Glenn Miller

The Popular Recordings (1938-1942)

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At the time of its initial appearance in 1989, this three-CD set was a significant improvement over any of the compact disc editions of Glenn Miller's music to have made it out before. Not only did its 60 songs offer the proper scope and range to allow one to fully appreciate the depth of Miller's popularity and talent, but this was also part of the CD era's second wave of compilations and remasterings -- in contrast to the boomtown recklessness and corporate ineptitude that had characterized CD reissues in the mid-'80s, producers were now aware that there were gradations in the sound quality of digital masters and room for improvement in the technology. The late Joe Lopes engineered this set to last in the ears of the listener, and producer John Snyder oversaw what was, at the time, one of the finest and most comprehensive CD reissues ever accorded a big-band leader. The brass has bite and the horns and reeds have body, and the entire band is in sharp relief as they hadn't been heard since the early '40s and their last civilian concerts. It has since been supplanted, itself, by other, more recent remastered editions utilizing still better technology, including The Essential Glenn Miller (1995), Platinum Glenn Miller (2003), and The Centennial Collection (2004) -- reducing the noise in the masters even further, among other differences -- but holds up as perhaps the best authorized, large-scale survey of Miller's work other than the 13-disc complete set from BMG. These 60 songs represent a compromise between that set's completeness and the superficiality of 1988's Pure Gold, with its ten songs and minimal annotation.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:57
2 3:04
3 2:49
4 2:56
5 3:01
6 2:39
7 2:51
8 3:12
9 2:26
10 2:30
11 2:59
12 3:18
13 2:36
14 2:45
15 3:00
16 3:11
17 3:18
18 2:58
19 3:21
20 3:21

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:35
2 3:14
3 2:46
4 3:18
5 2:45
6 3:26
7 2:56
8 2:04
9 2:03
10 3:07
11 3:06
12 3:08
13 2:52
14 3:37
15 3:12
16 2:24
17 4:59
18 3:01
19 2:58
20 3:36
blue highlight denotes track pick