Musical Comedy 1909-1935
Music and Lyrics By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Ah, the musical comedies of the pre-World War II era. In those years, the comedies werenít big on storyline or plot, but the biggest thing that those comedies did for the industry was give rise to some of the biggest names in songwriting to date. On January 18, 2011, Masterworks Broadway released Musical Comedy 1909-1935, a digitally downloadable compilation album featuring sixteen songs from musical comedies of the pre-WWII era.
Musical Comedy 1909-1935 features songs from The Ziegfeld Follies, Little Miss Fix-It, Hit the Deck, Sweet Adeline, Anything Goes and more performed by such musical greats as Cole Porter, Fanny Brice, J. Harold Murray and more. Having been previously unavailable in any format other than vinyl, these tracks sound as old as they are, complete with that phonograph scratch in the background.
Iím not really sure I can do this album justice. I havenít seen a great many movies from that era and most of the ones I have seen were not musicals. The music from that era was very different and not really my style. Nonetheless, I decided to give this album a shot and take a listen.
One track I recognized right away is Youíre the Top sung by Cole Porter for Anything Goes. The song is funny and witty and I have always enjoyed it. Another song that caught my fancy and made me chuckle was Second Hand Rose, sung by Fanny Brice in The 1921 Ziegfeld Follies. The song discusses the thrifty attributes of a woman who will not by anything that isnít used. Another catchy tune was Iíve Got Rings on My Fingers performed in an Irish brogue by Blanche Ring for The Midnight Sons.
Although I enjoyed those tracks, admittedly, this album was not for me. However, that is not to say that someone who enjoyed the movies and music of that era wouldnít absolutely love Musical Comedy 1909-1935 with its authentic sound and variety of songs. The selections are diverse and performed by some of the greatest artists of the time, making this album a perfect addition to any pre-WWII era music and movie fan.