July 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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George M COHAN
The Music of George M Cohan: Yankee Doodle Dandy  
  OST. Music arranged and conducted by Ray Heindorf. Recorded at Warner Bros Studios Burbank, California. Autumn 1941
  RHINO R2 78210   [51:14]

Yankee Doodle Dandy

The charm and appeal of Yankee Doodle Dandy remains as fresh and appealing as ever 60 years after its release just as the USA was entering World War II. Its overt patriotism struck a chord there and sounded the bugle call of hope for the allies in war-torn Europe. But beyond that its heart-warming story of song and dance man and impresario George M. Cohan played with unforgettable zest and style by James Cagney (deservedly winning a best-actor Academy Award).

Who can forget such wonderful numbers as Give My Regards to Broadway, Harrigan, Mary's a Grand Old Name; and Over There. They're all here together with many of those dialogue excerpts that have clung in our memories and which were first captured on those wonderful Warner Bros Silver 50th Anniversary LP boxed sets.

Rhino's presentation has a sumptuous 20-page booklet full of stills from the film and fullsome notes by George Feltenstein about the life and career of George M. Cohan and about the Warner Bros film. This recording marks the first authorised release of the film's entire soundtrack score. It includes several alternate takes and demos.

Music that is now an institution and an indispensable part of Hollywood's grand tradition. This album is therefore beyond criticism.

Ian Lace

[Not rated]

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