British reissue label Flapper's compilation The Thirties is a generous selection of 25 songs from that decade. It is essentially a miscellaneous collection, consisting of many well-known songs, only a few of which are presented in their most popular recordings, with several curiosities and, as a nod to the country of origin, a distinct bias toward tracks by British artists. The only one of the most popular songs of the decade found here in its most successful recording is "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" by Chick Webb and His Orchestra with vocals by Ella Fitzgerald. "Goodnight Sweetheart" and "Isle of Capri" were also among the biggest songs of the '30s, and while there are recordings of them featured here, they are not the most successful ones but covers by British performers. Other major hits from the decade include "This Year's Kisses" (in a rendition by Alice Faye, who sang it in the movie On the Avenue); "Marie" (in the hit version by Tommy Dorsey); "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (as performed by the Andrews Sisters); and "Please Be Kind" (by the British Joe Loss Orchestra). There are also standards recorded by the artists long associated with them, such as "Over the Rainbow" by Judy Garland and "Let's Face the Music and Dance" by Fred Astaire, and major artists such as Louis Armstrong ("Flat Foot Floogie") and Bing Crosby ("The Folks Who Live on the Hill," "Basin Street Blues," "Can I Forget About You?") are also represented. But the set gives evidence of being constructed from a limited number of records, making for more of a sampler than any sort of comprehensive survey of the '30s.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann