July 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings / July /


Broadway Melody of 1940   - M-G-M Musical
Rosalie (as bonus material) -1937 M-G-M musical
Music and Lyrics by   Cole Porter
  Available on: Rhino RHM2 7601  
Running Time:56:37
Only available at Rhinohandmade.com.

broadway melody 1940

Broadway Melody of 1940 - yes, this is the M-G-M musical that has that unmatched classic tap routine by Fred Astaire and ‘The Queen of Tap’, Eleanor Powell, danced to ‘Begin the Beguine.’ It was celebrated in the smash-hit, 1974 M-G-M musicals compilation That’s Entertainment with Frank Sinatra’s voice-over claiming "you can look for a lifetime but, believe me, you’ll never find a routine to equal this…"

This CD is a bargain because you have two M-G-M musicals with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. There are eleven bonus tracks from Rosalie (why didn’t Rhino give equal prominence, on this album’s booklet, to this charming 1937 musical?) with six tracks starring M-G-M’s heart-throb baritone, Nelson Eddy.

Besides ‘Begin the Beguine’, Broadway Melody of 1940, boasts such classic Cole Porter standards as: ‘I’ve got my eyes on you’ (with Fred showing his pianistic as well as his dancing skills); the intense romantic ballad ‘I concentrate on you’ performed by Douglas MacPhail with a typically luscious orchestral and choral version following; and then there is Fred and George Murphy’s sardonic plea, ‘Please don’t monkey with Broadway’

From Rosalie there is Nelson Eddy singing: one of Cole Porter’s loveliest songs, ‘In the still of the night’ (making rather heavy weather of it surprisingly) and the title song ‘Rosalie’ plus two stirring marching songs, ‘It’s all over but the shouting’ and ‘To love or not to love.’ Eleanor Powell performs ‘I’ve a strange new rhythm in my heart (including reference to ‘Night and Day’)’ and ‘West Point drill routine’.

Most of this material appears on disc for the first time and there are extended versions of some numbers and outtakes (including the delightful dance music for ‘I know its not meant for me’ performed by the M-G-M Studio Orchestra, a piece omitted from Rosalie. The 16-page booklet maintains the standard already set by RHINO for these M-G-M musicals releases with many film stills and interesting factual material about the production of Broadway Melody of 1940 but, alas, nothing about Rosalie, another memorable vehicle for the talents of Eleanor Powell.

Something special for all admirers of vintage M-G-M musicals.

Ian Lace

****(*) 41/2

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