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  1. #1

    The Great New American Songbook?

    So Johnny Mathis will be releasing a new album called "Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook". Which leads me to ask what Artist/Songs would do you consider to be apart of the "New American Songbook"?

    Below is what will be featured on Johnny Mathis new album:
    Name:  Johnny Mathis.jpeg
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    1. Hallelujah
    2. Once Before I Go
    3. Blue Ain't Your Color
    4. You Raise Me Up
    5. Say Something
    6. Just the Way You Are
    7. I Believe I Can Fly
    8. Remember When
    9. Happy
    10. Hello
    11. Run to You

  2. #2
    Did not know my favorite male artist had a new album being released so soon. Thanks for the info.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    Did not know my favorite male artist had a new album being released so soon. Thanks for the info.
    You're welcome. From the list I wonder if he will be singing Billy Joel or Bruno Mars "Just The Way You Are"

  4. #4
    Probably Billy Joel. Bruno Mars isn't quite New American Songbook - yet.

  5. #5
    It is Bruno Mars "Just The Way You Are", Adele's "Hello" and Pharrell's "Happy". The album is produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. I just got the album today, more info later.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    It is Bruno Mars "Just The Way You Are", Adele's "Hello" and Pharrell's "Happy". The album is produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. I just got the album today, more info later.
    And............says he clinging on to your every word!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    It is Bruno Mars "Just The Way You Are", Adele's "Hello" and Pharrell's "Happy". The album is produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. I just got the album today, more info later.
    Thanks for that update. Let's know what you think?

  8. #8
    Johnny Mathis “The Great New American Songbook”

    This is not meant to be an unbiased review of the album but rather my musings on the latest chapter in the career of an artist I have admired for decades.

    I grew up listening to Johnny because my Mom was a big fan. Then starting with his work of the early 70’s (i.e. “Coming Home”) he became my Johnny Mathis, and I have remained a steadfast fan ever since.

    The fact that there is a latest chapter is amazing in itself. Mathis has been recording and performing consistently for the past sixty-one years. And at 82 years young shows no signs of stopping.

    This latest chapter is classic Mathis. Great song choices and sterling production are givens with a Mathis project; he always surrounds himself with the very best. And the covers formula (be it Tin Pan Alley or Diane Warren) has always worked well for Mathis because his voice is the show. Those two things come together very well with “New American Songbook”.

    It’s a catchy title but I feel it is a bit of a misnomer. I think The Great American Songbook was the era when songwriters (Tin Pan Alley to The Brill Building) were king. The song was the thing and traditionally (especially with Tin Pan Alley) many different artists would record the same song, with competing versions giving the song more exposure, more of a chance to become a classic. Things are just not done that way anymore, so in my opinion there is no new American Songbook. Today there are occasional songs (i.e. “The Look of Love") that maintain mass public appeal and lend themselves well to continued interpretation, that may then become classics, but that’s different concept.

    This album might better have been titled “Mathis Now”. The songs are great but I don’t consider any of them songbook or even modern classics at this point. That said, Johnny performs them in his inimitable style and seems to really enjoy doing so.

    More than on any of his more recent projects I clearly hear the aging of his magnificent voice, there seems to be a bit more of a strain. I am absolutely not saying he sounds bad, quite the contrary he has maintained his instrument impressively well but his voice is aging as would be expected.

    I’ve played the album twice and I’ve really enjoyed listening to it. First impressions, I really like his version of Adele’s “Hello” though he does a sound a bit strained. I love his version of Pharrell’s “Happy”, his optimism is contagious. I pretty much like all the performances, though I thought “I Believe I Can Fly” would be a better fit, maybe a few more listens. All in all, a welcome chapter.
    _______________________
    From Columbia Records via Newswire:

    LEGACY RECORDINGS TO RELEASE
    The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection

    Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is set to release The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection, the definitive Johnny Mathis career-spanning box set at the end of the year. The 68-disc set comes as a part of the continued celebration of the enduring musical achievements of Johnny Mathis (who first signed with Columbia Records in 1955.) Legacy has worked closely with Mathis on the curation of his Columbia catalog, pouring through the label's deep archive of studio and live material, restoring and remastering tracks for digital release. Within this vast career-spanning boxset, Legacy Recordings has included 62 Columbia albums that have been remastered (25 of which are available on CD for the very first time), two previously unreleased albums, a 2-disc collection featuring 40 previously unreleased songs as well as Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook

  9. #9
    Wow, what a massive box set. I wonder what the price point would be?

    Thanks for your astute, loving review, soph!

  10. #10
    Thank you Sans. I haven't seen a price on the box set yet, but fortunately I have a good FICO score, since I'll probably have to take out a loan!

  11. #11
    I love Johnny so don't take this the wrong way, but I cannot imagine myself ever wanting to own a 68 CD collection by ANYONE or ever taking the time to listen to the music. Can you imagine how long it would take to even get through one session?

    So as much of an honor as it is, I think it is overkill and I will be surprised if it sells enough copies to make it worth the time and effort to compile it. Now having said all of that, if there is ever a 68 CD collection by a certain Miss Warwick or maybe one or two others, and I am still breathing, able to listen to music, and have the money at my disposal, I will reserve the right to re-think my position!!!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    Johnny Mathis “The Great New American Songbook”

    This is not meant to be an unbiased review of the album but rather my musings on the latest chapter in the career of an artist I have admired for decades.

