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4.9 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 January 2010
It's hard to realise Matt Monro died twenty-five years ago. Fortunately, he left a superb catalogue of magical recordings that have stood the test of time, with each verifying what a superb singer he was. Thanks to the unstinting efforts of his daughter Michele, together with EMI, there have been many excellent collections released over the years and THE COMPLETE SINGLES COLLECTION is equally welcome. Its expansive 130 song trawl is spread over five discs and covers Matt's entire career with even his early platters from Decca (1956/57) and Philips/Fontana (1958) included, with standards GONE WITH THE WIND, MY OLD FLAME and PRISONER OF LOVE plus pop covers of THE GARDEN OF EDEN and MY HOUSE IS YOUR HOUSE aka MI CASA SU CASA amongst embryonic song choices. Surprisingly, these recordings confirm Matt's vocal style and approach was already mature and merely in need of the polished veneer of further experience he had gained by the time he signed with EMI'S Parlophone label in 1960. His first single, a shuffle-beat LOVE WALKED IN, preceded his initial Chart hit PORTRAIT OF MY LOVE which headed SOFTLY AS I LEAVE YOU, WALK AWAY, YESTERDAY, MY KIND OF GIRL, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, WHY NOT NOW? CAN THIS BE LOVE? among further winners. Whilst film-inspired themes BORN FREE, WEDNESDAY'S CHILD and ON DAYS LIKE THESE may not have been amongst these immediate hits, they slow-burned their way into Matt's popular repertoire and no doubt sold very well over the years.

Being a complete collection of both "A" and "B" side pop singles, there are examples of songs which lack distinction but regardless of the material's worth, Matt never gave less than his very best, with expressive input overcoming any negative factors, so each recording brightly shines as an example of his understanding of lyrics; tenderly applied and totally delivered to reach the emotional heartbeat of the listener. He certainly worked with the best arranger/conductors and Johnnie Spence, Sid Feller, Billy May, and Kenny Clayton were amongst the regulars whilst legendary producer George Martin was on hand as guiding hand in the recording studio for much of Matt's career. Highlights include WHEN I FALL IN LOVE which equals the emotional power of Nat's, whilst MY LOVE AND DEVOTION, SOMEWHERE, THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM, TRY TO REMEMBER and FOR MAMA are amongst strong ballads that put Matt ahead of the competition. COME BACK TO ME, GONNA BUILD A MOUNTAIN, HERE AND NOW and ON A CLEAR DAY are contrasting swingers which confirm upbeat tenacity whilst CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER, MAMA PACKED A PICNIC TEA; the dramatic intensity of WHEN YOU BECOME A MAN, country and western flavoured THERE YA GO and banner-waving WE'RE GONNA CHANGE THE WORLD are refreshing oddities to cherish. It would be churlish to ignore Matt's popular Spanish recordings with versions of MY WAY (A MI MANERA), WEDNESDAY'S CHILD (VEN MI AMOUR) and CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF OF YOU (NO PUEDO QUITAR MIS OJOS DE TI) amongst an included handful, with just L'ETOILE DU SUD representing his French-language output.

Many songs reach CD for the first time and make for exciting listening; others have been remixed to stereo, with included recording dates, catalogue numbers, highest UK/US Chart placings etc. and each disc reflects a different style logo representing Matt's EMI career through the Parlophone, Capitol, and Liberty labels. A typical 45rpm. sleeve image is appropriately utilised as the CD set's cover, leaving Michele Monro's notes to briefly explore personal and professional facets of her father's career and recordings. This is certainly a welcome song-packed anthology that will be an essential purchase for all Matt's devoted fans as well as a "must have" for those who appreciate the enduring vocal talent of this great British singer.
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on 1 February 2010
Undoubtedly one of the best voices ever! Matt Monro caressed every song he sang. Each recording of Matt's was/is a gem. I've a great catalog of Matt's albums and CDS but this is the ultimate!
What a treat to hear songs I never knew Matt sang. I was introduced to Matt's magnificent way with a song when "Walk Away" became a substantial hit on the Billboard and Cashbox Top 100 charts. As a DJ I had the pleasure of playing each new Matt release, a significant number of which became US hits on the pop and Adult Contemporary charts but many of his UK singles never saw US release.

Matt makes every song sound like a great standard.

Thank you all who have made this box set a reality.
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on 25 January 2010
There's little to add to the previous review except to say my copy arrived today and so far I have only had time to listen to one cd - every time I listen to Matt's voice I like him more especially after having watched his concert dvd.

The price of this 5 cd set is amazing, I am so pleased Matt's family are getting his back catalogue released and I look forward to reading the book too.

Matt is such a miss, nobody has taken his place. We have Michael Buble who is very good but he's still not Matt!
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2010
For once, this is a collection that actually lives up to its billing. Which is why it's a 5 CD set featuring every Matt Monro A & B side from his time at Fontana, Decca, EMI, Parlophone and Capitol. That's 130 tracks in all!

