THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
385-Fred Astaire with Johnny Greene’s Orchestra-Let’s Face the Music and Dance.
1936-Has never charted in the UK. There was no UK chart until 1952.
Best Bit-At 0.50. Fred Astaire died of pneumonia on June 22nd, 1987, at the age of 88. Shortly before his death Astaire said,’ I didn’t want to leave this world without knowing who my descendant was, thank you Michael,’ referring to Michael Jackson (see also best songs (812-511-249-191 and 137.)
‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ is another classic from the pen of Irving Berlin (1888-1989) (see also best songs 731-457 and 100) who some have called the greatest songwriter of all time. Berlin wrote the song for the 1936 American musical comedy ‘Follow the Fleet’ starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the fifth of their nine film collaborations as dance partners. Other songs written for the movie by Berlin, and recorded by Fred Astaire which also became hits were ‘Let Yourself Go,’ and ‘I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket.’
‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ has been recorded by many artists over the years, the first recording just ahead of Fred Astaire in January 1936 was by Vincent Lopez (1895-1975) and His Orchestra, while perhaps the most famous recording was made by Nat King Cole (1919-1965) (see also best songs 988-327-226 and 161) for his Album ‘Let’s Face the Music’ in 1964, whose version after being used in a 1994 television commercial reached Number 30 in the UK.
Fred Astaire was born Frederick Austerlitz on May 10th, 1899, in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, he is widely considered the greatest dancer in film history. It was Astaire’s mother who first pushed Fred and his sister Adele in to show business as a singing and dancing double act, she changed the family name from Austerlitz as she felt ‘Austerlitz’ was reminiscent of the ‘Battle of Austerlitz,’ Family legend attributes the name to an uncle with the surname ‘L’Astaire.’ Fred Astaire appeared in 34 film musicals, and eight films non musical, he also made many television appearances, including ‘The Fred Astaire Show’ in 1968.
Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 11th, 1888, in Tolochin, Russian Empire, which is now Belarus, he died in his sleep on September 22, 1989, of a heart attack, and natural causes at the age of 101. Berlin was held in the highest esteem by his peers, the American composer George Gershwin (1898-1937) (see also best songs 286 and 231) said,’ I frankly believe that Irving Berlin is the greatest songwriter that has ever lived. He has had a greater influence upon American music than any other man. It was Irving Berlin who was the very first to have created a real, inherent American music. Irving Berlin was the first to free the American song from the nauseating sentimentality which had previously characterised it.’
‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ has a message, it tells the listener to enjoy yourself while you can, because trouble could be just around the corner, which was apt, as it was written in 1936.
‘There may be trouble ahead, but while there’s moonlight and music and love and romance, let’s face the music and dance.’