Ethel Merman

There's No Business Like Show Business: The Collection

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AllMusic Review by

Ethel Merman was about halfway through her 30-year career of creating roles on Broadway when the record companies finally started recording original cast albums on a regular basis in the mid-'40s. Nevertheless, Merman had preserved contemporary performances of some of her best-known songs from her shows of the '30s for such labels as RCA Victor, Brunswick (now controlled by Sony), and Decca. Decca recorded Merman's 1946 hit musical Annie Get Your Gun, and in 1947 she re-recorded her early hits for the Decca album Songs She Made Famous. She also made a non-cast album of songs from her 1950 show Call Me Madam for Decca and cut some non-show recordings for the label as well. Along with three tracks licensed from Sony's cast album for the 1959 musical Gypsy, it is the Decca material that makes up There's No Business Like Show Business: The Collection. Short of more extensive licensing, it may be the most comprehensive Merman compilation one can hope for. The obvious weak spots are the seven re-recordings of songs like "I Got Rhythm," "You're the Top," and "I Get a Kick Out of You," but Merman had lost none of her '30s vocal power by the '40s, so the performances are strong. Most of the classic songs associated with Merman are included, and the sound quality is excellent.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:00
2 2:59
3 6:05
4 2:14
5 3:18
6 2:27
7 2:53
8
feat: Harry Sosnik
2:59
9
feat: Harry Sosnik
2:33
10 3:25
11 2:54
12 3:08
13 3:10
14
feat: Ray Bolger
3:23
15
feat: Ray Bolger
2:45
16 3:28
17 3:08 Amazon
18 2:22
19 3:40
20 3:07
21 4:23
blue highlight denotes track pick