Album Remarks & Appraisals:
World renowned conductor and arranger John Wilson leads an all-star cast of singers and his Grammy ® Award-nominated orchestra, comprised of some of the UK's finest musicians, on this dazzling recording of some of the best-loved songs from Hollywood's Golden Age: That's Entertainment: A Celebration of the MGM Film Musical. Most of the scores have been lovingly and painstakingly reconstructed by Wilson, as MGM destroyed the originals in 1969. This is the first time the songs, including "Singin' in the Rain," "Steppin' Out with My Baby," "The Trolley Song," and title track "That's Entertainment," have been recorded in their intended orchestration since the films' original soundtrack recordings. That's Entertainment: A Celebration of the MGM Film Musical captures The John Wilson Orchestra's record-smashing 2009 BBC Prom concert, which catapulted the 96-member band to stardom and won the hearts of the public. With guest performers Kim Criswell, Matthew Ford, Sarah Fox, Seth MacFarlane and Curtis Stigers, the concert was watched by over four million people. This recording captures the joie de vivre of the live experience. Composer, arranger and conductor John Wilson is one of the world's leading experts on the music of Hollywood and Broadway's Golden Age. In addition to his touring with his own orchestra, he has worked closely with Sir Paul McCartney, and also arranged and conducted the music for the Kevin Spacey film Beyond the Sea. The Deluxe Edition features MGM Film Musical poster artwork, extensive liner notes and exclusive session photos in a beautiful case bound, hardcover book. Along with the CD, the Deluxe Edition comes with a DVD containing music videos, a John Wilson featurette on reconstructing the lost MGM Film Musical scores, behind the scenes footage of the recording, as well as five karaoke videos to celebrate the John Wilson Orchestra experience. The DVD, That's Entertainment: A Celebration of Classic MGM Musicals DVD, captures the spectacular 2009 BBC Prom concert live experience. Live from The Royal Albert Hall, watch as Clive Anderson introduces the sensational concert that celebrated 75 years of classics MGM Film musical. This unique live performance is one to remember.
Liner Note Author: John Wilson .
Recording information: Abbey Road Studio No. 2, London, England (04/2011); MIx One Studios, Boston, MA (04/2011); Abbey Road Studio No. 2, London, England (05/2011); MIx One Studios, Boston, MA (05/2011).
Photographer: Ray Burmiston.
That's Entertainment!, a 2011 release by John Wilson and The John Wilson Orchestra, is a spirited collection of the songs and instrumentals popularized in such beloved MGM film musicals as Singin' in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Meet Me in St. Louis, An American in Paris, High Society, Easter Parade, Brigadoon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Girl Crazy, and The New Moon. Guests Seth MacFarlane, Curtis Stigers, Sarah Fox, Kim Criswell, Matthew Ford, and the Maida Vale Singers bring spontaneity and humor to the performances, and The John Wilson Orchestra makes this a brilliant presentation that fans of classic movies will enjoy. The lasting value of this CD, however, lies in the ingenious reconstructions by Wilson and Andrew Cottee, which are quite faithful to the original arrangements heard in the films. Because all of the full orchestral scores were destroyed in 1969, Wilson and Cottee had to work from the "MGM Conductor Books," which were short scores or piano reductions of the originals, used in recording the soundtracks. What began as Wilson's labor of love has become a remarkable achievement of restoration and preservation, and anyone interested in MGM musicals should hear this impressive album of historical re-creations. ~ Blair Sanderson