Mr. Top Hat is an album of mellow standards sounds as easy and debonair as it's iconic performer. I grew up listening to the songs of the Gershwins, who wrote several songs on this album including “Let's Call the Whole Thing Off” and “They Can't Take That Away from Me” (which is one of my favorite songs), Cole Porter is represented by the classic “Night and Day” as is Irving Berlin, who wrote the sweet “Isn't This a Lovely Day?” I sang along to various variations of these songs as a preteen and teenager (I still remember the thrill of getting the Harry Connick Jr. When Harry Met Sally soundtrack and getting all emotional with Billie Holiday and Linda Ronstadt in front of the mirror before I ever even had a boyfriend to cry over).
This life long interest is why I still know nearly every lyric on this album despite the fact that it was released twenty years before I was born. Of course, many of these songs are much older than that and Astaire introduced the world to most of them in his films, therefore his renditions are quintessential. This album is described as the music and dance of Fred Astaire because you get to hear him tap dance along to several of the numbers. There's not much information on the recording of this album, and by large it seems hard to find on LP or CD, but iTunes has gone all topsy turvy and actually offers this rare full album for download.