It's De Lovely - the Authentic Cole Porter Collection
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It's De Lovely - the Authentic Cole Porter Collection
It's De Lovely - The Authentic Cole Porter Collection
It's De Lovely - The Authentic Cole Porter Collection cover.jpg
Compilation album by
ReleasedJune 22, 2004 (2004-06-22)
RecordedMay 4-5, 2004 (Tracks 1 and 2)
1928-1962 (All others)
GenreTraditional pop
Length60:07
LabelBluebird(RCA), BMG

It's De Lovely - The Authentic Cole Porter Collection is a 2004 compilation album featuring music by American composer Cole Porter presented by Bluebird Records. The album solely contains compositions by Cole Porter performed by his contemporaries who were also under contract to RCA Victor and its subsidiary, Bluebird.

In addition, it features two tracks recorded by Porter himself in 1934 for the Victor Corporation and overdubbed with additional instrumentation by Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks.

Both overdubbed tracks have been featured in video games: "You're the Top" in 2007's BioShock and "Anything Goes" in 2008's Fallout 3, 2015's Fallout 4 and 2018's Fallout 76.

The album was released just prior to the July 2, 2004 premier of the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely starring Kevin Kline. The original 1934 version of "You're the Top" plays over the end credits.

Recording

From the liner notes written by jazz critic Will Friedwald:

"What's special about this collection is that the selections you will hear are of Porter's own era, the performances that he himself heard when the songs were still fresh...Yet though the range of performers is extremely diverse, they all have two things in common. First, there's the unifying factor of Porter's music itself - whether it's being essayed by Sonny Rollins, Leo Reisman or Dinah Shore, or blown up through the a [sic] big band, these are the important Cole Porter songs from his own era. The second is that all these artists were under contract to RCA Victor, the recording company committed to recording Porter's music, including those sections featuring Cole Porter himself."

"This current collection illustrates Cole Porter's eternal topicality in more ways than one; now, for the first time, we have Cole Porter, singing his own songs, with full orchestral accompaniment. Porter himself was far from a virtuoso pianist like his younger contemporary George Gershwin, nor did he take the occasional opportunity to put his voice down on wax, like Harold Arlen. He enjoyed singing and playing his own songs at parties, but that was principally when he was young and unknown; once the great stars began singing his music, he no longer felt the urge to do so himself. In 1934 and '35, Porter recorded eight rather modest tracks for the Victor Corporation, including, most importantly, a few future standards from his most recent Broadway hit, Anything Goes, The tracks sound like songwriter demos, and, as comedian Bert Lahr (who starred in two Porter shows), observed, "Cole was a horrible piano player. He played with a slow, wooden tempo. If you didn't know who it was, you'd think it was a learner."

"But at the same time, this is authentic Cole Porter, and thanks to producer Barry Feldman and bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Vince Giordano, the Cole Porter Victor tracks are no longer mere historical curiosities. Now we can hear what Porter would have sounded like had he taken his singing seriously enough to work with a stylish, modern dance orchestra of the art deco era. To make sure the band parts would have an absolutely authentic mid-'30s sound, Mr. Giordano unearthed six different charts on each song, including four from the band book of the period bandleader Arnold Johnson (who, coincidentally, had employed a young Harold Arlen as arranger and vocalist a few years earlier). Mr. Giordano and his aide-de-camp banjo-guitarist John Gill combined aspects of the different arrangements, and then finessed them to fit around the Porter recordings."

"Where the orchestrations are for dance purposes, which is to say that they're predominantly instrumentals, with brief one-chorus vocal refrains in the middle (an usually a modulation to the vocal), the Porter performances are essentially vocal from beginning to end. Adjustments had to be made for the key for Anything Goes (Porter sings, surprisingly, in B flat, a full step below the published key of C, which is the key that the orchestrations are in). Vince notes that this idea of improving upon a classical recording after the fact is also part of the Victor Records heritage; a decade or so after the death of Enrico Caruso, Victor house musical director Nathaniel Shilkret added a modern, electrically recorded symphony orchestra to some of the great tenor's originally acoustically recorded masters. Nearly 70 years later, Giordano and his Nighthawks - now expanded to include a three-piece string section - listened with headphones to the composer's performance of 70 years ago to make sure everything synced up perfectly."

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [1]
All About Jazz4/4 stars [2]

Packaging and artwork

The CD is styled to resemble the black and gold "scroll" label of the Victor Talking Machine Company. The back of the liner notes features a facsimile of the original 78 rpm shellac record and record sleeve of the American issue of Cole Porter's vocal rendition of "You're the Top" (Catalog No. 24766).

The liner notes also contain scans of portions of the 1934 Victor recording contract signed by Cole Porter and company president Eli Wallerstein along with the recording session index card for "Anything Goes" (Catalog No. 24825).

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Cole Porter. All tracks except for 1 and 2 have been previously issued.

No.TitleMusicRecording dateLength
1."Anything Goes"Cole Porter with Vince Giordano and The NighthawksNovember 27, 1934 (overdubbing: May 4, 2004)3:11
2."You're the Top"Cole Porter with Vince Giordano and The NighthawksNovember 26, 1934 (overdubbing: May 5, 2004)3:27
3."Begin the Beguine"Artie Shaw and his orchestraJuly 24, 19383:16
4."From This Moment On"Lena Horne with Lennie Hayton and his orchestraApril 4, 19561:57
5."You Do Something to Me"Sonny Rollins and Jim HallJanuary 30, 19626:47
6."It's De-Lovely"Shorty Rogers and his GiantsApril 19, 19572:30
7."Night and Day"Frank Sinatra with Axel Stordahl and his orchestraJanuary 19, 19423:05
8."Let's Misbehave"Irving Aaronson and his Commanders with Phil Saxe and ChorusMarch 1, 19282:53
9."Don't Fence Me In"Roy Rogers19522:47
10."You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To"Dinah Shore with Paul Wetstein and his orchestraJuly 30, 19422:55
11."I Love Paris"Coleman Hawkins with Manny Albam and his orchestraJuly 9, 19563:33
12."Easy to Love"Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and his orchestraSeptember 25, 19363:13
13."Just One of Those Things"Lena Horne with Lennie Hayton and his orchestraMarch 4, 19572:02
14."What Is This Thing Called Love?"Leo Reisman and his orchestra with Lewis Conrad and Bubber MileyJanuary 30, 19303:20
15."I've Got You Under My Skin"Paul Desmond with Bob Prince and his orchestra19624:34
16."I Get a Kick Out of You"Tommy Dorsey and his orchestraJanuary 4, 19502:55
17."Night and Day"Leo Reisman and his orchestra with Fred AstaireNovember 22, 19323:28
18."You Do Something to Me"Rosemary Clooney with Perez Prado and his orchestraAugust 15, 19591:35
19."Night and Day"Juan García Esquivel and his orchestraJanuary 29, 19582:39

Personnel

References


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