Pat Boone

Days of Wine and Roses (And Other Movie Themes)

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Pat Boone's lone album of great movie themes is an interestingly contrasted but well-balanced work that stands just a shade behind his handful of front-rank albums and is his most durable ballad album of the '60s. If it is immoderate to characterize Days of Wine and Roses as "elegant," it is perfectly fitting to elect it as one of Boone's classiest albums and to affirm it free of discernible flaws or weakness. Its fluid arrangements -- gentle, yet assertive -- coax out Boone's best singing, and together with the finest choral accompaniment since 1959's Tenderly, present us with a refined and engaging theme collection. The stuff of this album was Pat Boone's forte, and you can readily sense that he approached this work earnestly and confidently. The only track not newly recorded is "The Exodus Song"; Boone wrote the lyrics to this stirring piece a few years earlier and recorded it at that time. His powerful and emotion-packed rendering detracts not at all from the classic instrumental original, but through the soulful earthiness of the lyrics adds a palpable exhilaration. The title track, an exquisite Henry Mancini composition, was one of many fine versions out at the time. You needn't be an ardent Boone fan to recognize his version as one of the finest. It is unfortunate that it never received the exposure it deserved. Every track on this album is choice material, handled with utmost proficiency. From "Sweet Leilani" to "Be My Love," Boone's special combination of ease and enthusiasm helps make this work amply satisfying. Days of Wine and Roses is no more dated today than in 1963, the year of its issue.

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