Andy Williams

An Evening with Andy Williams: Live from the Royal Albert Hall 1978

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Tuesday May 30, 1978 at 8 p.m. Andy Williams performed with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Utilized for a two-part television special An Evening with Andy Williams features the legend in concert as well as in conversation with Benny Green. It's an elegant, glitzy and sensational set of performances which opens up with outside footage and the entourage arriving, Williams enters from the back of the audience to John Georgiadis leading a London Symphony Orchestra which is both spirited and flawless. Williams' personal musicians, lead guitarist Bruce Windham, pianist Dick Shreve, drummer John Sumner, and Gary Walters on bass supplement the orchestra marvelously. During the "Love Story" medley it is essentially the vocalist with Shreve's piano filling the hall with a quiet authority. It's hard to complain about a first-class presentation like this, however, the truncated versions of his biggest hits -- say "Happy Heart" -- are a bit frustrating. The cover of Barry Manilow's cover of an Engelbert Humperdinck track -- "I Can't Smile Without You" -- gets more facetime than "Moon River" which is present as the Overture. It's a tour de force of medleys and classics like "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" melting into "I Can't Stop Loving You" paced exquisitely and displaying the dexterity of the musicians who seamlessly give Williams' voice a platform to glide gracefully over and through. It's really a magnificent concert with the "interview bonus tracks" tucked into the program so the 100 minutes flow from start to finish without the viewer having to hunt through the DVD. Not as packed with extras as Liza Minnelli's Liza with a 'Z' but with more material and conversation than Vic Damone's Royal Festival Hall concert DVD, On the Street Where You Live, what it does have in common with those discs, though, is a classy and sterling performance worthy of repeated viewings. A real treat for Andy Williams fans and those who enjoy classic adult contemporary pop.

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