Fred Astaire

Crazy Feet! [ASV/Living Era]

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This compilation brings together 20 recordings that Fred Astaire, and, on eight songs, his sister Adele, made during the period when the Astaires were successful stage performers in a series of musicals on Broadway and in the West End, including George and Ira Gershwin's Lady, Be Good! and Funny Face, Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz's The Band Wagon, and, with Fred Astaire alone, Cole Porter's Gay Divorcée. Most of the songs come from the shows. Dating from Oct. 18, 1923, to Nov. 11, 1932, these are Astaire's earliest recordings, originally made for the English HMV and Columbia and the American Victor labels, and they include all of his hits from the period prior to his emergence as a movie star, including "Night and Day," and which was one of the best-selling records of 1932-33. George Gershwin himself accompanies the Astaires on the four selections from Lady, Be Good!, "Fascinating Rhythm," "I'd Rather Charleston," "Hang On to Me," and "The Half of It, Dearie, Blues." Many of the arrangements closely follow the stage versions, making them early "original cast" recordings (even including bits of dialogue), though some of the later ones, especially those on which Astaire is backed by the Leo Reisman Orchestra, use dance band arrangements in which the singer only provides a vocal chorus. This album combines historical importance with some definitive performances of great standards sung by the man for whom they were written. (Mastering was done from records, and since several of these recordings date from before the electrical microphone period, sound quality is only fair.)

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:26
2 3:00
3 2:22
4 2:51
5 2:52
6 2:53
7 2:54
8 2:30
9 2:52
10 2:44
11 2:35
12 2:41
13 2:49
15 2:26
16 3:05
17 2:51
18 2:59
19 3:05
20 2:53
blue highlight denotes track pick