Nostalgia

04-197208XX 10“Garbo” M.G.M. 2353 059 (Mono)
“The Dancing Years” Sunset SLS 50313 Stereo

Initially, the soundtracks from the inscrutable Garbo’s famous films, most of which are featured on the record, seem quite camp and entertaining. Some of the lines are poignantly modem in their political comment – “Don’t make an issue of my womanhood”. (About Russia) “I have been fascinated by your five year plan for the last 15 years.” Nevertheless, I began to get rather bored about half way through the first side. Seemingly, film soundtracks, music excepted, rarely transfer successfully to records, seeming to lose their impetus when devoid of the visual accompaniment they were written for. I will concede however, that I am not really a Garbo fan, and the real addicts will probably find the record a lot more compelling than I did. The introduction by Walter Pidgeon on Side one sounds exactly like an American television commercial trying to sell the newest and whitest washing powder to middle-aged housewives.

“The Dancing Years – Evergreen Songs from the movies of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, played by the Sunset Dance Orchestra,” is a selection of well known bouncy numbers from Fred and Ginger’s 1930’s films. While the sleeve states the record is approved by the “Official Board of Ballroom Dancing”, most of us I expect, won’t be dancing the foxtrot while listening to the record, but just relaxing and hoping the person in our arms, can’t remember that far back. Most of the universally enjoyable evergreens are featured – “Top Hot White Tie and Tails, Cheek to Cheek Lets face the Music and Dance, Smoke gets in your Eyes,” etc. etc. The sound quality is exceptionally good for a cheap label record and the sound of the orchestra fairly authentic 1930’s.