B-Sides and Rarities

B-Sides and Rarities

by Andy Williams


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B-Sides and Rarities

When a record buyer filters through an artist's catalog, it is likely that any disc with the words "B-sides" and/or "rarities" printed on it will automatically be dismissed as a record company's attempt to make money on stale, leftover songs. However, there are instances in which a surplus collection, like Andy Williams' B-Sides and Rarities, can stand on its own merit and reveal some terrific songs or performances that simply got lost in the shuffle. Most of the songs dusted off for this disc are from Williams' peak years at Columbia Records, where for a decade he cranked out an amazing 14 Top Ten albums on the Billboard chart. The two exceptions open the disc as Andy and his brothers back Kay Thompson on the late-'40s big band hits "Louisiana Purchase" and "Jubilee." While these songs are fun and reflective of Thompson's innovative nightclub act with the Williams Brothers, they seem out of place when immediately followed by Andy's suave solo voice on 1962's bouncing waltz "Help Me." Being nominated for an Academy Award was not enough to get A-side consideration for the gorgeous "The Peking Theme (So Little Time)" from the film 55 Days at Peking. The simplicity of Dimitri Tiomkin's melody along with Williams' tender vocals makes this song a worthy companion to any of Andy's movie-theme hits. As with similar collections, there are bumps in the road, and a large pothole is felt in "The Many Faces of Love," where Andy's forced phrasing collapses under the weight of this Righteous Brothers knockoff. Also, the lounge-ish arrangement and reading of "Long Long Time," a song most associated with Linda Ronstadt, could have stayed in the vault. The most revealing find is the finale, "I'll Never Be the Same," a Jimmy Webb-style song recorded but never used for Williams' unjustly overlooked work, 1973's Solitaire. The bittersweet song demonstrates that he was still a viable artist in the burgeoning era of the singer/songwriter, but the album (a hit in England) failed to catch on and signaled his inevitable decline in popularity. More than a treasure for fans, B-Sides and Rarities documents the unheard side of Williams' career and adds to the recorded legacy of one of America's greatest pop vocalists.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/27/2003
Label: Collectables
UPC: 0090431752920
catalogNumber: 7529
Rank: 227138

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Andy Williams   Primary Artist
Robert Mersey   Conductor

Technical Credits

Franz Schubert   Composer
Dimitri Tiomkin   Composer
Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Henry Mancini   Composer
Gordon Lightfoot   Composer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Paul Anka   Composer
Carole King   Composer
Bert Kaempfert   Composer
Art Harris   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Mort Shuman   Composer
Roger Cook   Composer
June Millington   Composer
Alex Harvey   Composer
Rube Bloom   Composer
Capps   Arranger
Roger Greenaway   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Kirby Johnson   String Arrangements
Isham Jones   Composer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Terry Kirkman   Composer
Richard Maltby   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Robert Mersey   Arranger
Doc Pomus   Composer
Bob Russell   Composer
Bobby Scott   Composer
Robert Scott   Composer
David Shire   Composer
Paul Francis Webster   Composer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Gary White   Composer
Kay Thompson   Composer
Tony Macaulay   Composer
Paul Salamunovich   Director
Carolyn Leigh   Composer
Jack Segal   Composer
Richard Erikson   Liner Notes
Fred Jay   Composer
Fred Jacobson   Composer
Richard Jones   Director
Raymond O'Sullivan   Composer

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