Victor Wood

Certified Jukebox Kings

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In 1999, Victor Wood and Fred Panopio released a joint album, Certified Jukebox Kings. The album is called thusly because both Victor Wood and Fred Panopio were extremely popular singers in the 1970s, and many of their records were heard on local jukeboxes. Filipinos haven't forgotten either singer, and there is an audience for their music. Wood and Panopio perform together on the Filipino ballad "Buhay Sintunado" (Life Out of Key) as well as "Salamat Sa Iyo" (Thank You to You), a remake of "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," but using different lyrics written in Tagalog, the Philippines' national language.

Fred Panopio sings five numbers by himself, and Victor Wood also performs five songs. The album is entertaining, and the two acquit themselves well on the duet, "Salamat Sa Iyo." There is an endearing nasal quality to Panopio's singing, and he sounds almost like "Willie Nelson" here, who sang on the original version with Julio Iglesias.

"Inamorata," performed by Panopio, is an upbeat, charming ditty, and sounds like a romantic Italian song. One can almost imagine Fred Panopio crooning this song on a gondola. Victor Wood doesn't sing as well as Fred Panopio, but he makes a good effort.

Victor Wood strains in places, as heard on "Sa Isip Ko'y Ikaw Pa Rin" (In My Mind It's Still You), a remake of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody," and "Ngayon Ang Simula" (Now Is the Start), a remake of "And I Love You So." Half the album comprises original Filipino tunes, while the other half contains remakes of international songs.

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