Picks and Pans Review: Judy
Judy Garland (32 Records)
Garland was nothing if not a colorful performer, and this four-CD set tracks her career from her days as the 7-year-old prodigy of the Gumm Sisters singing "Blue Butterfly" in 1929 to her final 1969 concert engagement in London. Garland never met a song she couldn't upstage, and there are plenty of examples of that, most egregiously a bombastic 1963 version of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Ironically, her singing was more subtle and sensitive when she was younger, and her rendition of "You Made Me Love You," from the film Broadway Melody of 1938, provides an especially touching moment. She also seemed to devote special care to "Over the Rainbow," as she did even in her last London concerts. Still, the most musically satisfying track is a 1963 TV duet of "The Lonesome Road" with Bobby Darin, whose spirited spontaneity contrasted with Garland's calculated histrionics.
Also included is a half-hour videotape of highlights from Garland's 1963-64 TV program. Among its treats: a duet with daughter Liza Minnelli, then 17.
Bottom Line: Revealing vocal portrait of an icon
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