Review: Perry Como – Seattle (RCA, 1969)
Como’s 1969 LP opens with a number, “Happiness Comes, Happiness Goes,” that suggests the easy listening pop vocalist was late getting to a groovy party hosted by Esquivel. But after only one groovy concoction of fuzz guitars and organ, the album reverts to the light, warm pop that Mister C had been landing on the charts since the early 1940s. The album’s hit was a remake of “Seattle,” the theme to television’s Here Come the Brides. It’s upbeat harpsichord, organ and horns cracked the Top 40 and reached #2 on the adult contemporary chart. The album’s other period piece is “That’s All This Old World Needs,” whose optimism was a better fit for August’s Woodstock than December’s Altamont. Working with RCA staff producers Andy Wiswell and Chet Atkins, Como selected a range of material, including the Brothers Four’s melancholy hit, “Turnaround,” the cheery, Mitch Miller-y “Deep in Your Heart,” and the bluesy “Beady Eyed Buzzard.” Como also recorded a pair of tunes from the legendary Cindy Walker, and his work with Atkins in the famed “Nashville Sound” studio gives several tracks a pop-country feel. Como was perhaps the very easiest of easy listening vocalists, but the lack of pyrotechnics in his vocal style made records recorded in his late ‘50s as smoothly ingratiating as those waxed in his younger years. Don’t be fooled by the opening track, this is a solid easy-pop album with ‘60s pop-country colors.