In some ways, this 46-song double-CD compilation is a brilliantly conceived and executed overview of the Andrews Sisters' career on Decca Records from 1939 until 1950. The collection is remastered in superb sound with surprising presence and vivid detail, the material is priceless, and only a 20-bit digital treatment is likely to make it any better. And if the trio sounds good, along with Bing Crosby
(who's featured on several songs), then Vic Shoen & His Orchestra also never had it as good as they do here. Plus, there are a few songs, such as "Aurora," that aren't on any other Andrews Sisters CDs. On the other hand, the producers have left off some numbers (such as "Bounce Me Brother With a Solid Four" and "House of Blue Lights") that appear on one or the other of their best-of compilations on Decca; add to that the fact that some numbers by the trio, such as "You're a Lucky Fellow Mr. Smith" (from Buck Privates
) have never shown up on CD (and possibly not on LP either), and one gets a glimpse of some of the holes that are evident on this disc. It can be argued that some of the numbers mentioned weren't hits, but there are enough B-sides here ("Well All Right" is the most impressive of them -- real killer -- with extraordinary interplay between the three sisters) that this excuse hardly suffices. One would wish that MCA or, more likely, Bear Family would do a completely comprehensive reissue -- the Andrews Sisters were good enough that it would be worthwhile. In the meantime, it's necessary to own this and two other single discs from Decca.