Andy Williams' Best

by: Andy Williams

In the course of his five-year tenure at Cadence Records, 1956-1961, Andy Williams moved from lightly rocking tunes to the kind of ballad material he focused on later in his career, meanwhile trying out a variety of styles including Hawaiian and religious music. That diversity was reflected in his singles of the period. After Williams left for Columbia Records in 1961, Cadence assembled this 12-track hits collection, which contains the singer's seven Top Ten singles of 1956-1960 -- "Canadian Sunset," "Butterfly," "I Like Your Kind of Love," "Are You Sincere," "The Hawaiian Wedding Song," "Lonely Street," and "The Village of St. Bernadette." The Top 20 singles "Lips of Wine" and "Promise Me, Love" are missing in favor of including Williams' last three, modestly charting, Cadence singles from 1960-1961, Lionel Bart's "Do You Mind," Roger Miller's "(In the Summer Time) You Don't Want Me Love," and the Brecht-Weill song (with English lyrics by Johnny Mercer) "The Bilbao Song," plus the B-sides of the last two singles, "Don't Talk to Strangers" and "How Wonderful to Know." As such, it is not a comprehensive collection of Williams' Cadence chart singles, though it does contain the most successful ones. Cadence head Archie Bleyer carefully developed and expanded Williams' musical posture during the period, but the singles, mixed up as they are here, make that plan seem stylistically scattershot; it's hard to believe that the same singer performed the mild rockabilly of "I Like Your Kind of Love" and the reverent "The Village of St. Bernadette." But at the end of the Cadence years, Williams was a star, and this album spent more than ten months in the charts. (In 1965, Columbia Records reissued Andy Williams' Best under the title Canadian Sunset. It charted briefly.) ~ William Ruhlmann

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