Fabulous Les Paul & Mary Fordby Les Paul & Mary Ford
Since Columbia didn't have access to any of Paul and Ford's monster hits, they made do on their budget Harmony line with this collection of stray album tracks, near-hits, and failed singles. Clearly some of the old zip is missing from much of Paul's Columbia music, a lot of which is taken at glacial tempos. But his guitar obligatos to Ford's lugubrious vocals are always fascinating, witty, thoroughly original, and often harmonically audacious; "Am I Blue" is a masterpiece of succinct eloquence. And there were some energetic tracks early in the Columbia period that could stand beside the high-powered Capitol hits: the multi-guitar, sparkling rendition of "The Poor People of Paris" and "Jura (I Swear I Love You)." Whatever its musical value, though, the CD reissue of this ten-tune LP represents appallingly short value, even at a budget price.
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