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Swing Out to Victory: Songs of WWII ()

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During World War II, the music business, like other areas of the entertainment industry, supported the war effort, in its case by turning out a lengthy series of popular songs intended to reassure jittery civilians, promote preparedness, inspire patriotism, and, more specifically, encourage the buying of war bonds, the conservation of materials, and adherence to rationing restrictions. This budget-priced four-CD set from Canada presents 40 examples of such songs, and it is a welcome effort, even if it is hardly the definitive statement on the subject. In fact, it is practically an alternative set, full of lesser known material. There are several original recordings of the biggest hit versions of war-related songs, and there are a few recordings that, if not the biggest hit versions, did reach the charts. Other songs were hits, if not in these versions, and a couple were sung in movies. But the knowledgeable (maybe even the casual) reader will note some important omissions, constituting some of the most popular and best-remembered songs of the war era. When you consider that the set's running time is under two hours (meaning it could have fit onto two discs instead of being spread across four), it's hard to understand -- you'd almost think this was the second, lesser volume of a series in which all the really well-known songs appeared on the first volume. As such, Swing Out to Victory! is an interesting collection of war-themed tunes with some hits and enjoyable obscurities, but not what you quite what you might expect. (The tracks were mastered from records, and while a noise reduction process was used, the sound quality varies.) ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi Hide synopsis

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