Seventeen-year-old Judy Garland had just won a special Academy Award for her work as a juvenile in the 1939 films The Wizard of Oz and Babes in Arms when Decca Records decided the time was right to release her first album, a three-disc, 78-rpm set. It gave a good sense of where she had been and where she was going. Both sides of her 1937 single "(Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You"/"You Can't Have Everything" made up the first disc, followed by two of her 1939 singles, "Oceans Apart"/"Figaro" and "In Between"/"Sweet Sixteen." MGM staff writer Roger Edens had crafted four of the six tracks especially for Garland. He added special material to the old hit "You Made Me Love You" so that Garland could perform it in the character of a lovestruck fan at Clark Gable's birthday party in 1937, resulting in its inclusion in Broadway Melody of 1938. "In Between" was written for the 1938 film Love Finds Andy Hardy, and it and "Sweet Sixteen" played upon Garland's emergence from childhood, "Sweet Sixteen" containing more special material that allowed her to act as well as sing. The dreamy ballad "Oceans Apart" was a co-composition by her frequent co-star Mickey Rooney, but the most interesting piece looking forward was Edens' "Figaro," an outright swing tune on which Garland left behind the childish posturing and belted like a hot mama. This first collection gave a good sense of the extensive range of her vocal talents.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann