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BORN TO DANCE - Classic, witty '30s MGM/Cole PORTER musical.

BORN TO DANCE - Classic, witty '30s MGM/Cole PORTER musical.

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Published by Ross Care
Review of complete Rhino CD soundtrack. Alfred NEWMAN conducts, James Stewart SINGS!
Review of complete Rhino CD soundtrack. Alfred NEWMAN conducts, James Stewart SINGS!

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Published by: Ross Care on Aug 07, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/07/2011

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Composer/Songs: Cole Porter Arrangements/Orchestrations: Edward Powell, (“Easy To Love” orchestrated by Powell and Leo Arnaud)
 Born To Dance
Rhino Handmade RHM 27778, TT: 66.29, 18 tracks (mono and stereo)
****
QuintessentialProducer: George Feltenstein, Performed: MGM Soloists, Studio Orchestra & Chorus, Musical Director,Alfred Newman
by Ross Care
My admittedly biased opinion that Cole Porter is probably
the
greatest American songwriter (Ionce wrote a major Porter appreciation for the Library of Congress) has apparently been vindicated bythe recent Porter media blitz. Four major Porter MGM musicals (including
 Kiss Me Kate
and
Silk Stockings
) have been remastered on DVD, and the Rhino Handmade CD series which recently reissued
The Pirate
, has also released Porter’s first major original film score, MGM’s 1936
 Born To Dance
.
 Born To Dance
was developed as a starring vehicle for MGM’s new dancing star of the 1930s,Eleanor Powell, but also introduced two of Porter’s most enduring vocal standards, “Easy To Love,” and“I’ve Got You Under My Skin”. Porter recycled the former from a Broadway show in which the leadingman was intimidated by the song’s octave and a half range, but, apparently unaware of its vocal demands,a young James Stewart delivers a beguilingly artless rendition. His ensuing duet with Powell (voice-doubled by Marjorie Lane) is followed by an elaborate set of orchestral dance variations that commencein a sleek, almost 1950s mode, and climax with a nod to Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours”. Porter out-Berlins Irving Berlin with “Rap Tap On Wood,” one of the most infectious and rag-ish tunes Cole ever wrote. Both “Easy” and “Rap Tap” are presented in stereo that must make them two of the earliestHollywood numbers yet presented in true spatial sound. (While the instrumentals are admittedly thrillinglike this, the new mix does tend to overwhelm the vocals just a tad).Aside from its great solos
Born To Dance
features several equally elaborate ensemble numbers.“Love Me, Love My Pekinese,” a droll operetta pastiche/parody, somehow manages to fuse Kurt Weill,Gilbert and Sullivan, the sailor’s hornpipe, and a grandiose Navy chorus into a uniquely high campmoment, as funny on CD as in the film. In contrast, another piece, “Hey, Babe, Hey,” is one of the mostdeliberately corny (yet appealing) MGM numbers prior to “You Can Count On Me” from the later 
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