As welcome as Collectables' modestly priced two-fer CD reissues of Andy Williams' original LPs are to Williams fans, the label's decisions about which albums to couple are sometimes curious. Here is a good case in point. Warm and Willing was Williams' third Columbia Records LP, recorded in the spring of 1962. It consists largely of pop standards from the 1920s and '30s, songs written by such masters as George & Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields for classic stage and movie musicals. Williams and his arranger/conductor, Robert Mersey, were taking a leaf from Frank Sinatra's playbook and constructing a concept album of great ballads that set a romantic mood. This collection is paired with Andy Williams' Newest Hits, a compilation originally released in the winter of 1965-1966 that was a grab bag of stray Williams singles, B-sides, and album tracks covering the previous four years. There is some worthy material here that stands up to the standards heard on Warm and Willing, such as Lerner & Loewe's "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)." But most of the album is a miscellany of singles that didn't quite make it in their day and have not gone on to be memorable as songs or as Andy Williams recordings. One might argue that neither of these albums matches up well with other ones in Williams' Columbia catalog (he never did another album of standards like Warm and Willing), so why not put the two oddities together? Fair enough, except that Warm and Willing is one of Williams' better releases, while Andy Williams' Newest Hits is one of his lesser ones, and the concept behind the former is weakened by being packaged on the same disc with the latter.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann