Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Best of Mercury Years
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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One of the very finest
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 12/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"America has been blessed with many great singers of Italian heritage, and Vic Damone, born Vito Rocco Farinola in 1928, is one of the smoothest and finest balladeers of 20th century pop music, with a pure, beautiful tone, and expressive phrasing with amazing breath control. These are his early recordings with the Mercury label, singles released from 1947 through 1954, and there are 23 "A" sides, and two "B" sides included.
Most of the songs are super mellow, with a few up-tempo numbers thrown in, and one wacky tune which charted at # 11 in 1950, "Cincinnati Dancing Pig."
My favorites are the songs where he uses his lovely subtle vibrato to greatest effect, like the brassy, jazzy "Vagabond Shoes" with the Glenn Osser Orchestra, which was # 17 in 1950.
Other favorites include "Just Say I Love Her," in which he sings a phrase of the Italian original ("Dicitincella Vuie"), with the Ronnie Selby Orchestra, and was # 13 in 1950, the bluesy "Music by the Angels," which was the "B" side to "My Heart Cries" and charted at # 18 in 1950 with the George Siravo Orchestra, and the gorgeous "Ebb Tide," # 10 in 1953, with the Richard Hayman Orchestra.
The booklet insert has extensive and very informative liner notes, and a detailed song list. The re-mastered sound from the original mono recordings is excellent (except for a fluttering background noise in "Here in My Heart"), and total playing time is 73'59.
Many years ago I worked as a theater usher...and one day found myself in a terrible predicament; in front of me stood the handsome and impeccably dressed Mr. Damone, and in his reserved seat was a person with no inclination to move. Mr. Damone was so incredibly kind, and dealt with the situation. I always feel that how someone treats those in menial positions speaks volumes...Vic Damone, an exquisite singer, and compassionate human being.
Vito Farinola Could Sing
Malcolm L Kurzban | 09/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of a series known as The Mercury Years, the others being Eddy Howard, Ralph Marterie, The Crew Cuts, The Diamonds, The Gaylords, Tony Martin, The Penguins, The Danleers, and The Del-Vikings. Most contain 25 selections. It goes without saying then, that, when putting out a 25-selection CD presenting the "best of" an artist, and that artist had 37 hit singles for your label, eight have to be left off.
Even with the inclusion of two tracks that were never Mercury hits for Vic - In My Own Quiet Way and The Night Is Young And You're So Beautiful - this is still a nice compilation of the offerings of one of the best crooners [born Vito Farinola on June 12, 1928] to appear in the late 1940s. All we need now is a Volume 2 presenting the following missing hits: Thoughtless (# 22 in early 1948); My Fair Lady (# 27 in June 1948); It's Magic (# 24 in September 1948); Say Something Sweet To Your Sweetheart (a # 23 duet with Patti Page in October 1948); Sitting By The Window (# 29 in January 1950); God's Country (# 27 in March 1950); Can Anyone Explain (No! No! No!) (# 25 in October 1950); Tell Me You Love Me (# 21 in February 1951); If (# 28 in February 1951); Jump Through The Ring (# 22 in May 1952); Take My Heart (the A-side of Rosanne and a # 30 in July 1952); A Village In Peru (# 30 in December 1953); and Por Favor (# 73 in 1955 and his last Mercury hit).
Vic would go on to post five more Billboard Pop Hot 100 hit singles for Columbia, and one with Warner in 1965, also adding another two for Warner on the new Adult Contemporary charts after their introduction in 1961, and seven more AC hits for RCA Victor to his last in 1969.
By far one of the better Vic Damone compilations around."
Vic sold his songs without even trying--and that's no small
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 09/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Vic Damone remains one of the greatest crooners of the entire twentieth century; and this CD gives us a wonderful track set of his best numbers on Mercury Records. The quality of the sound is quite good, too.
The track set begins with Vic singing a marvelous rendition of "I Have But One Heart." Vic's voice is truly its own instrument; and he delivers "I Have But One Heart" without a superfluous note. The strings and horns carry the musical arrangement well, too. "You Do" features the violin at the very beginning of the melody; and when Vic comes in this love ballad takes flight! Vic's voice never sounded better; he could croon with the very best of them. "My Bolero" has a bit too much surface noise; but when Vic sings this you can easily overlook this minor disappointment. The Latin beat enhances the beauty of this number; I am very impressed with how well Vic delivers a song with a Latin beat.
"Tzena, Tzena, Tzena" again proves Vic Damone's versatility lets Vic as he sings a traditional Jewish melody; the tempo is rather quick but Vic never misses a beat. The hand clapping in the background adds a nice touch; and the chorus bolsters "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena," too.
"My Heart Cries For You" showcases Vic's vocals as he sings of his undying love for his woman. This traditional love song shines like gold in Vic's capable hands! Vic delivers this flawlessly; and the melody makes good use of the horns, too. Great! "Calla Calla" sports a great beat and Vic's strong pipes handle this as only a pro ever could. What a relentlessly upbeat number! Good male background chorus, too. "Sugar" reverts back to a more traditional, slow tempo love ballad perfect for romantic dancing with the lights down low. Vic's voice is as smooth as silk; and the saxophone really adds to "Sugar!" I predict that you will enjoy "Sugar" very, very much.
"Eternally" has a dramatic melody embellished by the strings; and Vic handles this with care and great sensitivity. This classic love ballad gets the royal treatment from Vic Damone with subtle tempo changes and Vic's accentuating certain syllables of the words to beautify "Eternally." The last track on this CD, "In My Own Quiet Way," begins with a smooth intro by the strings; and Vic makes "In My Own Quiet Way" memorable with his professional rendition of this classic ballad.
The liner notes give us a great, informative essay by Joseph F. Laredo; and we get a great black and white photo of a young Vic Damone. We also get the song credits and the chart high positions for each song as well.
Vic Damone will never be forgotten. As long as people love classic pop vocals, there will always be a fan base for Vic Damone. Vic's renditions of songs occasionally even topped higher on the charts than Frank Sinatra's renditions; and both men admired each other greatly. If great minds truly do think alike--and I believe that they do--any lover of classic pop vocals should do themselves a favor and get this CD.