Though it appeared 60 full years after the movie came out, this album marks the first authorized release of the entire soundtrack score for Yankee Doodle Dandy
. It's hard to see what any fan of the film could complain about. The sound quality is very good for a soundtrack of 1942 vintage, especially as several (though not all) of the pre-recordings of the musical tracks survived, an unusual case for a pre-1950 production. What's more, the soundtrack itself includes James Cagney
's performances of several songs that rate among the core classics of early-20th century Broadway: "Yankee Doodle Boy," "Give My Regards to Broadway," "You're a Grand Old Flag," and "Over There." For those who aren't major fans of the movie or the American musical in general, it could be questioned whether they'll enjoy the soundtrack very much: Cagney
's singing loses some luster when heard in isolation rather than in tandem with his screen performance. That won't be an issue for most of the listeners interested in collecting such a disc, and this album serves them well.