The Love Album

by: Ronnie Dove

Having previously issued Golden Classics, three volumes of The Collection, and a Rarities album on Ronnie Dove, reissue label Collectables Records has covered Dove's Diamond Records recordings thoroughly. A common reissue concept not yet mined is found on The Love Album, in which an artist's romantic ballads are collected. The concept is always a bit of a conceit, since popular singers sing about love in nearly all their performances. In Dove's case, Collectables has decided there must be at least a smattering of the singer's hits, so his two biggest ones, "One Kiss for Old Times Sake" and "Right or Wrong," lead off the set, and also included are his chart remake of "Mountain of Love" and the Top 20 hit "When Liking Turns to Loving." As the inclusion of the up-tempo "Mountain of Love" suggests, the collection is not restricted to ballads, but also includes several rhythm numbers, notably the rollicking "That New Old Fashioned Love." Dove is an emotive singer in the Johnnie Ray mold, employing a similar adenoidal tenor, so his performances have an urgency and intensity that takes them beyond the usual warmth and affection of the "love album" concept. In his hands, standards like "You Made Me Love You" and "I Can Stop Loving You" shake off their dust and become passionate statements. And the love Dove has in mind is not always above-board; on the country song "Lovin' on Backstreets," it is illicit. The Ronnie Dove version of a "love album" thus offers more varieties of love than most, and is better for it. ~ William Ruhlmann

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