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The case of a hit-maker who's overshadowed by another hitmaker using his own tune - in the very same year. Fair or not? You judge:

The World We Knew

Part 1

Artist: Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra

Label: Decca (DL-74925)

Release: 1967

This album topped the pop charts in 1967 at a measly No. 136. By '67, the "Easy Listening" pop sub-genre was more and more often being called "Beautiful Music" and becoming relegated to radio stations (and record bins) specializing in music in that category.

TRACK LIST:

  1. The World We Knew (Bert Kaempfert)
  2. Rain
  3. Moonlight Serenade
  4. I Can't Help Remembering You
  5. You Are my Sunshine
  6. Lover
  7. Vat 96
  8. Serenade in Blue
  9. Talk
  10. Lonesome
  11. Stay With the Happy People

In 1998, the Polydor label re-released the record on CD (Polydor 539111) and added the following tunes (the CD didn't chart):

12.  Night Dreams
13.  If There's a Way
14.  So What's New?
15.  Sweet Romance
16.  Sermonette


Part 2
Frank Sinatra's "Over and Over" Song

Frank Sinatra's version of this song, with lyrics written by Carl Sigman, shot up the pop charts in 1967 also, reaching No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts (it did a not-too-shabby 30 on the '67 pop singles chart. Sinatra's music men, Hank Sanicola, Don Costa and Gordon Jenkins turned out an album Frank Sinatra: The World We Knew featuring Nancy Sinatra on 'Somethin' Stupid' which was far more aggressive and musically ambitious than the pop that adult late-'60s audiences were used to. Arguably one of the most blues/rock-driven Sinatra albums, Sinatra's voice is clear and very hip over riffs from acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, Hammond B-3 organ and pounding percussion. The band and string charts are merely musical window-dressing. By the way, the production values were very, very good on vinyl and the re-issue reflects the engineering perfection of the master.
 

Frank Sinatra: The World We Knew featuring Nancy Sinatra on 'Somethin' Stupid'

Artists: Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra

Label: Reprise (2-1022; F-1022; cassette M5-1022)

Release: 1967

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, in All Music Guide, notes that "Many of the songs recall the music Nancy Sinatra was making at the time, a comparison brought into sharp relief by the father-daughter duet "Somethin' Stupid"...  Critically, the album received varying reviews, but the album itself made it to 24 on the Billboard pop albums chart. The moody "This Town" nicked the pop singles charts at 53, and "Somethin' Stupid" made history with the first father/daughter pairing that hit Number One on the pop singles and Adult Contemporary singles charts.

Sinatra's harshest critics accused him of selling-out to the tastes of the moment. Some accused this of being an album that tells no story; just a collection of pop hits strung together Sinatra-style to sell to an eager fan base (sound like someone else whose name begins with "S"?) But what one must remember is that Sinatra's career was on the wane at the time, and to put it bluntly, a singer must sell records to pay the rent. However, the combination of the songs which screamed "NOW!" and throwaway rehashes like "Some Enchanted Evening," and "Drinking Again" was not a good musical choice, and added to the effect that the record was hastily put together. In "You Are There," Sinatra sounds almost bored, and delivers the touching song in a manner that he would on a Sunday night in Vegas after a long Saturday night out with the Rat Pack. This throw-away delivery is in sharp contrast to the technical proficiency used by Sinatra on "The World We Knew," a song with ups, downs, sharps and flats; musical twists and turns that make it a tough tune to sing for even the most seasoned vocalist.

Still, for Sinatra fans and collectors, the 1991 Warner Brothers CD re-issue, at the very least, is a must-have, if only for "This Town" and, of course, "The World We Knew (Over and Over)"

TRACK LIST:

  1. The World We Knew (Over and Over)
  2. Somethin' Stupid (with Nancy Sinatra)
  3. This is My Love
  4. Born Free
  5. Dont' Sleep in the Subway
  6. This Town
  7. This is My Song
  8. Your Are There
  9. Drinking Again
  10. Some Enchanted Evening

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