Andy Williams

You Lay So Easy on My Mind/The Other Side of Me

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This discount-priced compilation combines two Andy Williams albums released originally in succession in 1974 and 1975, a period when Williams' career as a front-line recording artist was coming to a close. For You Lay So Easy on My Mind, he traveled to Nashville and tried his hand at recording in a countrypolitan style with producer Billy Sherrill. Sherrill gave him the kind of arrangements typical of his work with Tammy Wynette and George Jones: sweeping strings, a wordless female chorus, a tinkling honky tonk piano, and a pedal steel guitar. The selections included country hits like Wynette's "Another Lonely Song" and Charlie Rich's "I Love My Friend," some older country material, and a couple of pop hits that had also registered in the country charts: "I Honestly Love You" and "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song." Williams, of course, sang in his warm, rich voice without a trace of a country twang, but as usual he was able to make himself at home. For The Other Side of Me, he returned to a more conventional setting, responding to a comeback made by singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka by cutting four of Sedaka's songs and throwing in his two-year-old recording of Sedaka's "Solitaire." Along with some hits ("My Eyes Adored You," "Feelings," "Mandy"), there were also some good, if obscure compositions from the likes of Danny O'Keefe ("Quits") and Stevie Wonder ("What Happens to You"), making for a well-rounded album of mature love songs set in light pop/rock arrangements and smoothly sung. Due to their marginal sales, You Lay So Easy on My Mind and The Other Side of Me are not well-remembered titles in Andy Williams' discography, but they are as good as his other albums of the late '60s and early '70s.

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