Robert Goulet

36 All-Time Favorites

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This discount-priced three-CD set has some obvious demerits. Timing out at 106 minutes, its 36 selections (12 to a disc) could have fit on two CDs with plenty of room to spare. There are no annotations whatsoever, not even songwriting credits. The sequencing, if not quite random, has no apparent theme. And yet, as a collection of Robert Goulet's "all-time favorites," it isn't half bad. Goulet spent the 1960s recording regularly for Columbia Records, and the tracks here are culled from that catalog. He was more of an albums artist than a singles artist, placing 18 LPs on the Billboard pop charts between 1962 and 1970. But he did have a few pop chart singles, and they are here, starting with the lead-off track on the first disc, "What Kind of Fool Am I?" from the musical Stop the World -- I Want to Get Off. The second disc begins with his biggest pop single, "My Love, Forgive Me (Amore, Scusami)," which reached the Top 20. And the chart single "Summer Sounds" (a bouncy number reminiscent of Nat King Cole's "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer") is the second track on the third disc. Goulet also made the easy listening chart, and a few of those songs are included: "Come Back to Me, My Love," "Once I Had a Heart," "The Happy Time," and "Daydreamer." "The Happy Time" was the title song from Goulet's 1968 musical and appeared on the original Broadway cast album, and "Daydreamer" was the title song of a 1966 movie and was on the original soundtrack album. The other songs did not appear on LPs in the '60s, and the collection also rescues some similarly lost tracks from singles, such as "My Best Girl" (from the musical Mame), "The Name of the Game," and "I'd Rather Be Rich." Another hard to find track is actually one of Goulet's signature songs, his 1967 non-LP B-side re-recording of "If Ever I Would Leave You," the song that made him a star when he sang it in the musical Camelot. And "The Girl That I Marry" comes from a 1963 studio cast recording Goulet and Doris Day made of Annie Get Your Gun. Beyond these hits and rarities, the set is filled up with tracks culled from Goulet's raft of '60s studio albums. Fans may quibble at the omissions -- no "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" or "If I Ruled the World" or "There but for You Go I." But that's really just to say that the album could have been longer. It could have been a lot of things. What it is is an inexpensive package containing some of Robert Goulet's best and best-known recordings, as well as some forgotten gems.

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