Starting in 1956 and ending in 1984, this is pretty much essential for Matt Monro fans, with 22 tracks making their first appearance on CD. I was lucky enough to see Mr Monro perform live when I was a wee boy, and he was well past his chart bothering days, but still recall the masterful performance he put on.

It's a beautifully presented set, let down by a lacklustre cover, but with each song annotated with details of the producers, arrangers, conductors and dates of recording, it's not short on detail. A very nice touch was having each CD pressed in the style of the individual labels.

But it's the music that matters, and I found myself discovering new gems all the way through. Strangely, I keep returning to his later, seventies and eighties sides like 'The Me I Never Knew' and 'So Little Time', where he seems to live every word.

A superb collection I'll be listening to for years to come.
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on 18 March 2010
I like to start by saying that I'm a fan of Matt Monro, and have been collecting his CDs through the years. I had been restraining myself from buying this boxset for awhile because I already had so many tracks in my library. But I finally gave in because I wanted to have those few rare tracks that I didn't have. Boy oh boy, have I been rewarded more than I could imagine!!! EMI really pulled together and did a superb re-mastering job on all the different tracks from different eras! Believe me, it's not a easy job. On top of that, the price is fantastically low! I strongly urge you to get it, and listen to the definitive digital version of all those hits: Walk Away, Born Free, From Russia With Love, Softly as I Leave you...
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on 28 December 2010
For a "hardcore" fan of Matt Monro, finding his songs on CD has long been a frustrating task involving much duplication in order to obtain a rare or new to CD couple of tracks.
In recent years this situation has improved somewhat with the release by EMI of "two on one" of some of his studio albums, and then by the excellent work Matt's family has done on getting live recordings, TV broadcasts and true rarities out onto CD.

This singles boxset is easily the best Matt Monro release I have ever come across. Dozens of titles, many of them little known or new to CD or both, and all at a great price. The sound quality is also amazing as well, this is a fine companion piece to "The Rare Monro" (a sequel is due soon) and as someone who buys 100 or so CD's a year I rate this one as the best I got in 2010. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 20 May 2010
This is what I have been waiting for, for many years, and it has finally arrived. 5 discs of pure magic from Britain's very own Matt Monro. Although I had many of these original singles, some were crackly, scratched, yes, they had been well used. By me, and many before me, I would imagine. So to have all of Matt's singles on cd is a complete dream. Richard Moore has done a remarkable job restoring them, and to hear them in prestige sound is just wonderful. This set is a "must have" for any fan, in fact, for any lover of good music. And it doesn't get any better than Matt Monro. And a complete bargain at the price.
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on 11 September 2012
This 5 cd set of all the singles Matt Monro had released is a gem. His 1950s Decca and Philips recordings reveal his stylish and inherently-musical approach to singing. He was never one to indulge himself belting out songs for the sake of it - though he could belt out those songs which required it - his approach was refined through the years, leading to the Parlophone and EMI releases, including those made for Capitol. Any post-1960 song is immediately identifiable as Matt Monro, so distinctive was his voice and his approach to the songs.
Of course, all his well-known classics are here - sometimes in different masterings, as released on the singles, not the lps, but it is the less-well-known songs which make this a "Must Have" for Matt Monro fans, as well as any fan of good singing.
On cd 3 is "All that remains". This is such a sad song, so beautifully conceived by lyricist and composer, and so tenderly sung my Matt Monro, that it alone is worth the price of the boxed set. I was moved deeply by this track, especially listening to the words and thinking about the tragically-young death of Matt Monro. All that remains for us today is the priceless and everlasting legacy of his recorded output.
I read Michele Monro's book earlier this year, bought on impulse, thought I have long been a Matt Monro fan, and it aided my appreciation of this 5 cd set.
Matt Monro was, indeed, "The Singer's Singer." This set is the best of him, recorded in the studios of the world, carefully over his performing lifetime. Even if you have several other Matt Monro cds, buy this, you'll not regreat it.
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on 9 April 2010
Thanks to Michele Monro for all the renewed interest in Matt. Always sad that some of the real greats are appreciated much more years after their death, but at least the recognition can then be of comfort to their family. Matt's the best we've ever had in my opinion. This collection has it all, and I'm amazed how many absolute gems lurked as "B" sides. There's a good body of work here I'd not heard before, and tracks that I had heard before sound brighter and better with the correct placing and chronology. Have a listen to "What to do", "All of a sudden", "All that remains" and particulary "Till then my love", and if you're still on your feet, you must be emotionally repressed! This guy had it all - and thanks to carefully thought through packages like this one, so do we. A blessing.
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on 11 July 2014
My parents saw Matt Munroe in the 1960`s,and so played many of his records when I was a youngster.After recently hearing him sing on the radio over recent months,I just thought it a good idea to buy his best of .I soon concluded how good this guy was .Wel worth having in your collection
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