The Andy Williams albums Lonely Street and The Village of St. Bernadette, combined on this Collectables Records two-fer, followed each other in relatively quick succession in late 1959 and early 1960, both keyed to the hit singles that gave them their titles. (Lonely Street was released in 1959, not in 1960, as the back cover of the Collectables disc claims. Also, contrary to the implication of the annotations, only the 11 tracks from The Village of St. Bernadette other than the title track were recorded in January 1960, not those from Lonely Street as well.) The melodramatic "Lonely Street" was a Top Five single for Williams in the fall of 1959, and in forming an album to exploit its success, he looked to the thematic ballad LPs of Frank Sinatra such as Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely and In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, even borrowing the title song from the latter. The result was an album full of songs of lost love and loneliness that found Williams using more of the Mel Tormé-like foggy lower register of his voice. He didn't have the truly doom-laden style of Sinatra, but he held his own on material not really suited to his usual persona. "The Village of St. Bernadette," which followed "Lonely Street" into the Top Ten, was a religious song, and the follow-up album naturally was full of other songs of faith, ranging from outright gospel material like "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" to the spiritual show tunes of Rodgers and Hammerstein like "You'll Never Walk Alone" and even the 1920s song "Look for the Silver Lining," given a Christian tone in this context. Listened to in succession on one CD, the albums suggest a victim of heartbreak who recovers by finding God!
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann