Since Dick Haymes, like most of the popular artists of his era (the 1940s), has been the victim of endless low-budget, low-quality European compilations taking advantage of the continent's 50-year copyright limitation, it is refreshing to report that this collection by British label Half Moon consists of recordings licensed from Universal/MCA, copyright holder of Haymes' original Decca recordings. What that means, first, is that the sound quality is noticeably better than what you have to put up with on the fly-by-night competitors. Haymes' 45 singles chart entries on Decca between 1943-1951 are too numerous to be contained on one CD, and this 23-track disc with a 69-minute running time is inevitably missing some hits (notably the Top Fives "The Old Master Painter" and "Maybe It's Because"). But most of Haymes' big solo hits for Decca are included, along with a few of his hit duets with Helen Forrest, and the album can be recommended as providing the highlights of the singer's most popular period. One might have hoped for more than the usual generic liner notes with the usual factual errors, and an authorized album shouldn't misprint the title of "Oh! What It Seemed to Be" on the back cover. But at least the album is legitimate and has been sensibly compiled and sequenced, and these days that's saying a lot.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann