Victor Wood

In Despair

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In 1972, Philippine singer Victor Wood released In Despair. Wood was a very popular singer of that era, and recorded many albums for Vicor Records. In Despair is dominated by remakes of popular American songs from the 1950s and 1960s. Three songs here were originally hits for Little Richard in the 1950s, and include "Jenny Jenny," "Rip It Up," and "Good Golly Miss Molly." The album has an assortment of slow and fast songs, and the ballads include "In Despair," "Vaya Con Dios," "Have a Good Time," "Hurt," and "Return to Me." The album's ballads are highly conducive to karaoke singing, and a number of them are often heard in karaoke nightspots. Throughout In Despair, Wood sings in a strong but soothing voice. His performances are always passionate and very sincere. Another of the album's upbeat songs is the remake of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman." Wood's version retains the famous guitar line of the original, but adds a distinctive fuzz tone to it. On Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula," Wood sings in a rough-edged, gritty style, imbued with much passion and spirit. Wood's version of Del Shannon's classic "Runaway" is markedly different from the original, and is performed at a much slower pace and has a more introspective demeanor. The arrangement contains a hypnotic guitar riff not heard in the original. In Despair is very enjoyable, although it doesn't bode well that every song is a remake of an American song.

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