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Not definitive but a fine introduction
on 23 May 2005
The Ink Spots were one of the most popular vocal groups of the forties. There were no record sales charts in Britain back then so I don't know which of their songs were most popular in the UK, but a look at the American charts shows that this collection omits several big hits. Nevertheless, many others are included and all the tracks here are worth hearing, so I don't mind - this is, after all, a budget collection. The sound quality, while not perfect, is fine given the age of the recordings.
Here you will find the original version of Whispering grass, which became a British number one hit in the seventies when covered by TV actors Windsor Davis and Don Estelle. Another song that got a new lease of life via a cover is My prayer, which the Platters had an international hit with in the fifties. Other big American hits for the Ink Spots to be found here include If I didn't care, Bless you, When the swallows come back to Capistrano, Maybe, We three my echo my shadow and me, Do I worry, I don't want to set the world on fire and Don't get around much anymore (a cover of a Duke Ellington song, but the Ink Spots had the biggest hit). Notable omissions include Address unknown, I'll get by as long as I have you, The gypsy, Prisoner of love, To each his own, You were only fooling while I was falling in love and You're breaking my heart.
The Ink Spots also recorded several duets, four of which made the American charts (all top ten or better). Two (Into each life some rain must fall, I'm beginning to see the light) are included but two (Cow cow boogie, I'm making believe) are omitted.
To compensate for the missing major hits, there are plenty of other wonderful songs here, some but not all of which were lesser hits for the Ink Spots. Among the other tracks are Stomping at the Savoy, Christopher Columbus, Java jive and With plenty of money and you.
As an introduction to the music of the Ink Spots, this is fine but committed fans should go for the 4-CD boxed set released by Jasmine.