Sequel Records exhumed most of the Gene Pitney catalog on Musicor for reissue in the '90s. True, most casual fans would probably be satisfied with a collection of hits, as the singles generally constituted Pitney's strongest material, but this particular pairing -- of his two LPs from 1967 -- is notable for going against that pattern. Young and Warm and Wonderful was a stand-alone LP, not connected with any hit single, and featured one of the odder and more daring bodies of repertory in Pitney's output, mostly standards from the '40s or earlier. And Just One Smile was an album built around an unexpected hit (recorded two years before) that caught Pitney with some very strong LP tracks (one of which was to chart as a U.K. single several years later). So there's nothing routine about the contents here, and the producers have done us the kindness of including the U.S. and U.K. variant tracks on Just One Smile, and they've also appended a pair of chronologically related single sides to the paired LP tracks. The resulting CD is chock-full of material that Pitney fans will love, and which won't displease even casual listeners. Perhaps there's nothing as memorable here as "24 Hours from Tulsa" or "Town Without Pity," but the CD gives a good explanation for his career longevity, especially in England.
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