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The Singles

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Johnny Mathis 9/25/2015

Review

The conceit behind the 2015 box The Singles is simple: collect all the songs Johnny Mathis originally released as singles while he was at Columbia. That is a long stretch of time -- it begins with 1956's "Wonderful! Wonderful!" and ends in 1981 with "Nothing Between Us But Love" -- and The Singles also covers ground not often heard on a Johnny Mathis collection, with a full 31 of its 87 tracks seeing their CD debut here. It should be noted that this doesn't mean The Singles contains every one of Mathis' hits. Anything originally appearing on an album is not here, which means a handful of charting hits are missing in action (the biggest among these is "Misty," the 1959 number 12 hit that's part of the Grammy Hall of Fame), and while they're missed, there's also something to be said for breaking Mathis' career down to 45s. For one, it's easy to trace trends within this confined setting. Mathis may not have chased fads -- a large part of his charm lay in how he embraced old-fashioned crooning at the height of rock & roll, yet seemed youthful -- but times invariably change, no matter how intently Mitch Miller tried to preserve the middle of the road in amber. Miller handed over the everyday production reins of Mathis to Al Ham as the '50s gave way to the '60s and there was a slow shift in Johnny's records, as he retained the syrupy gaze of Miller but also broadened his palette to encompass elements of widescreen drama but, just as often, he'd return to the velvet pop he pioneered with Miller. Mathis took a four-year hiatus in the middle of the '60s, riding out the peak of the British Invasion and Motown over at Mercury, then returned to a Miller-less Columbia in 1967, finding it a place amenable to appropriations of current pop trends. Mathis remained a crooner -- he didn't dress in paisley and pick up an acoustic guitar -- but he dabbled in modern production trends and sang songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Jimmy Webb, and Burt Bacharach & Hal David. This stretch of singles -- beginning about halfway through the third disc and ending partway through the fourth -- is the most varied portion of The Singles, so it's the most interesting to hear, while the remaining late-'70s material is nice adult contemporary. Nevertheless, the first two discs contain the music that crystallized Johnny Mathis' appeal: he made the middle of the road seem fresh and if Mitch Miller's productions grow wearisome, Mathis' voice never does. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Wonderful! Wonderful! [Single Version] Johnny Mathis 2:46
  3. 2 When Sunny Gets Blue Johnny Mathis 2:38
  4. 3 It's Not for Me to Say [From the MGM Film, "Lizzie" ] Johnny Mathis 3:2
  5. 4 Warm and Tender [From the MGM Film, "Lizzie" ] Johnny Mathis 2:22
  6. 5 Chances Are Johnny Mathis 3:0
  7. 6 The Twelfth of Never [Single Version] Johnny Mathis 2:25
  8. 7 Wild Is the Wind Johnny Mathis 2:23
  9. 8 No Love (But Your Love) Johnny Mathis 2:17
  10. 9 When I Am With You Johnny Mathis 2:55
  11. 10 Come to Me Johnny Mathis 3:2
  12. 11 All the Time [From the B'way Musical, "Oh, Captain!"] Johnny Mathis 2:42
  13. 12 Teacher, Teacher Johnny Mathis 2:38
  14. 13 A Certain Smile Johnny Mathis 2:46
  15. 14 Let It Rain Johnny Mathis 2:37
  16. 15 Call Me Johnny Mathis 2:44
  17. 16 Stairway to the Sea [Scalinatella] Johnny Mathis 2:35
  18. 17 You Are Beautiful Johnny Mathis 3:7
