Love Is Blue (Johnny Mathis album)

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Love Is Blue
Johnny-Mathis-Love-Is-Blue---36-475443.jpg
Studio album by Johnny Mathis
Released 1968
Genre Vocal
Pop/Rock[1]
Length 30:04
Label Columbia
Producer Robert Mersey[2]
Johnny Mathis chronology
Up, Up and Away
(1967)
Love Is Blue
(1968)
Those Were the Days
(1968)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars link
Billboard positive[3]

Love Is Blue is an album by American pop singer Johnny Mathis that was released in the spring of 1968[3] by Columbia Records and adhered even more strictly to the concept of the "cover" album of recent hits than its predecessor in that five of the 10 songs selected for the project ("I Say a Little Prayer", "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "The Look of Love", "Never My Love", and the title track) were chart hits for the original artists within the previous year and another three ("Moon River", "Walk On By", and "Venus") had charted within the previous decade. Even the two remaining selections that did not bring chart success to the original artists were by the hit songwriting teams of Burt Bacharach and Hal David ("Don't Go Breakin' My Heart") and John Lennon and Paul McCartney ("Here, There and Everywhere") and left no room for the usual inclusion of some original songs or material from Broadway.

The album debuted on Billboard magazine's Top LP's chart in the issue dated April 13 of that year and reached number 26 over the course of 40 weeks.[4] It also made it to number 44 on the magazine's Best Selling Rhythm & Blues LP's chart during the six weeks it spent there that began in the July 6 issue.[5] The cover of Frankie Avalon's "Venus" "bubbled under" the Billboard Hot 100 to number 111 during its one week on the chart in the issue of the magazine dated June 22, 1968,[6] the same issue in which it also began its three weeks on the list of the 40 most popular Easy Listening songs in the US that included a peak position at number 23.[7]

Love Is Blue was released for the first time on compact disc in 2009 as one of two albums on one CD, the other LP being the previous Mathis release, Up, Up And Away.[8]

Reception[edit]

In his review of the album, Lindsay Planer of Allmusic compared several of the Mathis covers here to the original hits, such as "Moon River", which he found to be "arguably besting Andy Williams's on sheer emotive tone."[1] He had similar praise for "By the Time I Get to Phoenix": "When compared to [Glen] Campbell, Mathis imbues the material with a more understated and subtle empathy."[1] He noted that "the entry that is most dissimilar to its origins"[1] is "Here, There and Everywhere". "The slowed tempo and copious orchestration turn the melody into an epic torch song, as opposed to the less heavy-handed treatment by the Beatles"[1] and adds that the rendition of The Association's "Never My Love" "retains a similarly light and otherwise unaffected overhaul."[1] Planer also finds on the title track that "Paul Mauriat's upbeat Baroque flavor is all but forgotten as Mathis chooses passion over strictly pop in his excellent delivery."[1]

Upon the album's 1968 release, Billboard also had high praise. "Mathis has come up with a repertoire of top tunes that fit excellently into his warm, romantic styling."[3]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "I Say a Little Prayer" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 2:17
  2. "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" (Jimmy Webb) - 3:18
  3. "The Look of Love" from Casino Royale (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 3:45
  4. "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 2:24
  5. "Here, There and Everywhere" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:37

Side two[edit]

  1. "Never My Love" (Dick Addrisi, Don Addrisi) - 2:41
  2. "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer) - 3:07
  3. "Walk On By" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 3:03
  4. "Venus" (Ed Marshall) - 2:40
  5. "Love Is Blue" (Bryan Blackburn, Pierre Corr, Andre Popp) - 3:12

Personnel[edit]

  • Johnny Mathis – vocals
  • Robert Mersey – arranger, conductor, producer[2]
  • Frank Laico – engineer[2]
  • Glen Kolotkin – engineer[2]
  • Frank Bez – photography[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Love Is Blue - Johnny Mathis". allmusic.com. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e (1968) Love Is Blue by Johnny Mathis [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records CS 9637.
  3. ^ a b c "Album Reviews". Billboard. 1968-03-23. p. 82. 
  4. ^ Whitburn 2010, p. 503.
  5. ^ Whitburn 1999, p. 132.
  6. ^ Whitburn 2009, p. 628.
  7. ^ Whitburn 2007, p. 178.
  8. ^ "Up, Up and Away/Love Is Blue - Johnny Mathis". allmusic.com. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Whitburn, Joel (1999), Joel Whitburn's Top R&B Albums, 1965-1998, Record Research Inc., ISBN 0898201349 
  • Whitburn, Joel (2007), Joel Whitburn Presents Billboard Top Adult Songs, 1961-2006, Record Research Inc., ISBN 0898201691 
  • Whitburn, Joel (2009), Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 1955-2008, Record Research Inc., ISBN 0898201802 
  • Whitburn, Joel (2010), Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition, Record Research Inc., ISBN 0-89820-183-7