Doris Day

The Love Album [UK]

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The songs heard on The Love Album first came to light nearly 30 years after their recording, but they should never have lingered in the vaults so long; what's more, if an LP had appeared on schedule, it would have easily remained Doris Day's finest album of the '60s. But neither her commercial fortunes nor the market for Tin Pan Alley songs (even standards) appeared particularly bright in 1967. Day had just broken with her record label Columbia, and was producing herself for the first time; and most of her contemporaries were either fighting the tide of pop culture or only keeping their head above water by covering new standards such as "Sunny" or "The Windmills of Your Mind." Day chose instead to sing a collection of songs whose cumulative age was something like 350 years old (although the chestnut "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" had been revived by Elvis Presley only a few years earlier). Day sings simply, sweetly, and straight as an arrow, as always, but she infuses these songs with a multitude of emotion that most singers need a half-dozen notes to get across. Recording with a core quintet plus background strings, Day and her co-producers (one of which was her husband Marty) seemed to realize what Columbia did only fitfully -- that Doris Day was a singer whose power lay with the sparseness of the arrangements behind her. Added to the program for its 2006 release were three songs, including a bewitching version of "Both Sides Now" and a reunion with her World War II standard "Sentimental Journey."

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