The titles of Andy Williams' successive LP releases of fall 1972 and fall 1973, Alone Again (Naturally) and Solitaire, may say something about the state of the singer's career when he made them. Cut loose from his long-running TV show and with his record sales plummeting, Williams may have felt a special affinity for Gilbert O'Sullivan's suicidal self-pity in "Alone Again (Naturally)" and Neil Sedaka's declaration that "Now, solitaire's the only game in town." But neither disc was really a thematic collection, and put together on a single CD by Collectables, the two albums for the most part find Williams covering the pop hits of the day, many of which remain well known: "Day by Day" from Godspell, Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face)," Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue," the Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road," Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," and Paul McCartney's "My Love." Williams had begun to tinker with his formula of recording other people's hits on these two albums, and especially on Solitaire (tracks 12-21) there are several songs that are either unknown or lesser known. Some are worth knowing better; in particular, Nicky Hopkins' "The Dreamer," taken from the session pianist's underrated solo album The Tin Man Was a Dreamer, deserves wider recognition. Williams' popularity may have been on the wane in the early '70s, but he was devoting even more time to his records, and that attention shows on these recordings.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann