recorded an astounding number of albums. Typically, Heath would tackle a pop number like the theme to the U.S. television show Dragnet (his version of the theme is included here) and swing it until it seemed there was nothing his outfit couldn't assimilate. This packed set, Decca Singles and Rarities, is the first in a series of releases that chronicle Heath's long association with Decca, and truthfully, it is probably most useful to collectors and archivists, while a more general collection would suffice for most listeners. It's not that Heath was a one-trick pony, but the swing approach to everything under the sun wears thin after awhile, and one starts to wish for something against the grain to pop up on occasion.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett