Original Soundtrack

The Band Wagon [Original Soundtrack] [CBS]

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Although it never won any awards, the movie The Band Wagon is now considered by many to be Vincente Minnelli's best musical -- some may disagree, but there's little debate on the allure of the score, comprised almost entirely of material by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz. "That's Entertainment!" became a bigger show business anthem than Irving Berlin's "There's No Business Like Show Business," and was permanently cemented in the public consciousness through three MGM documentaries using it as their title. "By Myself" is an alluring song (doubly so as sung by Fred Astaire), while "Dancing in the Dark" is a sensualist's delight and "I Love Louisa," "New Sun in the Sky," "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan," and "Louisiana Hayride" -- variously featuring Nanette Fabray, Oscar Levant, and Jack Buchanan -- are all solid and delightful musical numbers. [The Sony CD was a considerable expansion over the previously existing LP editions of this score, and included some dialogue sequences such as the Fred Astaire-narrated "Girl Hunt Ballet," a delightful vignette into Mickey Spillane theatrics by way of music. The subsequent Rhino Records edition has supplanted the Sony version, but either are preferable to the earlier LP and 1980s CD editions from MGM and MCA, respectively.]

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