The Best Of Judy Garland: 20th Century Masters (Millennium Collection)

This anthology (which replaces and upgrades the popular Best of the Decca Years) celebrates Judy Garland in the blush of youth, singing classics that have enchanted successive generations with their haunting tenderness. Includes “Over the Rainbow,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Dear Mr. Gable: You Made Me Love You,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Embraceable You,” “For

This anthology (which replaces and upgrades the popular Best of the Decca Years) celebrates Judy Garland in the blush of youth, singing classics that have enchanted successive generations with their haunting tenderness. Includes “Over the Rainbow,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Dear Mr. Gable: You Made Me Love You,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Embraceable You,” “For Me And My Gal” (with Gene Kelly), “The Trolley Song,” “Swanee” and more!If Judy Garland had been born in the ’80s instead of the ’20s, she’d have followed the usual path taken by today’s teens on their way to stardom, if not exactly legend: she’d have been on Star Search; joined the new Mickey Mouse Club; gigged around Orlando, Florida; and then been drafted to lip-synch to Swedish-produced pop songs. Luckily for us, she came around at a time when genuine talent was not just discovered and then packaged, but was given material to work with that was worthy of it. Garland was still a teenager when she recorded some of the songs included on this collection, including a number of tunes by George and Ira Gershwin (“I Got Rhythm,” “Embraceable You,” “Swanee”), duets with Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly, and several immortal tunes from her films, including “Over the Rainbow,” “On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe,” and “Meet Me in St. Louis.” Her personal troubles came later, so everything on this set is bright and upbeat. –Daniel Durchholz