Where Do I Begin!
Scott F. Rogers | Columbus, Indiana United States | 11/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On this 2-for-1 digitally re-mastered CD, Jerry Vale does justice to a "Barry Gibb" song, adds the "Vale" touch to a "Carpenters" tune, brings on a storm with his "Ebb Tide", makes you sing along with a country song, and does a paramount job with his movie themes.
The "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" half of this CD, recorded in 1968, contains 100% perfect vocals and gorgeous orchestrations. With it's driving melody and echo effects, Jerry's version of the title song, "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me", moves, grooves, and soars to a grand finale, "...Believe me!" And "Ebb Tide" is poetry in motion. Jerry starts the song with gentle phrasing and pensive vocals, actuating a crescendo that builds and builds some more, to an outstanding and vocally challenging peak, and then subsides "...I'm at peace in the web of your arms". It's one of my favorites, and not to be missed. Then there's the beautiful "Yellow Days". I always loved Damita Jo's version of that song, and Jerry Vale's is just as sweet. I love the violin at the beginning and the end of "Release Me". It's a perfect compliment to Jerry's voice, just beautiful. When Jerry sings "There's A Kind Of Hush", you can hear a smile in his voice and you know that he loves the song. Add the lavishly done "Eternally", and it's just that, lavish and dramatic.
With Vale in his tux, the "I Don't Know How To Love Her", half of this CD, recorded in 1971, is as classy as it looks. While some of Jerry's 70's recordings were weak, with too much vocal vibrato, this IS NOT the case with this album. His voice is in STRONG, IMPRESSIVE, and MASCULINE form as he sings "Where Do I Begin" from the movie "Love Story". As the song begins, you can tell by Jerry's delivery of the lyrics that he loves this song, and he keeps your attention. As the second verse comes around, and you hear the dramatic orchestration building, you suddenly realize that Jerry Vale is about to go UP along with that climatic orchestra, to meet all those glorious high notes! He gives it the full Vale treatment. Complimented by the superb orchestration, it's a goose-bump-giving hit. "Moonlight", written by Barry Gibb, of the "BeeGees", is superbly sung by Jerry Vale. His rendition became a hit jukebox single, and is the ONLY publicly released version of the song. Another hit single for Jerry on this CD is "Which Way You Goin Girl". As a jukebox single, it was on the flip side of "Moonlight", and again, Jerry's vocals are strong, crisp, and ringing...it's another one of my favorites. Jerry has sung many "Carpenters" tunes, and on this CD, "Rainy Days And Mondays" is another nice addition to that list. "I Don't Know How To Love Her", from the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar" (The original title is "I Don't Know How To Love HIM") is dramatically orchestrated, and Jerry's vocals are excellent. With its climatic music, I wish the song could have been longer! Then there are the country songs. During the 1990's, as part of Vale's concert lineup, he would include a medley of country songs, and rightly he should. Nobody does a country song like Jerry Vale, which is evident by "Help Me Make It Through The Night", "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife", and "For The Good times", all three of which could have been hit singles in their own right with their smooth vocals, nice backup singers, and excellent orchestrations. Don't be surprised to find yourself singing along.
I have often referred to Jerry Vale as a crooner, but he's really much more than that. With his strong clear tenor vocals, trademark grace notes, and long held high notes, Jerry Vale is a PROFESSIONAL SINGER. Quoting from the back cover of the original vinyl LP "I Don't Know How to Love Her", "...He's not a gimmick, not a trick done with mirrors in order to dazzle. That he has enormous talent is obvious...It's a great voice: clear but full, and beautifully musical..." I believe that says it all."