Greatest Golden Hits collects English-language versions of French-Armenian crooner Charles Aznavour's biggest hits, including his two U.K. hits, the chart-topper "She" and "The Old Fashioned Way." It can safely be said that Aznavour sings with an unparalleled conviction and passion -- one listen to the aching masterpiece "Yesterday When I Was Young" easily demonstrates how his golden talents shine through in English as well as French. One easily believes every word Aznavour sings, from lamenting about his lost youth to the bittersweet tragic story of a lonely transvestite in the epic "What Makes a Man." Unfortunately, some of these songs don't quite hold up in English, and their arrangements are somewhat lacking, such as "Hold Back the Night," which sounds like a theme from a bad 1980s network television series, and the drippy "I'll Be There." "You've Let Yourself Go" sounds awkward, and pales in comparison to the wonderful French version. Regardless, there are enough magic moments on this album that one can easily overlook (or skip) those tracks and concentrate on the others. Highlights include the opening "After Loving You," his take on "Ave Maria," the glorious "The Times We've Known," the cool "La Baraka," the festive and timeless "It Will Be My Day" and "Sunday's Not My Day," and "A Blue Like the Blue of Your Eyes," which was also a hit for Edith Piaf. So, for fans of Charles Aznavour, this delightful English-language collection is a welcome addition to his catalog, but should not detract one from the original, sublime French versions.
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AllMusic Review by Jose F. Promis