For Andy Williams, Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head was an ambitious and experimental album. The TV crooner had developed a formula of cutting two LPs a year filled with his versions of contemporary hits, and it had resulted in 15 gold albums in less than seven years. For this album, however, he enlisted John Hartford and Mason Williams, the country-styled musical subversives from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, to help him construct a side-long suite of material, including titles by folkys like Mike Settle, Tim Hardin, and Joni Mitchell. The other side contained individual songs, but they included such songs as Mason Williams' "Long Time Blues." It appears the singer may have intended the whole album to be in the same vein. The LP's catalog number is out of sequence with his other releases, and it may well be that an earlier version was pulled back, since hits like the title track and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" appear to have been added at the last minute and the recording sessions stretch across more than a year. The result was an encouraging, if compromised effort that seems to have pleased nobody. The album's concept was diluted by the late inclusions, rendering it difficult to appreciate, while typical Williams fans probably were disappointed that there were so many unfamiliar tunes. Williams sang the folk material with feeling, and the album contained none of the kind of inappropriate songs he sometimes found himself forced to record because they were on the hit parade. (He did have to sing at the very top of his range to approximate Art Garfunkel's keening sound on "Bridge Over Troubled Water," however.) But the LP lost him old fans without winning new ones; it was his lowest-charting new album since he joined Columbia in 1961.
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