Original Soundtrack

Yolanda & The Thief & Fleet's in

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This unlicensed Italian disc features music mastered directly from the soundtracks of two Hollywood musicals of the 1940s. Yolanda and the Thief (1945) was a fantasy starring Fred Astaire and Lucille Bremer, with a song score by Arthur Freed and Harry Warren. It is not one of Astaire's better-remembered efforts, and the music is dominated by a couple of extended dance sequences, "Will You Marry Me," a "dream ballet" that runs more than 16 minutes, and "Coffee Time." The Fleet's In (1942), which appeared scant months after Pearl Harbor, was an attempt to spin the war into a romantic, zesty matter instead of the debacle it initially appeared to be. The film was also a vehicle for the popular swing band Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra, featuring the group and its singers Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell, and made the outfit even more popular by introducing three songs composed by director Victor Schertzinger with lyrics by Johnny Mercer that went on to become chart hits: "Tangerine," "I Remember You," and "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry." It also introduced two musical comediennes to the silver screen, Betty Hutton and Cass Daley. Both proved to be energetic to the point of being frantic, Hutton notably on "If You Build a Better Mousetrap" and Daley on "Tomorrow You Belong to Uncle Sammy," with a lyric full of parodies of popular songs of the day. Unfortunately, the sound quality here is mediocre, and the annotations questionable, with Daley getting her name misspelled and no mention that Bremer's singing was dubbed by Trudy Erwin.

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