Dean Martin

My Woman, My Woman, My Wife/For the Good Times

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Collectors' Choice Music's two-fer CD reissue of two long out of print Dean Martin albums, My Woman, My Woman, My Wife and For the Good Times, combines two successive LPs that were both recorded in 1970. That was an unusually heavy workload for Martin, who had pared his recording efforts down to one album, recorded at two three-hour sessions over two consecutive days, per year. Although he doubled up in 1970, his approach didn't change a whit, making these two albums a good combination. As usual, producer Jimmy Bowen, who had been with Martin since his comeback hit, "Everybody Loves Somebody," in 1964, and who had a particular affinity for country music (he would later have a long and successful career as a producer/executive in Nashville), combed through recent country hits and country-styled pop hits, also tossing in country songs of a few years vintage. He then had Ernie Freeman or another arranger come up with charts very much in the style of Nashville sound country. The listener encountering the result 32 years later probably will recognize a number of the songs that have remained popular standards: "Make the World Go Away," "For the Good Times," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," "Raining in My Heart," "For Once in My Life." The rest were big, at least in the country charts, at their time. Marty Robbins' histrionic "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife," Connie Smith's "Once a Day," Buck Owens' "Together Again," and Eddy Arnold's "Turn the World Around" all hit number one, for example. Martin handles all the material with his characteristic style, although he never brings any conviction to his interpretations, which hurts the more serious lyrics. He probably hadn't heard many of these songs before entering the studio and would never think about them again after, and often you can tell.

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