    I grew up listening to Johnny because my Mom was a big fan. Then starting with his work of the early 70’s (i.e. “Coming Home”) he became my Johnny Mathis, and I have remained a steadfast fan ever since.

    The fact that there is a latest chapter is amazing in itself. Mathis has been recording and performing consistently for the past sixty-one years. And at 82 years young shows no signs of stopping.

    This latest chapter is classic Mathis. Great song choices and sterling production are givens with a Mathis project; he always surrounds himself with the very best. And the covers formula (be it Tin Pan Alley or Diane Warren) has always worked well for Mathis because his voice is the show. Those two things come together very well with “New American Songbook”.

    It’s a catchy title but I feel it is a bit of a misnomer. I think The Great American Songbook was the era when songwriters (Tin Pan Alley to The Brill Building) were king. The song was the thing and traditionally (especially with Tin Pan Alley) many different artists would record the same song, with competing versions giving the song more exposure, more of a chance to become a classic. Things are just not done that way anymore, so in my opinion there is no new American Songbook. Today there are occasional songs (i.e. “The Look of Love") that maintain mass public appeal and lend themselves well to continued interpretation, that may then become classics, but that’s different concept.

    This album might better have been titled “Mathis Now”. The songs are great but I don’t consider any of them songbook or even modern classics at this point. That said, Johnny performs them in his inimitable style and seems to really enjoy doing so.

    More than on any of his more recent projects I clearly hear the aging of his magnificent voice, there seems to be a bit more of a strain. I am absolutely not saying he sounds bad, quite the contrary he has maintained his instrument impressively well but his voice is aging as would be expected.

    I’ve played the album twice and I’ve really enjoyed listening to it. First impressions, I really like his version of Adele’s “Hello” though he does a sound a bit strained. I love his version of Pharrell’s “Happy”, his optimism is contagious. I pretty much like all the performances, though I thought “I Believe I Can Fly” would be a better fit, maybe a few more listens. All in all, a welcome chapter.
    _______________________
    From Columbia Records via Newswire:

    LEGACY RECORDINGS TO RELEASE
    The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection

    Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is set to release The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection, the definitive Johnny Mathis career-spanning box set at the end of the year. The 68-disc set comes as a part of the continued celebration of the enduring musical achievements of Johnny Mathis (who first signed with Columbia Records in 1955.) Legacy has worked closely with Mathis on the curation of his Columbia catalog, pouring through the label's deep archive of studio and live material, restoring and remastering tracks for digital release. Within this vast career-spanning boxset, Legacy Recordings has included 62 Columbia albums that have been remastered (25 of which are available on CD for the very first time), two previously unreleased albums, a 2-disc collection featuring 40 previously unreleased songs as well as Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook
    Thanks so much for that review. I will definitely check out those songs you listed that you liked.

    BTW - Here he is covering "Ain't No Woman Like The One I Got"

  13. #13
    While looking for those songs, I never knew Johnny did one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs "Love Never Felt So Good":

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    Thank you Sans. I haven't seen a price on the box set yet, but fortunately I have a good FICO score, since I'll probably have to take out a loan!
    Ha! I know that’s right! Bring a forklift with you while you’re at it!😁

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Ha! I know that’s right! Bring a forklift with you while you’re at it!��
    And an armored truck!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I love Johnny so don't take this the wrong way, but I cannot imagine myself ever wanting to own a 68 CD collection by ANYONE or ever taking the time to listen to the music. Can you imagine how long it would take to even get through one session?

    So as much of an honor as it is, I think it is overkill and I will be surprised if it sells enough copies to make it worth the time and effort to compile it. Now having said all of that, if there is ever a 68 CD collection by a certain Miss Warwick or maybe one or two others, and I am still breathing, able to listen to music, and have the money at my disposal, I will reserve the right to re-think my position!!!
    Your points are well taken. “And in reality” (as Mary Wells sings) I know the set may be priced out of my reach. It depends on how it is marketed. If it’s marketed as a very limited release aimed at the more affluent record buyer I will probably have to pass. If the price point speaks to the less affluent buyer I’m on board. I have no idea what a 68 disc set would run. I’d love to own the collection but if the price is too high, I will say bye-bye.

    Another artist I admire very much is Julie London. A few years ago EMI Japan did a complete box on London that was 33 discs. Man, I wanted that set but as a limited import it was outrageously expensive. Love, love, love Miss London, but I couldn’t do it. And I love, love, love Mr. Mathis but if it is too expensive I won’t do it either.

  17. #17
    The 68 CD set has a release date of December 8th, the list price is $499.98. Amazon is listing it at $427.49, an another site had it for $412.00. However Importcds (which always seems to have the lowest prices) has is for $337.24. I'd figured if it was under $400.00 I'd get it. I preordered with Importcds. My Christmas gift to me.

    Side bar: This set contains only Mathis' albums released by Columbia Records. From 1963 to 1966 Mathis recorded eleven albums for Mercury Records. This period is documented in "The Complete Global Albums Collection" released in 2012. It contains the eleven Mercury albums, an unreleased album and two CDs of singles an unreleased material. When Mathis left Mercury he took his masters and the albums went out of print. After his return to Columbia the label released two compilation albums of the Global material.

  18. #18
    Shipping weight for the set is 16.32 lbs.! Yes, I'll have sixteen pounds of Johnny Mathis please.

  19. New American songbook are given below:



    Just the Way You Are
    I Believe I Can Fly
    You Raise Me Up
    Say Something
    Once In Love With Amy
    People
    Saturday Night
    September So
    Over The Rainbow

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