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The Early Years at RKO

November 19, 2013 | Format: MP3

$14.99
Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
30
1
2:27
30
2
2:46
30
3
3:25
30
4
2:33
30
5
3:15
30
6
2:40
30
7
3:17
30
8
3:17
30
9
2:21
30
10
2:36
30
11
2:30
30
12
2:48
30
13
2:28
30
14
2:57
30
15
3:10
30
16
2:54
30
17
3:05
30
18
3:11
30
19
3:08
30
20
2:33
Disc 2
30
1
2:51
30
2
2:54
30
3
2:47
30
4
3:13
30
5
3:02
30
6
2:31
30
7
2:24
30
8
3:09
30
9
2:53
30
10
2:40
30
11
3:04
30
12
2:43
30
13
3:05
30
14
3:03
30
15
2:50
30
16
2:21
30
17
3:27
+
Digital Booklet: The Early Years at RKO
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: November 19, 2013
  • Release Date: November 19, 2013
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Masterworks
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:46:18
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00GHUURBE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,037 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By [KNDY] Dennis A. Amith TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 26, 2013
Format: MP3 Music
When I was a teenager in high school at the time who listened to popular music at the time but I always had a special place in my heart for the classics.

And for any classic film fan, you can't help but be enamored by Fred Astaire for his style, elegance and as he can dance, he can also sing.

Back in 1986, my first Fred Astaire album was "Fred Astaire: The Irving Berlin Songbook". Yes, that was the year when a lot of my classmates in high school were into the latest and greatest of rock n' roll and hip hop and whatever was seen on MTV, but for me, I was a teenager that would surprise the local record store owner by purchasing classics.

But I treasured that first cassette purchase featuring the music of Fred Astaire. It was my first introduction to how Astaire only worked with the best arrangers in the business at the time. It was my introduction that while there were other jazz singers that had better vocals, it was his delivery, his timing and the way he would have fun with the lyrics that caught my attention. I would listen to Fred Astaire so often, that I eventually worn out the cassette and of course, the following year, like many people around the world, I was deeply saddened by Astaire's death.

But decades later, I still enjoy Fred Astaire, from watching his magnificent films with Ginger Rogers and listening to a few other albums that were released, in 2013, I was surprised by the announcement that an album featuring his work with RKO would be released.
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Fred Astaire is thought of as a ultimate master of dance entertainment (and rightly so) but he was equally an articulate vocalist who made the Hit Parade numerous times throughout his career. For you younger folks, Fred Astaire WAS the Michael Jackson of the 1930's. If you know your Michael, you'll know he simply idolized Fred Astaire.

Songs written by the 20th century greats like Irvin Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer and others, you don't get dance tunes/jazz/swing/boogie/ragtime/easy listening/show tunes like this today. Truly, Fred Astaire delivers in this wonderful compilation of songs within the RKO musicals he was involved in. All tunes are digitally-remastered and are clear and crisp. One of the tunes has Mr. Astaire tapping away like mad which is breath-taking in itself just to hear. I'm sure you will be gob-smacked like I was when you hear how fast and how cleanly he can dance both in and off rhythm. This set alone is worth hearing his resplendent fleet feet work their magic with music.

Many thanks to the Astaire Estate for bringing forward the versatile talents of a 20th century icon that inspires others in the 21st century. They don't get any better than Mr. Astaire!
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This is a great set to get started in collecting the recordings of Fred Astaire.

Many of the transfers are wonderful, but some of them suffer from substandard source material and too much filtering on the part of the audio engineer. The tracks which have been released previously on Columbia/Legacy's Starring Fred Astaire are excellent; the ones which have had more limited exposure tend to be the ones which suffer. If you're tempted to chalk it up to the age of the material, I've heard other, of identical takes of the tracks featured here--specifically, "Night and Day." The version from THE CREAM OF FRED ASTAIRE (Great Recordings From 1926-1941) has more clicks and pops, but the music is clear, not scrubbed away as it is in the TCM CD.

Another great recording to be perused which is worth owning is Songs & Pictures 1928-1944.

That being said, the liner notes are brief but wonderful and generally the quality is good. Check it out!

*Another edit: My comments of the quality of transfers being superior on STARRING FRED ASTAIRE were originally based upon the LP edition released in 1973. I recently heard the CD version and was frankly dismayed at the muffled sound. It's probably worth buying the LP to hear the depth some of these recordings have. I wish Legacy would reissue these tracks using the master from the 1973 release instead of the one from the '89 CD version. Good luck, right?
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The standards of the Great American Songbook, as introduced by Fred Astaire in the movies for which many of them were originally written. Astaire is a unique vocalist with a style so distinctive and pleasing that he inspired people like the Gershwins, Berlin, Kern, and others to craft their best material for him.
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The old edition of these recordings, called "Starring Fred Astaire" on Columbia label sounds terribly muffled and obscured in comparison to this new edition. If you listen to both in a synchronized "A/B" comparison using two CD players, the improvement screams out, it is so obvious. On this new edition, Astaire's voice sounds so much more natural, much clearer and as if he were really with you. The instruments have far better definition and the tap dancing portions sound like real tap shoes on a stage. The old edition is so terrible in comparison, that it seems criminal that it was ever issued. It is a shame that some people who have the old edition might pass this up. I am very glad that I bought this version!
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