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Magic Moments with Perry Como; His 53 finest 1939-59

rec. 1939-59
[78:45 +77:45]


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Magic Moments with Perry Como; His 53 finest 1939-59
1.Magic Moments
2. I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now
3. Long Ago And Far Away
4. I Love You
5. I Dream Of You
6. I'm Confessin' That I Love You
7. Temptation
8. I'm Gonna Love That Gal
9. If I Loved You
10. Till The End Of Time
11. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
12. You Won't Be Satisfied
13. All Through The Day
14. Prisoner Of Love
15. Blue Skies
16. Girl Of My Dreams
17. Surrender
18. They Say It's Wonderful
19. Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba
20. When You Were Sweet Sixteen
21. What'll I Do?
22. Body And Soul
23. Because
24. Haunted Heart
25. Far Away Places
26. Blue Room
CD 2
1. Forever And Ever
2. 'A', You're Adorable
3. Some Enchanted Evening
4. Bali Ha'i
5. A Dreamer's Holiday
6. Hoop-Dee-Doo
7. Patricia
8. A Bushel And A Peck
9. You're Just In Love
10. If
11. Maybe
12. Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
13. Say You're Mine Again
14. No Other Love
15. Idle Gossip
16. You Alone
17. Wanted
18. Papa Loves Mambo
19. Ko-Ko-Mo, I Love You So
20. Hot Diggity
21. More
22. Round And Round
23. Catch A Falling Star
24. Kewpie Doll
25. Love Makes The World Go Round
26. Delaware
27. Dream Along With Me Perry Como with various accompaniments
rec. 1939-59
RETROSPECTIVE RTS 4201 [78:45 +77:45]
2012 marks the centenary of Perry Como’s birth, and this selection charts a two decade trajectory of his warm, mellifluously voiced and highly successful career. It starts invariably with the disc’s title track, and nor should one want it any other way. It sets something of a template. The ease of delivery, the untroubled, generally unhurried confidence of his delivery was matched by songs derived from the more easy going wing of the Great American Songbook.
We hear him back when he was the singing barber, purveying respectable but hardly vocally dramatic examples of the ‘vocal refrain’ genre. Clearly influenced though he was by Crosby, he never seems to have liked to infuse any jazzy strains into his singing. Crosby did, and Crosby kept hot company. Como represented the v-necked jumper approach, and so his version of I'm Confessin' That I Love You is strictly deadpan and his penchant for ‘songs from the classics’ seems misconceived from the start; the Chopin-derived Till The End Of Time is plodding and arch, whilst Hot Diggity — which ambushes, debags and generally has its dirty way with Chabrier — is even worse. No, Como was best at either luscious ballads — Surrender — nostalgic warmth (When You Were Sweet Sixteen) or laid back charm and novelty, as in the classic 'A', You're Adorable and A Bushel And A Peck.
He excavated old time ballads such as Because, You Alone and If — only averagely, as he didn’t really get the style right, and it didn’t translate well — and when he tried to get hip with the kids, as in the ghastly Kewpie Doll which sounds like an homage to Bill Haley, he fell flat on his pullover. Still, at his best, and he remained vocally speaking at his best long after his contemporaries’ voices had frayed around the edges, he occupied a nice niche in the world of popular music. I wish he’d been teamed with a more assertive set of arrangers and with more interventionist, personality packed bands. Also, that his song selection had been broader. There’s a hint of interesting things when backed by the Ray Charles Singers for the Latino Blues, Ko-Ko-Mo, I Love You So. It’s better than one feared.
Nice transfers, decent notes and a fair selection of 53 songs.
Jonathan Woolf


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