Though this score is quite tuneful the problem is the presentation can't even be close to the original. At the Labor Stage the ILGWU members and duo-pianists (one of whom for a time was the socialist firebrand Marc Blitzstein) surely imbued it with charm and innocent amateur enthusiasm; here a slick pop combo and chorus turn the thing into an early-sixties bank commercial. It's so slick it's hard to believe "One Big Union for Two" was once banned from the air for the word "scabbing". Ditto with Jack Carroll and Rose Marie Jun, veterans of Broadway demo recordings; they sound as if they stepped in from a jingle session, and stepped out to another. We'll say this for Harold Rome: he's amiable.
Then there's...Babs. It's obvious why she was destined to be a superstar -- and, alas, a pill. She does the Miss Marmelstein shtick and you can't help thinking she got her political education from these songs, but she hasn't yet learned how to sing with bared fangs; she has a youthful simplicity and a yearning understatedness she would soon enough abandon for the theatrics, a shame, because she is so damned good here. Perhaps she could only become worse as she became her ego, but we should never forget the great talent and appeal her discoverers Jack Paar and Mr. Rome saw in her, and we see it here in a mere six songs.
Strangely enough, this album spurred a kind of sequel: "Harold Rome's Gallery", an art-themed studio recording of some original tunes in a swing jacket, with most of the same crew minus Babs; it wasn't around long enough to become even a collector's item.