This discount-priced compilation combines Eddie Fisher recordings originally released in three different formats. Sequenced out of chronological order, the first of them, tracks 23-30, made up the eight-track, 10" LP Irving Berlin Favorites, recorded and originally released in 1953. Here, Fisher essays a series of Berlin evergreens dating back to the 1910s. Their simple melodies and words provide him with a good basis for his vocal flights, though he calms down a little to sing the more playful "Cheek to Cheek." Broadway Classics, a four-song EP from 1954 billed as the compilation's "bonus tracks," does not contain four standards from the Great White Way, but rather four songs taken from Broadway musicals of 1953-1954, three of them flops. "And This Is My Beloved" from Kismet will be remembered by theater music fans, and "Lazy Afternoon" from The Golden Apple has gone on to become a semi-standard, but the EP turned out to be inaccurately titled. The disc's first 22 tracks made up the 1955 release Eddie Fisher Sings Academy Award Winning Songs, an ambitious effort on which Fisher not only sang abbreviated versions of all 21 Oscar best-song victors up to that time, but also provided a running commentary on them. Most of these songs have gone on to become standards, so it is a treat getting to hear Fisher sing them. But the spoken "continuity" wears out its welcome before you've heard it through once. Unfortunately, there wouldn't have been any way for Collectables to segment the remarks on the CD so that a modern listener could program a player to skip them; they are too closely matched to the songs. So, what might have been a memorable collection ends up being tiresome. This is not an Eddie Fisher hits set, but it gives him the chance to sing higher-quality material.
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