Perry Como

And I Love You So

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In January 1973, Perry Como traveled to Nashville and cut several tracks with Chet Atkins producing. RCA Victor quickly released his cover of Don McLean's "And I Love You So," which had appeared on the singer/songwriter's little-heard 1970 debut album Tapestry, as a single, and when the disc showed signs of chart success (it eventually made the pop Top 40 and hit number one on the easy listening charts), Como and Atkins went back into the studio in March and April to complete an album by cutting versions of recent pop hits. The result is therefore a mix-and-match collection. The four songs from the January session -- "And I Love You So," "I Want to Give," "I Thought About You," and "It All Seems to Fall into Line" -- sound like they could form the nucleus of an interesting album of unfamiliar material. But they are outweighed by the versions of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With Her Song" (a tune written about a McLean performance), Ray Price's "For the Good Times," Bread's "Aubrey," the Carpenters' "Sing," Dawn's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree," and Gallery's "I Believe in Music." Como was certainly credible on these tracks, but since they were associated with the hit recordings by others, he couldn't really make them his own. It's too bad that Como and Atkins didn't go ahead and make a whole album in January, but at this point in his career, Como was only making albums when a single took off, and the inevitable time pressure would not allow time to gather ten first-rate new songs. No doubt at nearly 61 and celebrating his 30th anniversary as a solo performer, he was happy just to have the validation of a new hit, and the album did its job, eventually going gold.

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