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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review: Sonny and Cher's 'The Collection'

'The Collection' by Sonny and CherA new two-disc Sonny & Cher compilation album is hitting stores right about now, and 'Cher News' - for the first time ever - is offering an album review!

This brand new two-disc compilation album, showcasing a staggering forty tracks from Sonny & Cher's recording career - for a budget price - appears to be something of a good deal - and believe me, it is!

From the same label ('Music Club Deluxe') that has previously issued double-disc budget compilation albums from the likes of timeless songstress Dionne Warwick all the way to legendary rockers Foreigner, have now dabbled in the career of our favourite super-couple Sonny & Cher.

The compilation relies totally on the duo's 1960's career, with tracks taken from their three studio albums, 'Look At Us', 'The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher', 'In Case You're In Love', and more surprisingly, their soundtrack album 'Good Times'.

Speaking of Sonny & Cher's debut album 'Look At Us', this album's questionable liner notes (we'll get to that in a bit) states that, "We have selected the cream of the crop for inclusion here", - by which they mean every track on that album except '500 Miles'. There are many choices in this album's tracklist that will make you scratch your head in wonder - still, remember, 40 tracks for a budget price! Anyway, bar the obvious such as that album's 'I Got You Babe', not all tracks on their debut album - or on any of their albums - are that easy to find so they're all more-than-welcome here! Those tracks are all included on the first disc of the compilation album.

Next, 1966's 'The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher' is presented here in its entirety, scattered over both discs which will please everyone, surely.

Mostly included on disc two is this album's representation of the duo's album 'In Case You're In Love'. Similarly to earlier, all songs of that album are included here bar one - this time, 'Podunk'.

You won't find any single-only tracks on here - the likes of 'Good Combination', 'A Beautiful Story' or the transatlantic top 50 moderate hit 'Have I Stayed Too Long'. However, these can be found on other easy-to-find Sonny and Cher albums such as the much-recommended 'The Beat Goes On: The Best of Sonny & Cher'. Although minimal, nothing of the two's musical output from the last two years of the decade are anywhere to be found on this compilation album. However, with a total of 40 tracks spread across two discs here, you cannot claim that they've missed these out for any reason other than CD limits.

Anyway, back to the point: a somewhat surprising inclusion of tracks here are from Sonny & Cher's 1967 'Good Times' soundtrack. Bar three tracks, the whole album can be found here. Those three tracks left out are the albums two versions of 'I Got You Babe', which I'll assume won't be missed too much, and 'I'm Gonna Love You', which most-likely will.

I've found that the majority of inner sleeve notes that I've come across, or in fact anything discussing the early recording careers of Sonny & Cher, often tend to be biased - in favour of Mr. Bono. However, this booklet's author refreshingly gives Cher the more-positive words. Unfortunately, they aren't too great. In fact, they are sometimes borderline offensive. For example, "Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident in 1998 but Cher marches on..." Really? Does anyone else find that inappropriate?

The notes also get a few things wrong - as always - stating that the duo charted eleven times on the top 40 of the US Billboard singles chart, including six top 10's, whilst selling 80 million albums worldwide. Not quite.

Whilst most music outlets seem to be showcasing a release date of some time this week, you can be assured that you will not be able to buy a newer CD of Sonny & Cher's work. Also, with 2 discs, and a budget price, you probably won't find anything better for your money!

And once you stop ogling at the photograph of Cher, you'll have a blast listening to Sonny & Cher's musical output from the swinging sixties!

Disc 1
1. I Got You Babe
2. What Now My Love
3. Then He Kissed Me
4. Baby Don’t Go
5. Little Man
6. You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me
7. The Letter
8. Just You
9. But You’re Mine
10. Sing C'est La Vie
11. Let It Be Me
12. You Don’t Love Me
13. Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in
Love
14. Laugh at Me
15. Turn Around
16. Love Don’t Come
17. Leave Me Be
18. Living For You
19. It’s Gonna Rain
20. Unchained Melody

Disc 2
1. The Beat Goes On
2. It’s the Little Things
3. Good Times
4. Groovy Kind of Love
5. Summertime
6. Monday
7. Trust Me
8. You Baby
9. I’m Leaving It All Up To You
10. Stand By Me
11. Don’t Talk To Strangers
12. Bring It On Home To Me
13. Tell Him
14. So Fine
15. Cheryl's Goin' Home
16. Set Me Free
17. Just a Name
18. I Look For You
19. Misty Roses
20. We’ll Sing in the Sunshine

Buy 'The Collection'

6 comments:

  1. It's a nice review,and one wonders why any cuts were left on the floor.I would like to know what the sound quality is like-if there is anything different (stero or mono).Of course I worked on the sundazed reissues-which put out the original lps with bonus tracks.It is interesting to see Good Times great tracks(sans I'm gonna Love you) in this collection.Is it out yet or did you get a promo? Thanks daniel!

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    1. I believe that 'Music Club Deluxe' is a division of Rhino Records, which re-issued Cher's '3614 Jackson Highway' - so that level of quality can be expected. The recordings here are in stereo I believe - I haven't listened to it all yet. I've noticed that both 'Just You' and 'It's The Little Things' are the short versions. The only release date I've come across (multiple times) online has been 14 May but I bought it in-store about six hours before I wrote this review.

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  2. I wish they would put the All I Ever Need Is You album and Mamma Was A Rock n Roll Singer albums on cd!!!

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  3. I am a Sonny Bono Tribute Artist who has sung many of these songs in my one man show and if Sonny is going to get any honor and praise it should be by those who remember him as one of the greatest entertainers in history with his side kick Cher always making him look good. It has been an honor for me to give honor to him in all my shows.

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  4. Where can I find the long version of "It's the Little Things"? Is it on the original Good Times LP? Stereo and mono? Any CD release?

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  5. Did Bono ever sing 500 miles solo?

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