Frankie Laine

The Very Best of Frankie Laine (ABC Years)

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The Very Best of Frankie Laine (ABC Years) Review

by William Ruhlmann

Frankie Laine did most of his best and most popular recording for Mercury Records (in the 1940s and early '50s) and for Columbia Records (in the '50s and early '60s). But in 1966, he signed to ABC Records and made a surprising comeback, placing nine songs in the pop charts through 1969, including three Top 40 hits, "I'll Take Care Of Your Cares," "Making Memories," and his biggest late-period record, "You Gave Me a Mountain," which was written for him by Marty Robbins, though it has since become better known in renditions by Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson. Laine did even better in the easy listening charts, placing 12 songs, six of them in the Top Ten, including the above-mentioned tunes plus "You Wanted Someone to Play With (I Wanted Someone to Love)," "You, No One But You," and "To Each His Own." Though in his fifties, Laine was still in good voice and the material suited his bravura style. Taragon's compilation (the first CD release of this material) contains all of the chart material in chronological order, plus a final non-chart single, "Allegra"/"If I Didn't Believe In You." The ABC years may not have been the very best of Frankie Laine, but they were very good, and The Very Best Of (ABC Years) (although, at 41-and-a-half minutes, it could be longer) contains everything it should to live up to its name.

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