10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not quite titled correctly, but still nice to listen to,
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This review is from: Instrumental Gems of the Fifties (Audio CD)
As a couple of other reviewers state, this CD set has a couple of items that I wouldn't call "instrumental." One, Percy Faith/Felicia Sanders on "The Song from Moulin Rouge," happens to be one of my all-time favorites, and the other, Billy Vaughn/Ken Nordine on "The Shifting Whispering Sands," is a fiendishly hard to find piece, especially if you are looking for the whole thing (it ran about twice as long as a typical '50s hit!) so I have to forgive the producers for their lapses.
Some of the songs on here overlap another CD I reviewed earlier, "Big Hits of the '50s," and I'd rather not have the overlap, but this is something hard to avoid these days. And it has some truly hard to find pieces (like the abovementioned "Shifting Whispering Sands," and the Dick Hyman version of "Moritat," which sounds totally different from the versions appearing under the name of "Mack the Knife"), so that even with that overlap, I'm glad I have both CDs in my collection.
Anyone who likes the pre-rock'n'roll era's music is sure to find some favorites on here. There are a couple of pieces where I'd consider that the version on this CD set is not the top version (It has Ralph Marterie's version of "Skokiaan" rather than the Bulowayo Sweet Rhythms Band's, and certainly Les Baxter's is not the definitive version of "Unchained Melody" -- but if you are stressing instrumentals, Baxter's would be the one you'd select, of course). But even in those cases, the versions did make the charts as well as the top versions, so they can be accepted. And over all, this is a nice set to listen to.
All in all, considering all the pieces I've mentioned, as well as the last Big Band pieces to chart (the '50s are certainly after the Big Band era, but Jimmy Dorsey had a hit with "So Rare" as late as the middle of the decade! And it's on this set.) This is a great collection.