on 12 February 2016
Johnny Mathis was born on September 30, 1935 in Gilmer, Texas, but raised in San Francisco, California. He was discovered by George Avakian of Columbia Records. He initially recorded as a jazz-styled singer. Columbia A&R executive Mitch Miller switched him to singing pop ballads. Johnny has 53 charted singles on Billboard Hot 100. I have just finished a Complete Singles Discography, and have compiled a total of 132 singles (264 songs, uncharted & uncharted, US & UK) from 1957 to 2003. Amazing feat! He also has 76 charted albums on Billboard 200. In reality, he has released over 100 albums. His label was mainly on Columbia although he founded his own production company, Global Records, for a four-year stay at Mercury Records from 1963 to 1967. On November 17, 2014, a Complete Global Albums Collection box set (13 CDs, covering all 10 previous albums, plus one unreleased and 2 CDs on singles, will be released. As to his vast Columbia album output is another kettle of fish altogether.
This 4 CD set contains 7 complete albums by Johnny Mathis on Columbia, with 104 songs:
01 JOHNNY MATHIS (1956)
02 WONDERFUL WONDERFUL (Columbia 1028)(4/1957)
03 WARM (Columbia 1078)(2/1957)
04 GOOD NIGHT, DEAR LORD (Columbia 1119)(10/1958)
05 SWING SOFTLY (Columbia 1165)(6/1958)
06 MERRY CHRISTMAS (Columbia 1195)(1958)
07 OPEN FIRE, TWO GUITARS (Columbia 1270)(4/1959)
1 It is nice to have 7 early Johnny Mathis albums in one set.
2 The sound is very well remastered, clean with no hiss.
3 All the songs are original versions, no re-recorded versions.
4 The price is reasonable, especially from sellers.
1 There are no bonus tracks. Surely, with a lot of extra space left on the discs, singles of that era (a and b-sides) can be included for added value.
2 There is no booklet, no label & number and chart positions.
3 There are no pictures of album covers.
Real Gone Music, a reputable reissue label from UK, has released 2 Volumes of 7 Classic Albums on Johnny Mathis. (My review of Volume 2 is found elsewhere). Generally, his albums from the 70s and 80s are not available on CDs yet. In this current set, all the albums are familiar to most of us. It is nice to have them all in one set with good sound. If you are a Johnny Mathis fan, this is no brainer. This set is also recommended to all music lovers.