Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Not really 'Latest', but definitely comes equipped with some 'Greatest'
on 1 July 2013
I bought this very recently as a gift for a lady I was rather half-heartedly trying to pursue in some sort of romantic way. I vaguely remembered having a conversation with her about how much she apparently hated musicals of every description. Well, naturally I have great respect for her opinion. But she's clearly barmy. Determined to open her eyes to a world of reasonably modern musical wonders, I went out and paid good money for this 3CD set. And then I really rather wished I hadn't. Oh, I don't regret buying it in the first place... giving it to her was where things went wrong. On the plus side though, I have got myself a nice new box set.
This little lot was put together in 2009, so the word 'Latest' in the title of it is perhaps something of a misnomer. The sleeve notes reveal the facts of the matter, although they do seem to suggest that Marilyn Monroe's fine recording of 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend' was made in 2001. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that, especially as she sounds so young in this recording. The sound quality of all of the songs is excellent though, it's not just her.
With the likes of Julie Andrews, Michael Crawford and Michael Ball around, the word 'Greatest' is a lot more convincing. Some of the more modern stuff is perhaps not to my taste - the Grizzly Ghouls' interpretation of 'Thriller' for instance left me frozen, never mind cold. Phillip Schofield's attempt at 'singing' 'Talk To The Animals' fares little better, I'm afraid. I hope the creatures he chats to have a higher boredom threshold than me, that's all I can say. Otherwise it's likely to be a very one-sided conversation.
However, there are so many great tracks to discover that it's easy to forgive (and then, if you're lucky, completely forget) the odd naff one. 'Memory', sung here by Barbara Dickson, is a beautiful song even though it can reduce me to tears at the drop of a hat. On the other hand, 'Anything Goes' makes me feel so deliriously happy that I just want to rush off and give everyone a 'glimpse of stocking' or go and get matey with a few gigolos. That is to say, it makes me want to sing along with it and perhaps attempt a few dance moves. That sounds a bit better really, doesn't it?
I feel sure that the lady for whom I bought this would have competely fallen in love with the whole idea of musical theatre (and maybe even me as well - after all, I think we've already established that she's barmy)... if only she had chosen to actually open this box set as opposed to chucking it angrily back at me. That was never going to happen of course, not when I had so obviously not listened to her at all. Thankfully she did at least confine herself to the relatively innocuous 'You never listen to me!' department of female ire and didn't branch out into anything from the 'You just don't understand me, do you?!' shelf. A man can really tie himself into knots with that one, I can tell you. Anyway, I knew where I wasn't welcome. I took Barbara Dickson and (very reluctantly) Phillip Schofield, and I left.
All is not lost though. She hasn't completely closed the door on the idea of us forming some kind of relationship; I just need to wait for hell to freeze over, that's all. Until then, at least I've got my 'Memory'.