Percy Faith


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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann

Percy Faith's better albums are held together by a theme and a consistency of style; this one is all over the map. It begins with Carole King's Spanish-tinged song from her then-current Fantasy album, then goes on to a revival of an obscure 1960 chart entry by Ernie Freeman (under the pseudonym Sir Chauncey & His Exciting Strings), "Beautiful Obsession"; Lalo Schifrin's theme for the then-recently released kung fu film Enter the Dragon, complete with a wah-wah guitar part; Alex Harvey's theme for the 1970 film Fools, a Top Five easy listening hit for Kenny Rogers & the First Edition in 1971; a Faith original, "Our Love"; a San Remo Festival entry, "Vado Via"; Neil Diamond's 1971 instrumental "Crunchy Granola Suite"; Faith's first recording of his own composition (albeit an adaptation of the French folk song "Chanson de Marie Antoinette"), "My Heart Cries for You," a number one hit for Guy Mitchell in 1951; Miriam Makeba's South African-styled 1967 Top 20 hit "Pata Pata"; "When I Fall in Love" from the 1952 film One Minute to Zero, a Top 20 hit for Doris Day; and jazz great Freddie Hubbard's "First Light." Predictably, Faith is more comfortable with the string-filled ballad material like "My Heart Cries for You." He has nothing to bring to the contemporary, up-tempo tunes like "Crunchy Granola Suite," merely re-creating the original arrangements, but not playing them as well. (Quality notwithstanding, "Crunchy Granola Suite" became a Top 20 easy listening hit for Faith.) And the tracks, from so many different sources and with so many different feels, just don't hang together enough to make this a coherent collection rather than a series of wildly varying performances.

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