These Years/The Late Late Show

by: Matt Monro

British crooner Matt Monro massages a collection of pop standards and easy listening hits on these two late-'60s albums, reissued on one disc. The albums did not chart or produce hit singles in England, but "What to Do?" was a minor adult contemporary hit in the United States. These Years collects Monro's smoky renditions of recent pop hits, from Herman's Hermits to the Supremes. His arrangement of "Don't Sleep in the Subway" is similar to Frank Sinatra's, also recorded in 1967. "Music to Watch Girls By," the soft-drink jingle that became an instrumental hit for the Bob Crewe Generation, appears here in the vocal version that also provided a hit for Andy Williams. The Late Late Show features pop standards in lush, languorous renditions that stretch the tunes beyond the four-minute mark in several places. Monro's expressive vocals show that the crooner's art was alive and well in the late '60s, and George Martin's production (with a variety of conductors and arrangers providing the rich and varied orchestrations) is flawless. ~ Greg Adams

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