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Till

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Album Review

Toward the end of the '60s, old-school crooners from the '50s saw no other choice than to begin tackling contemporary pop. If they didn't take that action, they would still have some performing engagements, but they wouldn't sell records or get on the radio. Jerry Vale was no exception to the rule. Like such contemporaries as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, he tentatively began singing covers of recent pop hits and rock oldies, throwing interpretations of lesser-known recent songs and almost-hits for good measure. Producer Wally Gold and arranger/conductor Joe Gardner were instrumental to this change in direction — they were the ones who developed the lush, layered adult contemporary pop sound that characterized his late-'60s and early-'70s albums. Recorded in November 1968, Till was the first Vale album to completely embrace this commercial sound and material. As a pop artifact, it's priceless, simply because its sweeping strings, syrupy choirs and light folky guitars capture how directionless mainstream adult pop was at the turn of the decade. As a Vale record, it isn't bad, but it's clear from his quavering voice and laissez-faire delivery that he either doesn't care for the songs or isn't quite sure how to sing them. Still, for some listeners, that's part of the charm of Till — apart from the title track, he's struggling to find the right tone throughout the record, and the resulting soft-rock mishmash is actually quite entertaining.

Customer Reviews

Absolute classic!

When I saw this available, I instantly bought it. It brings back so many great memories of 1969 and the early 70's that I just can't be without it. It's a genre of music like no other, and now it's mine for all digital time. Thank you, iTunes!

You'll never have that recipe again--OH NOOOOOO!!!

...especially if "that recipe" highlights such a venerable song as "Till" yet also includes dated material like "Abraham." I have a soft spot for much of it--e.g., "Those Were the Days," "Promises," "Les Bicyclettes," and "MacArthur Park"--mostly because of the versions (and the artists) that put those songs on the map. Jerry's distinctive, sonorous voice puts an interesting spin on it all. Not everything he touched turned to gold--any more than Sinatra, Bennett, or the others--because some of it just wasn't gold, as I bet they'd agree. The cover photo (Ann Margret?) is as timely as the music.

Biography

Born: July 8, 1932 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Pop

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

Jerry Vale's beautiful high-tenor voice graced many of the most enchanting pop songs of the '50s and '60s, including a parade of Italian-American favorites like "Innamorata (Sweetheart)," "Volare," "Amore, Scusami," and his signature song, "Al Di La." Vale, born Genaro Louis Vitaliano in 1932, learned the Italian repertoire from an early age; his mother often sang around the house and trotted out the old songs at extended-family gatherings. While shining shoes at a local barber shop at the age of...
Full Bio
Till, Jerry Vale
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