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It's All in the Game

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Album Review

Ricky Martin can see a vision of his own future by listening to "Dance the Night Away," the opening track by the '60s crooner who had nine Top 20 hits over a span of nine years, from 1967-1976. There are no revelations here; it is classic Engelbert, 12 new songs, including covers of Tommy Edwards' 1958 hit "It's All in the Game," a disco rendition of Sinatra's 1966 hit "Strangers in the Night," and a unique reading of Dan Hill's 1978 Top Five hit "Sometimes When We Touch." His version of Tommy Edwards is solid, while his interpretation of Dan Hill could garner him an adult contemporary hit in this new millennium — it's more expressive than the original. Frank Sinatra emerges unscathed here, Engelbert utilizing the familiar melody to please his fans; his use of disco music would be an anachronism for any other artist, but Humperdinck knows his audience, and it works. Burt Bacharach's "Nothing in This World" is beautiful music that housewives and parents will find fulfilling. There is something here for all of Humperdinck's audience, including live versions of some of his best known titles, "Release Me," "Quando Quando Quando," "A Man Without Love," "After the Lovin'," "Spanish Eyes," and "The Last Waltz." The six live tracks were taped at the London Palladium on March 9, 2000. English '80s artist Rick Astley produces a new version of his own Top 30 hit "Hopelessly," as well as his "Dancing in the Rain," which heads back to the disco floor. It's kind of touching to hear Astley's "Hopelessly" in the hands of the elder British artist, and kind of validates the aforementioned prophecy, that maybe Ricky Martin will be producing an Astley /Humperdinck duet ten years from now. The passing of the torch. John Reid co-writes "How to Win Your Love" and "A Little More Time," while the writers of "The Last Waltz," Barry Mason and Les Reed, get their "Maybe the Feeling Will Go" added to this set. A very pleasant and listenable addition to the Humperdinck collection which shows the artist still cares about his audience and his art.


Born: May 2, 1936 in Madras, India

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ultrasmooth balladeer Engelbert Humperdinck was often billed as "the King of Romance," and for millions of fans around the world, he more than lived up to that title. Despite the strange name and the latter-day ads hawking his music on late-night TV, Humperdinck was one of the finest middle-of-the-road balladeers around, a sensitive lyric interpreter with excellent vocal technique and a three-and-a-half-octave vocal range. During his heyday in the late '60s and early '70s, Humperdinck cultivated...
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It's All in the Game, Engelbert Humperdinck
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