Engelbert Humperdinck

We Made It Happen

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His fifth album in four years, and the beginning of a six-year dry spell on the Top 40 until "After the Lovin'" would appear, Engelbert Humperdinck sings Paul Anka's "We Made It Happen" as the title and opening track to this project, which proves an interesting and strong bid for chart action under the musical direction of Ian Green. Covering the Bee Gees' "Words," a decent rendition of the Beatles' "Something," and even Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'," Humperdinck here is moving into the post-Top 40 Johnny Mathis direction of performing other people's well-known melodies rather than breaking his own hits. There were always some copy tunes injected into Humperdinck's previous work, but not so blatantly and pervasively as on this 11-song collection. Longtime producer Peter Sullivan is still doing the supervision, though Charles Blackwell's arrangement of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" feels a bit labored. Ditto for the rendition of the Ray Charles Singers' sublime "Love Me With All Your Heart (Quando Caliente El Soli)," also directed and arranged by Blackwell. Humperdinck overcomes the pedestrian orchestral walk-through with a soulful vocal, but it is clear that this formula was not matching previous successes. Mike Vickers' take on "Leavin' on a Jet Plane" makes this clear, though Charles Blackwell does give the Bee Gees' "Words" a very nice setting; it is, perhaps, the best of the "covers" on this satisfactory but less than stellar outing by the popular vocalist. Side two is more traditional Engelbert, sandwiched in between Harry Nilsson and Peter, Paul & Mary chart adventures. These moments -- Les Reed's innovative take on "Love for Love (Ciao, My Love)" and Mike Vickers work on "Just Say I Love Her" and "My Wife the Dancer," are the ones that deliver what audiences craved from the singer. Any one of those three titles should have broken through for E.H..

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