  19. 18 Let's Love Johnny Mathis 2:42
  20. 19 Someone Johnny Mathis 2:54
  21. 20 Very Much in Love Johnny Mathis 2:45
  22. 21 I Look at You Johnny Mathis 2:40
  23. 22 The Flame of Love Johnny Mathis 2:47
  24. 1 Small World Johnny Mathis 3:17
  25. 2 You Are Everything to Me Johnny Mathis 2:56
  26. 3 The Story of Our Love Johnny Mathis 2:24
  27. 4 The Best of Everything Johnny Mathis 2:42
  28. 5 Cherie Johnny Mathis 2:45
  29. 6 Starbright Johnny Mathis 2:48
  30. 7 All Is Well Johnny Mathis 2:29
  31. 8 Hey Love Johnny Mathis 2:25
  32. 9 My Love for You Johnny Mathis 3:4
  33. 10 Oh That Feeling Johnny Mathis 2:31
  34. 11 How to Handle a Woman [From the B'way Musical, "Camelot"] Johnny Mathis 3:0
  35. 12 While You're Young Johnny Mathis 2:52
  36. 13 You Set My Heart to Music [From the Musical, "Thirteen Daughters"] Johnny Mathis 2:42
  37. 14 Jenny Johnny Mathis 2:54
  38. 15 Should I Wait (Or Should I Run to Her) Johnny Mathis 2:46
  39. 16 Laurie, My Love Johnny Mathis 2:23
  40. 17 Wasn't the Summer Short? Johnny Mathis 2:53
  41. 18 There You Are Johnny Mathis 2:46
  42. 19 My Kind of Christmas Johnny Mathis 2:59
  43. 20 Christmas Eve Johnny Mathis 2:55
  44. 21 Sweet Thursday Johnny Mathis 2:28
  45. 22 One Look Johnny Mathis 2:43
  46. 23 Marianna Johnny Mathis 2:50
  47. 24 Unaccustomed as I Am Johnny Mathis 2:54
  48. 25 That's the Way It Is Johnny Mathis 2:47
  49. 1 I'll Never Be Lonely Again Johnny Mathis 3:7
  50. 2 Gina Johnny Mathis 2:43
  51. 3 I Love Her That's Why Johnny Mathis 2:26
  52. 4 What Will My Mary Say Johnny Mathis 3:7
  53. 5 Quiet Girl Johnny Mathis 2:56
  54. 6 Every Step of the Way Johnny Mathis 3:20
  55. 7 Sooner or Later Johnny Mathis 3:16
  56. 8 I'll Search My Heart Johnny Mathis 3:2
  57. 9 All the Sad Young Men Johnny Mathis 3:2
  58. 10 Don't Talk to Me [From the Paramount Film, "Darling Lili"] Johnny Mathis 3:11
  59. 11 Among the First to Know Johnny Mathis 2:53
  60. 12 Long Winter Nights Johnny Mathis 2:33
  61. 13 Night Dreams Johnny Mathis 2:46
  62. 14 Whoever You Are, I Love You [From the B'way Musical, "Promises, Promises"] Johnny Mathis 3:53
  63. 15 For All We Know Johnny Mathis 2:57
  64. 16 Wherefore and Why Johnny Mathis 3:20
  65. 17 The Last Time I Saw Her Johnny Mathis 5:8
  66. 18 Darling Lili Johnny Mathis 2:48
  67. 19 Sign of the Dove Johnny Mathis 2:47
  68. 20 Christmas Is... [Single Version] Johnny Mathis 3:2
  69. 21 Ten Times Forever More Johnny Mathis 2:34
  70. 1 I Was There Johnny Mathis 2:24
  71. 2 Evie Johnny Mathis 3:6
  72. 3 Think About Things Johnny Mathis 2:55
  73. 4 If We Only Have Love Johnny Mathis 2:41
  74. 5 This Way Mary [From the Universal Film, "Mary, Queen of Scots"] Johnny Mathis 3:8
  75. 6 Sometimes Johnny Mathis 2:59
  76. 7 I Johnny Mathis 3:5
  77. 8 Take Good Care of Her Johnny Mathis 2:57
  78. 9 Walking Tall [From the Cinerama Film, "Walking Tall"] Johnny Mathis 3:31
  79. 10 Turn the Lights Down Johnny Mathis 4:10
  80. 11 Christmas in the City of the Angels Johnny Mathis 2:46
  81. 12 The Very First Christmas Day [Single Version] Johnny Mathis 3:4
  82. 13 The Lord's Prayer Johnny Mathis 3:24
  83. 14 When a Child Is Born Johnny Mathis 3:53
  84. 15 Nothing Between Us But Love Johnny Mathis 3:21
  85. 16 It Doesn't Have to Hurt Every Time Johnny Mathis 3:40
  86. 17 There! I've Said It Again Johnny Mathis 2:46
  87. 18 Three Times a Lady Johnny Mathis 4:14
  88. 19 The Way You Look Tonight Johnny Mathis 3:15

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