Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Musical Reunion with America's Girl Next Door
Genres: Pop, Rock, Children's Music
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Annette's personality shines though
Jonny Cruiser | London United Kingdom | 02/14/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who sat transfixed watching Annette on the Mickey Mouse Club and the various spin-off movies like The Shaggy Dog, will have fond memories of this lovely girl who became a beautiful woman, and I'd strongly recommend her (auto)biography, A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, which glosses over rather a lot, but reveals a warm, caring woman stricken so cruelly with MS.
But what about the music? I bought Tall Paul and First Name Initial as singles and they still sound good and stand up as representing the innocence of pop music at the time. There are one or two others that are catchy and fun - Pineapple Princess, Mister Piano Man - but I have to say that on the whole, hearing the songs on these two CDs is a painful experience. It helps to look at the nicely illustrated booklet when listening, but the bulk of these songs, with Annette in her Hawaiian (Luau Cha-Cha-Cha), Italian (Please, Please Signore), Dance (Rock-A-Polka) and Beach (Bikini Beach Party) periods, are dreadful. I don't blame her for a moment, though the writers had to accommodate her limited singing range, it's just that the songs sound so utterly bland - dull arrangements, routine back-up voices, embarrassing lyrics, tuneless "melodies". Songs like Don't Jump To Conclusions, Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy and Rock-A-Cha should have been suffocated at birth. Despite all this, somehow, Annette's vivacious personality manages to win the day, but dipping in is recommended, rather than listening to these relentlessly anodyne numbers in one sitting. It's a shame that the best song she ever recorded, Carole King and Gerry Goffin's Dreamin' About You is not included here, and die-hard fans should seek out her take on The Beatles All My Loving for a further example of how poorly she was treated in a recording studio (as she was on screen, but that's another story).
The CDs are nicely packaged in pastel pinks and greens, but this is really one for those of us who were smitten at the time and want to relive some of the innocence of the late 50s and early 60s.
Still Not Complete - But A Beautiful Set Nonetheless
Henando DeSoto | 08/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I came across this 2-CD box set from Disney I immediately thought that, perhaps at last here was the definitive Annette compilation as surely, among the generous 47 tracks, they would have included all 10 of the hit singles she had from 1959 to 1961, AND their flipsides. I was wrong.
There is STILL no Annette CD containing her version of Talk To Me Baby which was written by Paul Anka and which reached # 92 Billboard Pop Hot 100 for her in late December 1960. Also missing from this set are Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me which backed her first hit, Tall Paul, # 7 in early 1959, and Love Me Forever which was the flip of Jo-Jo The Dog-Faced Boy, a # 73 later that spring. The early pressings of Jo-Jo had Lonely Guitar as the B-side, but when that began to receive more airplay than the A-side Buena Vista quickly re-released it as a single b/w Wild Willie, and it hit # 50.
The other aspects of this box set are fine, including the sound quality, and the two picture discs giving us a couple of nice shots of Annette [one with the prerequisite surf board]. But especially welcome is the 40-page book containing extensive liner notes written by Joe Rhodes and the many wonderful candid pictures of Annette through various stages of her career. These include shots with fellow Mouseketeer Jimmie Dodd, Frankie Avalon, Tommy Sands, Guy Williams [from Zorro], orchestra leader Tutti Camarata, Dick Clark, and Paul Anka, as well as album and poster reproductions galore. There is also a nice full-page note from Annette herself.
The only flaws, in fact, are the missing hit and B-sides, and the lack of discography of the contents.
A nostalgic delight
Nicholas A. Ziinojr | ridge, new york United States | 10/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK,so she didn't have a great voice.But Annette Funicello worked hard at her music,and for anyone like me who grew up in that era,this two-CD
collection is a nostalgic treat.It may not be art,but listening to this is
sure good fun.The tunes are still enjoyable,and Annette sings them quite well.And the accompanying book is a nostalga buff's delight.All in all,
this is a wonderful trip down memory lane."