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Johnny Mathis – Live (1988) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Johnny Mathis – Live (1988)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 43:40 minutes | 476 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Columbia

Great voice from a master and I enjoy most of the song selections (although not all). There’s something about a live performance that outshines a studio track that is usually overproduced, etc. Live concerts sort of show if an entertainer can pull it off live or not. He’s a legend for a reason and it shows with this live recording.

Johnny Mathis chooses an interesting, varied set list for this 1984 concert collection. Of course, there are a few of his big ’50s hits — “Misty,” “A Certain Smile,” “The Twelfth of Never,” “Chances Are” — as well as a few songs covered on recent albums — “99 Miles from L.A.” from 1975’s Feelings, “When a Child Is Born” from 1976’s I Only Have Eyes for You, “Begin the Beguine” from 1979’s The Best Days of My Life (and an adult contemporary chart entry), and “Memory” from 1982’s Friends in Love. Then there are more unusual choices, notably the set-opening cover of Kenny Loggins’ first solo hit, “I Believe in Love,” from the soundtrack to the 1976 film A Star Is Born, which gets things off the ground with a Latin beat; a cover of Peter Allen’s sole pop hit, “Fly Away,” from 1981; and a nod to Mathis’ predecessor, Nat King Cole, with a revival of Cole’s 1950 onomatopoeic hit “Orange Colored Sky.” Mathis has always been an expert at finding and performing music that ties together the often disparate styles of popular music over four decades, and his choices here are characteristic. Of course, he also performs them winningly with effective backup. All one could hope for would be more of an acknowledgment of the live context beyond the applause; Mathis speaks to his fans only once, briefly. ~ William Ruhlmann

01. I Believe In Love
02. Misty
03. Begin The Beguine
04. Fly Away
05. A Certain Smile
06. Memory
07. The Twelfth Of Never
08. Try To Win A Friend
09. 99 Miles From L.A.
10. Chances Are
12. When a Child Is Born


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