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4.7 out of 5 stars
173
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 August 2011
Ignore reviews referencing the original recordings and how this may be inferior. The whole idea of this record was to produce, again, a score from these wonderful musicals from very little reference. This is a modern recording created from intense study, mostly by ear and investment of an incredible amount of time.
Solo vocal performances are particularly fulfilling to listen to, clear and articulate yet tonally faithful to the era wishing to be represented. Of note are several performances by Seth MacFarlane, unexpected and a welcome surprise as many will know him for his other talents.
An incredible feat of arrangement and conducting, not simply a nostalgic black and white look at entertainment from a time gone by, but lush orchestral music indeed played back in Technicolor.
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on 29 August 2011
What can one say?
This so good,that I played 3 X Times on- the- Trot
The Highlight,for me,was the Barn Dance from "Seven Brides foe Seven Brothers"
A real Revelation.
Anyway,all the tracks are fantastic
Keep up the Good Work,John
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on 31 August 2011
On first listening to "That's Entertainment" I was moved to tears.The sound was so fresh and contemporary yet contained all the elements of the original MGM music which sent tingles down your spine. You are a truly talented man, John and please, please continue to make so many people happy through your brilliant scoring, conducting and sourcing of great musicians who share your vision.
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on 4 September 2011
Brilliant! I already have the DVD of the 2009 BBC Prom but am so glad that most of the content from that concert has been recorded onto CD so now I can listen to it anywhere, especially in the car! John Wilson has created a truly spectacular orchestra and deserves the highest praise for painstakingly recreating these glorious scores which were so 'highly valued' by MGM that they dumped the lot under a golf course (sacrilege!). My personal favourites are Barn Dance from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Heather on the Hill sung by Matthew Ford (delicious) and The Trolley Song sung by Kim Criswell. As no one else has mentioned them so far, can I also raise a cheer for the Maida Vale Singers who recreated the sound of the original chorus so brilliantly. I was a little disappointed that Who Wants To be A Millionaire was left out which was sung by Seth McFarlane and Kim Criswell at the Prom but perhaps it wasn't possible to squeeze all the songs from the Prom onto one CD. Also, Matthew Ford sang Seth's part in That's Entertainment. I was hoping to hear Seth doing his lines again in the voice of Stewie but that's a minor quibble! If you love MGM musicals you will love this. Highly recommended.
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on 2 September 2011
Absolutely brilliant! Another triumph for the John Wilson Orchestra. They manage to reproduce the energy of their Proms debut on the CD. Every track is a winner but, for me, the stand outs are The Heather on the Hill (for the beautiful sound of the strings), the Broadway Melody Ballet (for the trumpet solo in particular), Steppin' Out With My Baby (for the brilliant intro.) and Barn Dance (because it's just so exciting and exuberant!). The sound is so slick and polished - it's been very well produced. The vocalists are on fine form, especially Kim Criswell. The DVD in the deluxe edition is a lovely 'extra'. I only wish that the documentary was longer as I could listen to John Wilson talking about musicals for hours! The sing-a-long is also great fun. The booklet is interesting and informative. I only hope that this is the first of many CDs/DVDs from the supremely talented John Wilson and his orchestra. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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on 14 September 2011
I bought the Deluxe Edition of this CD, with the DVD that shows the 'making of', an interview with John Wilson, music video's and 5 sing-a-long tracks. The CD is brilliant and captures a large portion of the music that was presented in the famous MGM prom concert of 2009. The recording was made in Abbey Road Studios (studio no 2) and once again John Wilson has meticulously put together his wonderful orchestra and chosen the very best vocalists to interpret these classic arrangements. One change from the concert is the addition of Matthew Ford, whose voice is better suited IMO than Curtis Stigers to sing 'Heather on the Hill' and 'Broadway Melody'.

If I was reviewing the CD alone, I would give it 5 stars, even though it is clear that both versions of the CD are missing a track? (From the 'making of' it shows that a recording was made of 'Get Happy' with Kim Criswell on vocals, yet curiously it does not appear on either version of the CD?)

What lets down the package is the woeful DVD accompanying it. I bought it thinking we would have an indepth 'making of', but instead we get 10 mins. Whilst those 10 mins are very interesting, I would have thought for a project such as this it wouldn't have hurt EMI to have produced a documentary length feature of at least 30 mins? Then the interview with JW - again very good, but doesn't even last 5 mins. What we are left with is 2 music videos of tracks we have already seen portions of in the 'making of' and 5 sing-along tracks (not of particular interest to me). The liner notes are quite good, but this is hardly worth the extra £[] you have to pay. Come on EMI - you can do much better than this!

In short - I recommend you buy the CD, but save yourself the extra £[] and avoid the Deluxe Edition. Remember you can see one quarter of the 'making of' free on Amazon, in the related video just below the CD.
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on 31 August 2011
Ignore the one star review........"it has no character".........I'd like to see someone define "character" in this context. I'd presume you'll know the songs, and doubts, subliminally, you'll recognize the arrangements from the original performances, without perhaps understanding the elements that were involved in pulling it all together......precious few people do (and I ain't one of them). Well, John Wilson's labour of love faithfully re-creates those masterful arrangements, and due to the wonders of the digital age, captures them beautifully.......there are moments of staggering beauty within this album (and that coming from an analogue devotee).
I have the original recordings.......and I therefore also have the recording flaws held therein. This piece of work doesn't seek to diminish or replace Judy Garland or Gene Kelly's work.....it ain't possible. However, it most certainly DOES allow the contemporary listener to hear and understand the nuances of the orchestral arrangements as they were written, but in a clarity and fidelity that previously did not exist.
A thoroughly uplifting compilation of work, and two very enthusiastic thumbs up from me.
11 comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This CD is the result of John Wilson's painstaking reconstruction, from Metro Goldwyn Mayer film soundtracks, of the scores for some of the greatest musicals ever written. It's a fascinating story, which John recounts in his introduction to the exemplary booklet. That sets out both the lyrics, and the musicians involved in the stunning interpretations. The recording quality is to die for, and I cannot praise this wonderful compilation too highly
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on 5 May 2012
I bought this disc together with the BBC Proms DVD show of the same musical content. Despite the fact that it is more much exciting to see the concert live with the CD the listener has a chance to enjoy the concert in a lossless sound quality. Of course, it will up to BBC/2 Entertain to come up with a Blu-Ray edition, in which case this CD would surely be surpassed.

Until then, this is the best source for listening to the music and in a way not being concurrently distracted by any other form of perception. Highly recommended.
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on 5 September 2011
Bought the CD/DVD on pre-order, as I follow JWO around UK as a massive fan.
Music great, but not listened to in entirety.
Book brilliant, and it's a great package. But I'm a little disappointed with the DVD.
The way its presented on screen, cut together is stunning, but it's not very long.
I guess maybe 20-30 minutes. I would have loved to see the whole recording CD/tracks with Abbey road studio shots just like those given..
Other than that a must JWO souvenir to have and to hold!
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