Perry Como

Essential 60's Singles Collection

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Not counting seasonal releases, Perry Como released 17 singles on RCA Victor Records between 1960 and 1969. Como had been the top pop singles artist of the 1950s, placing 67 songs in the charts, including eight number one hits. But the '60s were a different story. While his singles continued to reach at least the lower rungs of the pop charts consistently until 1965, only a few of them made the Top 40. The picture was a little brighter in the easy listening charts, where songs like "Stop! And Think It Over," "You Made It That Way (Watermelon Summer)," and "Seattle" (the theme from the television series Here Come the Brides) were major hits, but Como was not as successful as peers like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin at bucking the tide of rock & roll. Of course, he managed a comeback in the early '70s with "It's Impossible" and "And I Love You So," but the '60s found him struggling to find a commercial niche, moving from novelties (notably "Delaware") on which he was accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Mitchell Ayres to small-group arrangements cut in Nashville with Chet Atkins producing. This compilation, which draws at least one song from each of Como's '60s singles and includes every song that had even the lowest chart placing, effectively chronicles the singer's search for hits. There are some embarrassments, but there are also some excellent performances of good material, such as "Make Someone Happy," from the Broadway musical Do Re Mi, and "Forget Domani," which lost out to Sinatra's more popular version. The compilation is faultless, and for Como fans, it will bring back into print a lost part of the singer's catalog.

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