CD 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Les Paul (CD 139493),
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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Les Paul

  • 1. Blue Skies
    2. Begin the Beguine
    3. Dream Dust
    4. Dark Eyes
    5. It's Been A Long, Long Time
    6. Hawaiian Paradise
    7. Rumors Are Flying
    8. Steel Guitar Rag
    9. Somebody Loves Me
    10. Guitar Boogie
    11. Caravan
    12. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 112740

  • Credits
    ProducerAndy McKaie (Compilation)

    Personnel includes: Les Paul (guitar); Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Dick Haymes (vocals).
    Recorded between 1944 and 1947. Includes liner notes by Joseph F. Laredo.
    Digitally remastered by Mark Omann (universal Mastering Studios-West, Hollywood, California).
    This would be more properly titled "The Best of Les Paul at Decca," as all 12 of the songs are taken from his slim body of 1944-1947 Decca recordings. That isn't to say that these aren't quality tracks that are of substantial importance to Paul's discography, only that they certainly aren't among his best or most popular, particularly as none of them were done with Mary Ford. That qualification out of the way, these lead off with four good small-combo instrumental jazz sides from 1944, including "Begin the Beguine" and Irving Berlin's "Blue Sides," in which Paul's speedy, nimble runs are already well in evidence. Less interesting to Paul fans, since Paul is less in the forefront, are sides on which he accompanies the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, and Dick Haymes. Filling out the program are more instrumentals, including the 1945 instrumental "Hawaiian Paradise" and four 1947 tracks, among them his versions of "Steel Guitar Rag," "Caravan," and Arthur Smith's "Guitar Boogie." Because Paul had yet to record his pioneering multi-track overdubs, this early work isn't nearly as important as what he would record during his subsequent stint on Capitol, but it does serve to illustrate his solid foundation as a skilled, versatile jazz-pop guitarist. ~ Richie Unterberger

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