This CD may fall short of 5 stars musically on a couple of tracks, but makes up for it as a curiosity piece to hear Engelbert in his pre-"Release Me" days, a mere shadow of what he was to become with that now famous song, and the decades that have followed, with glorious music sung to perfection.
This compilation contains all but one song that was on the 1967 "Release Me" LP (tracks # 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17 and 18 were on the LP, "Talking Love" is missing), and they are all wonderful...favorites for me are "There's a Kind of Hush", "My World (Il Mondo)", and the beautiful "This is My Song", that Charlie Chaplin wrote for his film "A Countess from Hong Kong".
Also from '67 is a cute Bob Crewe number "If I Were You", and Bob Montgomery's "Misty Blue", and from 1978, the Gilbert Becaud hit, "What Now My Love".
The curiosities are from 1966, and are the from the first singles put out after Gordon Mills became Engelbert's manager; tracks 5 and 6, written by "Dorsey" (Engelbert's real last name) are very "sixties", and his voice though powerful in these songs is lacking the richness we associate with it, and is a little strained and almost unrecognizable at times, and this applies also to track # 9, "When I Say Goodnight", written by Mills, and to a lesser extent track # 8, "Domage, Domage", which was a # 1 hit in Belgium, and preceded the monster hit that was "Release Me".
This CD will appeal to fans of course, and anyone interested in the development of Engelbert's fantastic voice, polished over time to a brilliant shine, to become one of the great voices of this or any other era.
Sound overall is good ("When I Say Goodnight"