I had the good fortune recently to run across a Jeanette and Nelson LP album that is a pretty rare (though certainly not impossible if you know where to look) find — it is a “private label” release and only ninety-nine copies were ever made. The music on it is mostly from Bitter Sweet, but there are two selections from Smilin’ Through and a good number from New Moon as well. My brother has the technology to digitize vinyl, so I heckled him and got on his nerves and now I have the entire thing converted to mp3 tracks to share! 😀
The cool thing is that the music from Bitter Sweet seems to be the “naked” recordings, as in they are the actual recording booth “takes” of the songs that were then (in most instances) used in the final version of the film. So many soundtrack type albums use cuts directly from the final film, and include sound effects and sometimes spoken dialogue that happens to fall within the body of a song. In this case, none of the film dialogue is included, so you can hear, for example, in Dear Little Cafe, the beautiful underscoring and orchestrations that are sometimes ignored in light of what’s happening between the principles. I just went through my DVD of Bitter Sweet to bring you the most accurate information possible about what is and is not in the movie and whether these are the recordings used in the final film, or, in the case of Tokay, an alternate “take”. I’ll make notes as we go along about what’s what, to the best of my knowledge.
Here is I’ll See You Again, exactly as it sounds in the opening number of the film.
And here is an Alternate Ending of the same song. I assume that this was meant to go at the end of the movie, but that’s NOT the set of lyrics that are used at the end of the movie! Instead, Jeanette sings the though the years my dears may dry / I shall love you til I die / Goodbye lines, which she recorded as a HEART. BREAKING. SOLO. that I will be sharing later at the end of this post.
If You Could Only Come With Me is exactly as used in the film, but it’s so damn pretty. So here. Hashtag friendly blogger.
Both versions of Tell Me What is Love are smooshed together on one track on this record, for Reasons Which are Best Known to Them. But here they/it are/is, just as they sound in the respective parts of the movie in which they happen.
Here is the alternate version of Tokay — you can tell it’s an alternate because the super deep bass guy sings more. Someone obviously heard him and ushered him away from the microphone. There was a struggle, and the compromise is that he gets to sing two entire words in the final version.
Here is Dear Little Cafe, the recording that was used in the movie (to my best knowledge), but without the singsong dialogue about cocktails and cold consomme. I love how the instrumental during that part picks up a little swing tempo!
And here is Jeanette’s #SadSariSolo of the same song, you remember this, after Nelson gets stabbed
full of holes one time and she’s dressed up as the very chic wider womern.
Here’s Jeanette’s solo of Kiss Me, which you hear her singing out the window when they are in the street during the card game.
And here is Jeanette’s solo of If Love Were All — this was not included at all in the movie, but it has totally been published before. However, the quality of mine is better, I think, so I’m offering it again. She’s utterly effing adorable, your ears will thank you.
And The Call of Life, sung by our most favoritest ever redhead. I feel like I’ve heard her sing this before somewhere, so maybe it’s already out there, but it’s now out there again.
Here’s Ladies of the Town, possibly an alternate take. I couldn’t decide–I thought the tempo seemed a hair slower in this version, but it’s possible that it just seemed that way to me because I wasn’t watching a MacCan-Can at the time.
Finally, here’s Ziguener. I haven’t the foggiest idea if this is an alternate take or not because to be brutally honest with you this only rivals the horror show end of Broadway Serenade for the honor of being my Least Favorite MacNumber Ever. The costumes blow and the melody gets stuck in my head and I want to hurl myself off a cliff. Someone who is not me can figure out if it’s the film version or not. HOWEVER**************** what makes me think that this MIGHT BE an alternate take is that it goes directly into the “Sari stole her costume from the theatre because she’s like that but if you suggest she’s a costume thief they will probably ban you from the Sari Linden International Fan Club — and runs up 47 flights of stairs with a heart ailment to throw wide the shutters and do a Sky!Duet with Very Dead Husband” part of the movie — and this is when Jeanette gets back at you for making fun of her Ziguener getup because she rips your heart out and steps all over it with tiny angry feet when you listen to the end of this track. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus, Jeanette, was that nice? SO SAD SUCH A SAD VOICE SO MANY SADS CARL GET BACK HERE. Those are the lyrics that they use in the movie, but I don’t think it’s the same take. 1) Sky!Nelson isn’t in there and 2) Her voice sounds different.
Moving on, here is my favorite thing (well, maybe) from the whole album, a Jeanette solo of the chorus of the 1917 song Smiles. It was supposed to be in Smilin’ Through, as the lead in to There’s a Long, Long Trail, but if memory serves, the scene just opens with the latter, so this was obviously recorded and then cut. Too bad, because it’s darling and I am a better fellow for having heard it.
Here’s There’s a Long, Long Trail. I fully, happily and openly confess to being a real live Smilin’ Through lover (I named my first novel that, too…..). I love the story, I love the music, this is Jeanette at the height of her beauty IN COLOR, I love Brian Aherne and Ian Hunter. Gene’s is the weakest performance in the cast, and in his scenes with Jeanette, she looks like she’s trying to do her job AND his — but I still find it completely watchable and gorgeous.
Last but not least, here is the stuff from New Moon!
First up, here’s Nelson’s The Way They Do it in Paree — with an extra verse!! And without sound effects. Oh Lord Above, listen to that man on his last couple of notes. The guy speaks to me on a spiritual level…………..or something. Heh.
Next, we have Rondolet, Round One. Most of Rondolet was cut from the final print of the movie; you just hear little snatches of it here and there. Originally it was supposed to be a big production number that involved Jeanette and a Dancing Nelson. Jeanette counts to eight real cute (probably for the benefit of the Dancing Nelson) and then sings one line. Clearly you need this in your life.
Then we have this Really Cool Trouble Tree Music that sounds like a piece of modern musical theatre, if you ask me, and I’m bummed that there wasn’t an extended version of a hot hot woodsy makeout sesh with this thrumming in the background. Mmmm. Where’s your wig, indeed. Anyway, this ends with a New and Different way to get into Stouthearted Men. AKA my most favorite Nelson Marching Song.
And last but not least, Rondolet, Round Two. A whole lot of silliness and then a verse apiece for Nelson and Jeanette, insulting each other marvelously, Jeanette going to the chimpanzee place. Rude. Great fun.
Enjoy the music, everybody, and thanks to my brother for digitizing it!
(I should be getting another round of pictures in the mail soon!)