Andy Williams

Honey

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In the late '60s, record company executives like Clive Davis of Columbia were encouraging their middle-of-the-road pop singers to cover the songs of contemporary pop/rock performers as a way of staying current. Andy Williams, who was a bit younger than his peers, needed no such encouragement, as he had been drawing on the recent hit parade for some of his material for years. But Honey marked his complete crossover to such an approach. Where earlier Williams albums had been a canny mix of movie songs, standards, pop hits, and foreign -- especially French -- material, ten of Honey's 11 tracks were songs that had been Top 40 hits in the last two years. (The only exception was "Our Last Goodbye," co-written by Williams favorite Nick De Caro, which musically was a retread of another recent Top 40 hit, "A Whiter Shade of Pale.") True, there were a couple of movie songs ("This Is My Song" from The Countess From Hong Kong and "Theme From 'Valley of the Dolls,'" plus "Scarborough Fair/Canticle," not written for, but heavily featured in, The Graduate) and even one show tune ("The Impossible Dream [The Quest]" from Man of La Mancha), and "Love Is Blue" was French. But the songs were for the most part closely associated with hit recordings by the likes of the Association, the 5th Dimension, and Glen Campbell. The arrangements closely resembled those of the hit recordings, so the appeal of the album seemed to be exclusively to Williams fans who wanted to hear their hero, rather than Bobby Goldsboro, sing the maudlin hit "Honey." Columbia didn't even put Williams' current single, "Sweet Memories," on the LP. The singer did his best and was rewarded with yet another Top Ten gold-record seller, but the album lacked the balance of earlier efforts.

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