The Sandpipers

The Wonder of You

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For the Sandpipers' fourth long-player, vocalists James Brady, Michael Piano, Richard Shoff, and the uncredited Pamela Ramcier continue their interpretation of popular tunes from a multitude of genres. There are discernible differences however. For instance, there are no Beatles cover tunes, fewer multilingual remakes, and likewise the distinction between the type of arrangements has decreased significantly. That isn't to suggest that enthusiasts of the Sandpipers' earlier sides won't enjoy this collection, but there aren't as many hidden gems. The Norman Gimbel/Baden Powell samba "Let Go" gets things underway with the same scintillating rhythm of Rosemary Clooney and Astrud Gilberto's better-known renditions. A highlight follows with another Gimbel collaboration as he teams with cinematic composer Lalo Schifrin. The pair's laid-back "That Night" was used as the haunting theme song for director Mark Rydell's 1967 adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's The Fox. The Sandpipers' vocals weave hypnotically through the languid, bittersweet melody. By contrast and to lesser effect is "Windmills of Your Mind" -- from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) -- as the midtempo overhaul diminishes the sinister nature of Dusty Springfield's Top 40 version. The heavy-handed orchestration is incongruously matched with the combo's lightweight voices on the title track "The Wonder of You." That problem certainly didn't hamper Ray Peterson's 1959 or Elvis Presley's 1970 readings however. More successful is the light and catchy "Pink Flamingo" as well as the return to the Sandpipers' former glories on the bilingual "Yellow Days" and "Lo Mucho Que Ye Quiero (The More I Love You)." In 2006, Collectors' Choice Music paired Misty Roses with the follow-up The Wonder of You (1968) on a two-fer CD -- making each available for the first time in the digital domain.

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