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Tony Perkins

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Tony Perkins

The Prettiest Girl in School

The Prettiest Girl in School cover

From the perspective of modern-day audiences, Anthony Perkins is so inextricably tied to his performance as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's seminal Psycho that it's virtually impossible to accept a collection like The Prettiest Girl in School at face value -- one can't help but imagine that the winsome lass of the title is in fact Perkins himself, all dolled up in mother's wig and frock. This 27-track compilation spanning Perkins' brief but prolific tenure with Epic is nevertheless assembled with the El label's usual attention to detail and presentation, and even if Perkins isn't much of a singer in any conventional sense, there's a time capsule charm to the material -- songs like "First Romance," "When School Starts Again," and "Just Being of Age" capture eloquently the essence of postwar-era puppy love, bolstered by lush, melodramatic arrangements from studio giants like Marty Paich and Frank DeVol.

Review by Jason Ankeny

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