Unless you have heard the music collected on this 16-track anthology, you don't have a full understanding of Marlene Dietrich. Originally a German stage actress and cabaret performer before her breakthrough role in Emil Jannings' THE BLUE ANGEL catapulted her to Hollywood stardom, Dietrich recorded many songs in her native language throughout the '20s. Many of them are collected here, and they're a revelation to anyone who has only heard Dietrich's material in English. In German, Dietrich is a much more expressive singer with a wider emotional range, possibly because in these early tracks, she had not yet been typecast as the world-weary chanteuse. There's everything from swinging, jazzy upbeat numbers to heartbreaking ballads on THE EARLY YEARS, and all of the material is simply remarkable. This disc is essential for Dietrich fans.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by AllMusic