More Johnny's Greatest Hits

by: Johnny Mathis

Columbia Records invented the "greatest hits" album by releasing Johnny Mathis' Johnny's Greatest Hits in March 1958, and was rewarded with a long-running #1 hit that spent years in the best-seller charts. Following it with a second volume More Johnny's Greatest Hits was a no-brainer. Unfortunately, Columbia waited only 15 months between the two albums -- long enough for Mathis to release five singles that all managed modest chart success, though none matched the hit status of songs from the first album, such as "It's Not for Me to Say," "Chances Are," and "The Twelfth of Never." "Teacher, Teacher" (the flipside of "All the Time," which had appeared on the first album), "A Certain Smile," "Call Me," and "Small World" all made the Top 20 on at least one of the charts, but the album was filled with less-successful singles and B-sides. There are some excellent examples of the singer's characteristic ballad style, but he also struggles with inferior uptempo material, and the album is uneven, especially in comparison to its predecessor. Nevertheless, it went gold and spent more than a year and a half in the charts, ample evidence of Mathis's continuing appeal. ~ William Ruhlmann

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