After the Andrews Sisters reunited in 1956, they joined Capitol Records, which initially had them re-record their big Decca hits for the LP The Andrews Sisters in Hi-Fi, then followed with a more conventional effort, Fresh and Fancy Free, and a concept album, The Andrews Sisters Sing the Dancing 20's. Those last two Capitol collections are paired on this CD in reverse chronological order. That means, however, that the material itself is in rough chronological order by date of composition, since Dancing 20's, of course, finds the sisters covering songs from the decade before they became popular, albeit in souped-up arrangements by Billy May. All concerned have fun with songs like "That Naughty Waltz" and "Barney Google." Fresh and Fancy Free, on the other hand, is typical of the kind of albums Capitol labelmates like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole were making around the same time. Again, Billy May handles the charts and the baton, and the songwriting credits are full of names like Gershwin, Kern, and Porter. May has the singers take the rarely used introductory verses to "Of Thee I Sing" and "Tea for Two" to give them a different feel. He introduces a Latin rhythm into "Let There Be Love," pacing the arrangement with bongo drums, and has the strings play in a Japanese tonality for "Younger Than Springtime" to evoke the Oriental aspect of the song from South Pacific. It is notable that, unlike so many of the Andrews Sisters' Decca recordings, these performances do not feature Patty Andrews singing a solo lead, accompanied by her two harmonizing sisters, Maxene and LaVerne. Instead, almost invariably, the songs are sung in three-part harmony throughout; only in rare instances is there a brief solo line. Maybe that was a condition of the reunion, since the sisters' early-‘50s breakup was precipitated by Patty Andrews' departure for a solo career; she is not spotlighted at the expense of her siblings here.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann