Most of the volumes in the William B. Williams Make-Believe Ballroom series of box sets, available via mail order exclusively through American Express, are various-artists collections of vintage pop music. But volume 11 of the series is devoted entirely to Judy Garland, its four LPs containing 40 tracks by the legendary singer. The material is drawn from the recordings Garland made for Capitol Records between 1955 and 1964, a randomly sequenced distillation of the albums Miss Show Business (1955), Judy (1956), Alone (1957), Judy in Love (1958), Judy! That's Entertainment (1960), Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961), The Garland Touch (1962), I Could Go on Singing (1963), and Just for Openers (1964). (There doesn't seem to be anything from Garland at the Grove , The Letter , or "Live" at the London Palladium .) Several of these albums, especially Judy and Judy in Love, which were arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, and Alone, which was arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins, work better in their original form than when their tracks are divvied up and arbitrarily juxtaposed with the wildly different moods of Garland's live recordings. But the Capitol years find the mature Garland singing a diverse collection of material -- mostly standards, to be sure -- with great authority. The package itself has little to recommend it. The four discs are housed in a box with a two-page appreciation by Bill Reed and a song list that contains typos and discrepancies from what is actually on the LPs. Sides A and B of record three are reversed on this list, and the fifth track on Side A of record four is listed as "Together Wherever We Go," when it is really, as the record label notes, "Lucky Day." The One & Only box set is a far superior compilation of the Capitol material.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann