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Lawrence Welk - Swings (Ranwood Records)

No matter how you break it down, there is just no way to be blue when you've got Lawrence Welk on the stereo. These songs always conjure up fantastic pictures of slick, greasy-haired men dancing with beautiful women dressed in gold lamé dresses with their own special haircuts - borderline nasty and decadent but still sanitary enough to appeal to the general public. Oh, and the fabulous bubble-blowing accordion that used to be on the TV show. But I love this stuff. This is swing music that I can actually dance to, that doesn't require any fancy backflips or special shoes, barely past a polka but a lot more elegant.
The recording of this disc itself, by the way, is absolutely amazing. They must have had to remaster the shit out of some of these tracks to make the clarinets and the trumpets so golden, the piano so incredibly crisp. This is my grandpa's record collection without all the wobbly pops and scratches, coming at you with the sort of vitality that not even the speakers available at the original release date could have anticipated. Favorite classic tracks here included are 'String of Pearls', 'People Will Say We're in Love', and the eternal 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes'.

by Anne-Louise Foley.