Even more so than with most of the soundtracks to Woody Allen's movies, Radio Days is filled with a strong nostalgic tone, comprised as it is of material from the heyday of the swing era, which coincides with the movie's era and setting. Its appeal is, thus, not limited to fans of the movie Radio Days -- rather, owing to the care with which Allen selects the music for his films (and the work of music supervisor Dick Hyman), it's also a superb primer for late-'30s and early-'40s popular music; anyone unfamiliar with the field could do a whole lot worse than start with a collection that includes some of the most popular and enduring recordings by Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Sammy Kaye, Benny Goodman, Xavier Cugat, Richard Himber & His Ritz-Carlton Orchestra, and Guy Lombardo, as well as pop vocalist Allan Jones. And those who know this material will enjoy the compilation as well, even if it overlaps with a lot else. Indeed, they might even rent or buy the movie, which is sort of the purpose of releases like this in the first place, though the CD is also enjoyable on its own terms. And although there's no annotation, the audio quality ranges from very good to excellent.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder