January 15, 1996 12:00 PM

Mickey Roomy and Judy Garland

In the middle of their duet “Good Morning,” from Babes in Arms, one of four movie musicals represented here (the others are Strike Up the Band, Babes on Broadway and Girl Crazy), Rooney exhorts Garland to “sell it, Ma!” And, boy, does she. It’s difficult to conceive of a more potent tonic than the youthful Rooney and Garland-he her avid foil, she his sweetheart, the two a wellspring of ebullience and unaffected charm. The collection features rehearsal tracks, several outtakes (among them a quite hilarious sendup of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt) and an extended version of “I Cried for You (Now It’s Your Turn to Cry over Me”). Each of the four discs has its own discreet pleasures: “Our Love Affair” from Strike Up the Band, “How About You” from Babes on Broadway; a beseeching Mickey and disdainful Judy in “Could You Use Me?” from Girl Crazy. This collection, with the snappy participation of Tommy Dorsey, corners the mother lode. (Rhino)

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