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The Ultimate Collection

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Album Review

From Australia comes this inexpensive three-disc anthology of Ray Conniff's recordings, spanning the late '50s through the '70s. Perhaps because it originated Down Under, Ultimate Collection omits many of Conniff's U.S. hits (particularly his adult contemporary hits), but two of his biggest U.S. pop singles are here, "Somewhere My Love" and "Invisible Tears." Many uncommon album tracks are presented, and five Christmas songs are appended to the third disc as a bonus. These 65 performances are unfailingly pleasant renderings of popular songs that should be of particular interest to lovers of vocal groups, since most of the tracks feature full choral vocal performances rather than the wordless vocal accompaniment for which Conniff is known. Conniff himself takes a rare solo vocal turn on "Honey Come Back." The singalong quality makes this collection a thoroughly enjoyable survey of favorite songs: easy listening in the most literal sense. Collectables is reissuing Conniff's albums as a series of two-fers, but for those who want an expanded anthology without the investment of acquiring his complete recordings, Ultimate Collection is more than adequate.

Biography

Born: 06 November 1916 in Attleboro, MA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

The man who popularized wordless vocal choruses and light orchestral accompaniment on a mix of popular standards and contemporary hits of the 1960s, Ray Conniff was a trombone player for Bunny Berigan's Orchestra and Bob Crosby's Bobcats before being hired as an arranger by Mitch Miller for Columbia Records in 1954. After he wrote the charts for several sizeable Columbia hits during the mid-'50s, Conniff became a solo artist as well, applying his arranging techniques to instrumental easy listening...
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The Ultimate Collection, Ray Conniff
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