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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb 20's and 30's billy cotton material, 19 Feb 2009
odeon (Oakland, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pennies From Heaven (Audio CD)
Perhaps one of the only compilations released to date of late 1920's and early 1930's Billy Cotton sides, most of the tracks dating from the apex of Cotton's recording career at the dawn of the 30's. At least one track ("That Rhythm Man") appears to have been taken from a mid-to-late-20's Metropole record and as such is a comparative rarity. The remainder of the album follows Cotton's transition to the Regal and Columbia labels in the early 30's, and finally to Regal-Zonophone in 1933. "I Wanna Be Loved By You" and "Somebody Loves You" are particularly notable, as much for the distinctive early-30's Cotton sound as for the vocals by Cyril Grantham. "Not For All The Rice In China" and "Now That You're Gone" are both stellar versions, and the treatment of "Leave The Pretty Girls Alone" - essentially a novelty fox-trot - is a pleasant surprise, particularly due to the orchestration behind the vocal.

Cotton's band spent the majority of the 20's playing the British dance hall and variety circuit, and what is perhaps the hallmark of the early-30's "Cotton sound" - striking, rhythmic treatments with a remarkably lush tone - was developed during this period. A 1930 article in The Gramophone, published prior to Cotton's residency at London's smart Ciro's Club, expressed doubt as to whether the band would be able to attain the sophistication necessary for such a posh West End venue. The 1930-1932 Cotton recordings on Columbia and Regal come as something of a revelation, as they combine a most elegant treatment of the numbers in question with a driving rhythm that is almost without parallel. This album would have benefitted greatly from the inclusion of a few more 1930-1931 Columbia/Regal recordings; "Sunshine And Roses," "Hold Me," and the incomparable "Now You're In My Arms" come instantly to mind. However, for the price, the selection and transfer quality can't be faulted; it's interesting to note that the sound quality throughout the album is generally more than excellent - without the diminished bass and intensified treble which seem to plague so many higher-priced dance band reissues. A score for the price and of most definite interest to connoisseurs of the great British dance bands.
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5.0 out of 5 stars tv, 12 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Pennies From Heaven (Audio CD)
this music from the tv sieries of the same name great to listen to i would reccomend this cd thanks.
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Pennies From Heaven
Pennies From Heaven by Billy Cotton (Audio CD - 2008)
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