Les Paul & Mary Ford

Fabulous Les Paul & Mary Ford

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Since Columbia didn't have access to any of Paul and Ford's monster hits, they made do on their budget Harmony line with this collection of stray album tracks, near-hits, and failed singles. Clearly some of the old zip is missing from much of Paul's Columbia music, a lot of which is taken at glacial tempos. But his guitar obligatos to Ford's lugubrious vocals are always fascinating, witty, thoroughly original, and often harmonically audacious; "Am I Blue" is a masterpiece of succinct eloquence. And there were some energetic tracks early in the Columbia period that could stand beside the high-powered Capitol hits: the multi-guitar, sparkling rendition of "The Poor People of Paris" and "Jura (I Swear I Love You)." Whatever its musical value, though, the CD reissue of this ten-tune LP represents appallingly short value, even at a budget price.

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