Looking at the cover of this British compilation, with its photograph of a mature Perry Como, and glancing at the song list on the back, which begins with Burt Bacharach and Hal David's '60s tune "(They Long to Be) Close to You," the potential buyer might think this was an album of Perry Como recordings from the '60s or '70s. In fact, that song credit is an error; the song in question is really Al Hoffman, Jerry Livingston, and Carl Lampl' s 1943 copyright "Close to You." And the photograph is equally misleading. This is actually an album consisting of 25 of Perry Como's earliest recordings, dating back to tracks recorded when he was the boy singer in Ted Weems' Orchestra in the late '30s and early '40s (and originally released on Decca Records). There are also some of Como's earliest solo hits (originally released on RCA Victor), such as "Long Ago (And Far Away)," "I Dream of You," "If I Loved You," "Till the End of Time," and "Prisoner of Love," as well as other recordings of the same mid-'40s vintage. The sound is sometimes muffled and never very good, but collectors may welcome the appearance of this material on CD, that is, if they can get beyond the deceptive album cover.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann