This is a glorious celebration of Monroe’s singing talent as opposed to
her overpowering ‘star’ talent or looks. Too few remember beyond the lips or
the figure. So here’s the best sort of reminder possible.
The Diamond Collection is simply 5 films recently re-released by 20th
Century Fox. Appropriately, the album opens with Alfred Newman’s immortal studio
fanfare. Newman is an essential part of the entire disc in fact, either as Musical
Director overseeing all, or as outright composer on How To Marry A Millionaire
and The Seven Year Itch. From Millionaire we get three instrumentals.
His mood defining "Street Scene", "Hanley’s Theme"
as well as "New York" from brother Lionel. From Seven Year
Itch there’s his "Main Title", "A Dream"
and "The Girl Upstairs".
Also in the collection of 5 are Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There’s
No Business Like Show Business and Bus Stop. With these we’re treated
to Monroe’s breathy vocals. Blondes has her in duets with Jane Russell
for "Two Little Girls From Little Rock" (with a bonus final
track of isolated vocal tracks), "When Love Goes Wrong" and
"Bye Bye Baby". Russell sings "Ain’t There Anyone
Here For Love" solo. Show Business has her teaming up with Donald
O’ Connor and Mitzi Gaynor for "Lazy", going solo on "Heat
Wave", while the title track is covered by Ethel Merman. Bus Stop
only features once with "The Bus Stop Song (A Paper Of Pins)"
which is performed by The Four Lads.
Two extra tracks dropped in hail from Daddy Long Legs, with Fred Astaire
crooning "Something’s Got To Give."
Hopefully an album like this will find more than just an audience of die-hard
fans. Monroe’s increasingly muddied reputation deserves to be better represented
as it is here.