Chris Montez

The More I See You/Call Me

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Ezekiel Christopher Montanez, aka Chris Montez, hit the Top Five in 1962 with "Let's Dance," a proto-garage rock song which could segue nicely with the Surfaris' "Wipe Out" or the Champs' "Tequila." Four years later, he's pictured with Herb Alpert on the back cover of this album of pretty much standards which yielded three Top 40 hits. It's a delightful, breezy excursion recorded at Gold Star with Larry Levine engineering the Tommy LiPuma/Herb Alpert production work. "Call Me" is pure Tony Hatch, but without Hatch's standard production technique, giving it a much different flavor from his work with Petula Clark. There's a tongue-in-cheek campiness to Montez's Wayne Newton/Neil Sedaka feminine vocal range, a fact that does not escape the Derek Taylor liner notes, which are a bit odd for this pop/middle of the road blend. What is even more odd is that Chris Montez didn't have a huge comeback during the '70s reign of Captain & Tenille, Rita Coolidge, Helen Reddy, Barry Manilow, and other adult contemporary hit artists who followed in his sugary footsteps. There is only one formula at play here, and A&M milks it for all it is worth: It's in Herb Alpert's arranging a rendition of Bruce Channel's 1962 smash "Hey! Baby," and it saturates the cocktail elegance of "One Note Samba." If you can't resist the two big hits, "Call Me" and "The More I See You" (and who could?), the other ten titles will bring you to the lights of Vegas and '60s schmaltz that is simply glorious. Like "The More I See You," the third hit in this set, "There Will Never Be Another You" is from a '40s movie. The former was taken from Betty Grable's Diamond Horseshoe, the latter from Iceberg. But "There Will Never Be Another You," like the version of "Little White Lies," has the same backing vocal sound and tempo of "The More I See You," repeating the arrangement ideas that spawned the initial hits. All of these failed to crack the Top Ten as his first success, "Let's Dance," did, but inevitably they became the music the singer is most identified with. The powers that be did allow Montez one original, "You, I Love You." It's a pleasant album track that flows nicely along with the other tunes. Classic pop.

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