Rosemary Clooney

Love

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Rosemary Clooney originally cut the 12 ballads (all picked by her) comprising Love for RCA Victor in 1961, arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, leading an orchestra with one of the most luscious sounds heard on a pop recording during that entire decade. Then RCA shelved the album, and there Love lay, buried for two years, until Frank Sinatra signed Clooney to Reprise Records, bought the master, and released it. Clooney proves herself as good a producer as she was a singer for having chosen a dozen beautiful songs by Marc Blitzstein ("I Wish It So"), Rodgers & Hart ("Yours Sincerely"), and Bronislaw Kaper ("Invitation"), among others -- most (apart from what is arguably a definitive reading of "Someone to Watch Over Me") relatively obscure. Nelson Riddle, with whom she was passionately in love at the time, wrote some of the prettiest arrangements of his career, the product of which is the most ravishingly beautiful album of Clooney's career. Her voice and Riddle's arrangements carry the listener away into a world of the purest sensuality, filled with moods of deepest yearning and intense romantic joy. "How Will I Remember You," "Imagination," and "Invitation" don't even seem to exist in the real world, and the rest aren't far behind. Love is utterly spellbinding in its every quiet nuance from singer and orchestra. The 1995 Warner-Archive reissue by Gregg Geller (the man responsible for the Frank Sinatra complete Reprise box as well) has been remastered about as perfectly as one could hope for, with a rich, soft sound (check out the French horns on Irving Caesar's "If I Forget You"), and the original 12 songs have been augmented by two bonus tracks, the bluesy "Black Coffee" and the moody, quiet "The Man That Got Away," from Clooney's first Reprise recording, Thanks for Nothing.

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