Although this CD might be harder to find and more expensive than American compilations on RCA, it makes a reasonable choice as the best Feliciano anthology. That's mostly because there's a lot of music here from his mid-'60s to mid-'70s prime, including 24 tracks and a whopping 78 minutes. With someone like Feliciano, who recorded so prolifically in that decade alone, there's bound to be some quibbling about what was selected. But it does have most of his chart singles, including "Light My Fire," "Hi-Heel Sneakers," "Susie-Q," "Marley Purt Drive," "Chico and the Man," "And the Sun Will Shine" (a U.K. hit though not a U.S. one), and "Feliz Navidad," though the low-charting "My World Is Empty Without You" and "The Star Spangled Banner" didn't make the cut. Although the non-chart items here are erratic, they do give an idea of his versatility and wide repertoire, encompassing covers of the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Ray Charles, Elton John, Cat Stevens, Gram Parsons, and Nilsson, the arrangements veering from the rather spare and folky to over-orchestrated lush MOR. Most notably for collectors, there are three late-'60s songs that were hits only in Australia (and, oddly, never even released in America), those being "Adios Amour," "Girl (You'll Never Get Away from Me)," and "A Point of View." The last two of those are Feliciano originals, "A Point of View" being a plea for interracial tolerance very much in keeping with the period. Unfortunately, it sounds like "Adios Amour," which has the mid-'60s pop-folk feel you'd expect from a song co-written by Tom Springfield, was mastered from vinyl rather than the original master, while the cover of the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Not That Kind of Guy (Hot Burrito No. 1)" suffers from a slowdown near the end that's surely a mastering defect. It's also disappointing that no original release dates and label information are included, though otherwise this makes for a very worthy overview of his first decade of English-language recordings.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger