Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dueces Wild/Call of the Wild
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Songs of the Open Road
Michael Pendragon | New York, NY United States | 11/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the opening lyrics of the first song on ("The Hard Way," lyrics by Laine), this cd had me hooked: "The hard way to get here/The hard way to stay/The hard way to work and/The hard way to play..."What follows is a rousing collection of songs about gambling (the "Deuces Wild" half of this double cd) and high adventure on frontiers new and old (the "Call of the Wild" half). Frankie Laine wrote several of the songs, including the delightful (if politically incorrect) "Horses and Women," which (referring to both of the title creatures) boasts such charmingly mischievous lines as "You train 'em, and clock 'em/Even pay their stable fees/You groom 'em, and walk 'em/Let 'em live a life of ease..." (feminists may want to shoot me for saying it, but I love this song).Another favorite is "Camptown Races." I've always loved Stephen Foster's music (from songbooks), but I've never heard anybody do him justice -- until now. Backed by a male chorus, Frankie delivers a high-spirited rendition (you can hear the feelings of sheer joy he must've felt singing it bursting to life with every word). It's one of the music world's great losses that he never did a Stephen Foster collection."Dead Man's Hand" and "Deuces Wild" are wonderful, old fashioned narrative songs (the latter also written by Laine) that draw upon the lore of the old west and life on the Mississippi. And, of course, a stereo rendition of "Moonlight Gambler" is also on hand -- it's got a much different arrangement than the original, and compares well when placed beside it.Some of the highlights on "Call of the Wild" include stereo remakes of two of my favorite Frankie Laine hits: "The Girl in the Woods" and "Swamp Girl." Speaking of stereo: perhaps because stereo was still something of a novelty back in the early 60s, when these albums came out, the arranger/conductor, John Williams (who went on to score all of Steven Spielberg's blockbusters) utilizes the technology to its fullest effect. Basically, the albums create an aural landscape with the chorus off to one, various instruments positioned to the left or right, and Frankie's voice holding it all together in the center. If you close your eyes and listen, it seems like the music fills an entire horizon..."Beyond the Blue Horizon," is a remarkable song, starting out like a slow "Down in the Valley"-style folk song, then picks up to the same level of excitement that infuses the overall spirit of this album. Frankie Laine has been called "The Voice of the Great Outdoors," that description is fully embodied in this work. He carries you through landscapes representing various American frontiers: from the pioneers heading out, to the tumbleweeds blowing across the prairie, to the Alaskan Klondike, to the "New Frontier" of outer space. It's a thrilling tribute to the American spirit, by America's greatest song stylist."
Ever so Wild
Alan Breck | Jersey City, NJ United States | 02/23/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two of Frankie Laine's great albums with Johnny Williams are reissued on one disc- to excellent effect! Although the arrangements and style of these 60s albums resemble Laine's and William's work on "Hell Bent for Leather," in this case the songs are not cowboy songs, but, in the case of "Dueces Wild," gambling songs, and, in the case of "The Call of the Wild," klondike-adventure songs. No popular singer has ever explored this rough and ready terrain with Frankie Laine's success, and it's a thrill to hear him charge through such masculine songs as "Call of the Wild" and "Roving Gambler." Even songs that had proved major hits for other artists are remade in Laine's image: Johnny Horton's "North to Alaska" comes to mind. Some may find these selections and arrangements trite and old-fashioned- and they are- but the sheer strength and passion exhibited here is hard to dislike."