Perry Como

It's Impossible

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In June 1970, 58-year-old Perry Como increased his career activity by undertaking an engagement in Las Vegas, his first live performances in more than 20 years. But his real comeback was accomplished that fall, when "It's Impossible," an English translation of a Mexican song, became his first pop singles chart entry in a year and a half. As it streaked toward the Top Ten (and number one on the easy listening charts), Como quickly scheduled studio time in late November with producer Don Costa (known for his work with Frank Sinatra) and cut an accompanying album, which was in record stores before the end of the year. Como and Costa's best idea for this rush job was to fill up the album with recent pop hits previously recorded by the Beatles, the Carpenters, and Simon & Garfunkel, among others, in arrangements similar to the hit versions. The unruffled Como style worked fine on some of this material, but a song requiring a slightly greater emotional commitment, such as "A House Is Not a Home," didn't get it, and the choice of the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You" was hilariously inappropriate. Though some record company executives had been urging singers of Como's vintage to record contemporary soft rock, cutting the songs of Paul Simon and Lennon and McCartney was not really a way to assure career longevity, and Como was not able to reclaim any of these songs from their hitmakers. His real hope of sustaining his comeback lay in finding more songs of his own like "It's Impossible." But the album did its job, giving consumers an LP version of that hit, and as a result it was Como's most successful LP in a nearly a decade. Meanwhile, "It's Impossible" earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance.

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