During World War II, the Andrews Sisters were famous for patriotic pop. Obviously, not everything they recorded had to do with war or the United States military -- Maxene, Patty, and LaVerne Andrews were quite popular before the U.S. entered World War II. But they were responsible for some of the most famous (and cutest) patriotic hits of their era, and they did their part to boost the morale of American troops. So not surprisingly, the Andrews Sisters were major contributors to the U.S. government's V-disc program. V-discs were not sold commercially -- these 78s were made exclusively for the enjoyment of American servicemen who were stationed overseas. The Best of the War Years does not contain the Andrews Sisters' famous Decca recordings; rather, this CD focuses on material that they contributed to the V-disc program in the early to mid-'40s (some of which was broadcast on their radio show). Many of these songs are well known; "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (From Company C)," for example, was a major hit in 1941. But Stardust provides another version, not the definitive Decca recording. Some of these tunes have a patriotic theme, including "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (From Company C)" and "Victory Polka." But most of them do not have anything to do with the military or wartime, and that includes enjoyable performances of "Lullaby of Broadway," "Is You Is, or Is You Ain't My Baby," and "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (which was among the Nat King Cole Trio's big hits of the '40s). The Best of the War Years is not recommended to casual listeners; for novices, a much better starting point would be MCA's two-CD set Their All-Time Greatest Hits. But seasoned Andrews Sisters collectors will be glad to get their hands on this collection.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson