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Like he`s never been gone,
This review is from: His Wondrous Story - The Complete Collection (Audio CD)
Ronald Wycherley (1940-83) was a soulful voiced singer from Liverpool who became Billy Fury, just like Terry Nelhams was turned into Adam Faith and Harry Webb is better known as Cliff Richard. The difference is that Billy Fury was and remains the
only credible `British Elvis`, as he has often been called, though Roy Orbison might be a more suitable US singer with which to compare him. Adam Faith had a rather weedy voice, and Cliff, for all his considerable talent, sounded too cosy, the rock`n`roll mannerisms just too pre-fabricated. Billy was cool, looked great, sang with soul and elan, and seemed less of a `family entertainer` than most of his peers.
Listening to this generous 75-minute, 29-track compilation brings home just how consistently compelling Fury was, and what a sadly early death he had at only 42.
There`s nothing quite like hearing him sing one of the dramatic ballads for which he`s perhaps most remembered and loved. They are all here: Halfway To Paradise, Like I`ve Never Been Gone, the wonderful Last Night Was Made For Love, Once Upon A Dream, his cover of the Elvis song Because Of Love, In Thoughts Of You, the tremendous Run To My Lovin` Arms, I Will, his version of It`s Only Make Believe (eclipsing Conway Twitty`s original, though equalled by Glen Campbell`s soaring interpretation), the splendid When Will You Say I Love You, and others.
This exemplary compilation, easily the best one so far, opens with the marvellously overwrought Jealousy (originally a tango instrumental, Jalousie, by a Dane called Jacob Gade!) and is programmed sensibly - rare enough with compilations - so that not all the early tracks, such as Colette and Margo Don`t Go, are heard first, but are encountered in the midst of the big hits.
The booklet is a mine of information about this `gentle, humorous and self-effacing man`, who had a weak heart, a love of animals, and a stong sense of both his worth and privacy. Seldom has a singer from a bygone age had such loyal fans, but it is not often that one can listen to someone who still sounds vital and timeless fifty or so years after the songs which made his name. They haven`t dated at all.
His Wondrous Story ends with Billy`s beautifully sung version of Bobby Rydell`s earlier hit Forget Him.
Forget him? I don`t think so.