18 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though the song has been sung by everyone from Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Chevy Chase in Fletch, it’s impossible not to think of the late, great Andy Williams when hearing “Moon River.” Featuring 18 songs released between the late '50s and early '70s, this compilation does well to emphasize Williams’ '60s heyday. Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman’s “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” sounds like it was customized for Williams’ buttery tenor. Similarly, John Barry and Don Black's title track for the 1966 film Born Free could have been tailor-made for Williams’ soaring range; there are movements in the song where his elongated inflections upstage the French horn and strings. Standouts from the '70s include a cover of Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (Williams’ version is much more flirty and seductive than Frankie Valli’s) and the amorous “We’ve Only Just Begun.” While Karen Carpenter made the song famous, Williams gave it a smoothly masculine authority. Overall, an outstanding collection of one of pop's most versatile vocalists.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though the song has been sung by everyone from Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Chevy Chase in Fletch, it’s impossible not to think of the late, great Andy Williams when hearing “Moon River.” Featuring 18 songs released between the late '50s and early '70s, this compilation does well to emphasize Williams’ '60s heyday. Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman’s “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” sounds like it was customized for Williams’ buttery tenor. Similarly, John Barry and Don Black's title track for the 1966 film Born Free could have been tailor-made for Williams’ soaring range; there are movements in the song where his elongated inflections upstage the French horn and strings. Standouts from the '70s include a cover of Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (Williams’ version is much more flirty and seductive than Frankie Valli’s) and the amorous “We’ve Only Just Begun.” While Karen Carpenter made the song famous, Williams gave it a smoothly masculine authority. Overall, an outstanding collection of one of pop's most versatile vocalists.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
27 Ratings
27 Ratings
Thanks, Andy ,

A good compilation

This new compilation, released on the same day as his autobiography, is a good sampler of Williams' work on Columbia/Sony. It includes his biggest hits as well as a few lesser known or rare tracks. (Most notably, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" that he sang at the funeral mass for Bobby Kennedy when he was slain.) It is difficult for many today to recall how popular Andy once was. He was a "crossover" artist when rock was beginning to dominate and played a role in making that happen in more ways than one. In his first, now out-of-print autobiography, Clive Davis recounted how he was sweating bullets upon taking over Columbia just as Andy's contract was due for renewal. He was their biggest seller at the time and, as such, was paying the bils for the rock stars that Columbia was embracing, including such legendary artists as Dylan. Williams also was the host of the Grammy awards for the first several years they were telecast and helped cross and merge generational lines in doing so. I can recall watching those telecasts as well as his weekly show when I was growing up. When he did "covers" of popular songs I knew, my parents and I would watch and listen together. They heard some of my music, and I "tolerated" some of theirs. A couple of years ago when he had his final Christmas tour in his 80's, my wife arranged for us to take my parents to see it along with our then "tween" daughter. His voice was still remarkably good for his age. Our daughter "tolerated" it then and may someday appreciate it more. To me, it was a special moment which brought all of us together for a time just like Andy had when I was young. Thanks for the memories, Andy.

shut it 23 ,

Great Album

One of the best ever! Great from start to finish.

Chris Walent ,

The Very best of Andy William

Moon river

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