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Matt Monro: Matt Uncovered: The Rarer Monro (2 CDs)…What a rare treat…Big Thank You to Michele Monro!
on 6 May 2016
Matt Monro is one of my all time favourite singers. I try to collect as many of his albums as possible. So far, I have managed to find 46 CDs and 5 LPs. I have done a complete singles discography of Matt Monro, and finally, I have found all 194 songs (a and b-sides), remastered them using 32-bit/96kHz. In 2006, Michele Monro (Matt's daughter) surprised us with the release of Rare Monro, a 2 CD set. It really blew my mind.
A few weeks ago, when I was scanning for new releases on Amazon.co.uk, I could not believe my eyes when I saw that Michele has outdone herself by releasing this latest effort: Matt Uncovered: The Rarer Monro. I ordered it immediately (for only £4.16). What a steal. In this 2 CD set, there are a 66 songs (including jingles). Amazing!!
It is pure joy to read the accompanied 20-page booklet. Michele Monro gave us a detailed account of how she painstakingly went through different record company archives to search for lost materials that remained buried all these years. To the delight of all, the new found sound was still in good condition, after all these years. Wow! Such good luck!
One of the more interesting stories concerned the time when Matt Monro, who was in the Arm Services stationed in Hong Kong. Through the conversation with some producers in Rediffusion Hong Kong (later converted to Radio Hong Kong), Michele found that Matt had made many recordings then. She patiently tracked the source back to Britain: Reditune and later Mood Media who owns the rights. It took another eleven months before Michele finally got copies of those thirteen recordings. These precious recordings arrived two days before Michele embarked on a six month business trip. Managing director Mike Bennett came to the rescue. The music extracted turned out to be pristine. Even though there were a couple of songs on the list that Matt had recorded later in his career, they turned out to be completely different arrangements. She couldn’t believe that they were nearly sixty years old because they sounded as if they had been recorded yesterday. She also gave us details about each song...very educational!
Now I shall give you my own story about Matt when he was in stationed in Hong Kong. When I was guest-cohosting a radio show called All The Way With Ray, I talked to the DJ Uncle Ray, who turns out to be the longest running Disc Jockey in the world. He has met numerous stars, and have great insights. He is somebody that I admire. He told me that when Matt was in Hong Kong, he would enter a weekly local singing contest, hosted by a local night club. And of course, he won every time he entered. Finally, the owner of the night-club gave Matt his own singing hour so that he would not enter the contest again, to give other people a chance to win! What an interesting story!
I was also moved to find out from the booklet that Matt always sang the song My Funny Valentine if his wife was in the audience. How romantic!
If you are a Matt Monro fan, this set is a no brainer. I am making a song listing so that you know what you are getting, because this is not usually listed in the website:
01 I Hear Music
02 Strange Lady In Town
03 I Suddenly
04 It’s Only A Paper Moon
05 Everything I Have is Yours
06 You’re Getting To Be A Habit With You
07 My Funny Valentine
08 I’ve Got The World On A String
09 Birth Of The Blues
10 Amor Amor Amor
11 The Nearness Of You
12 You’re Sensational
13 Did You Ever See A Dream Walking?
14 I’ll Be Around
15 I’ve Got My Eyes On You
16 Chattanooga Choo Choo
17 In Time
18 What Makes The Sunset?
19 The Clouds Will Soon Roll By
20 Old Devil Moon (Stereo test)
21 It Can’t Be Wrong (Stereo test)
22 I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Stereo test)
23 You Make Me Feel So Young
24 The Heart Of A Man
25 I Know
26 Twixt Twelve and Twenty
27 Are thee Well My Pretty Maid
28 No One Will Ever Know (1st version)
29 Easier Said Than Done
30 There are No Words For Love (1st version)
31 Love Is The Same Anywhere (1st version)
32 (Won’t You Come Home) Bill Bailey
33 A Few Tender Words
34 All My Loving (Early version)
01 Once In Every Long and Lonely While (Early version)
02 Ten Out Of Ten (Unedited)
03 Choose (Unedited)
04 Beautiful Beautiful (Unedited)
05 Let’s Find An Island
06 The World I Used To Know
07 Pretty Polly
08 Maria (Spanish)
09 If You Go
10 Lovin’ You Again
11 If you Go Away
12 Two People
13 Por Primera Vez (For Once In My Life)
14 Time To Go
15 Oh My Child
16 Didn’t We? (Early version)
17 How Can I Live Without Your Love
18 One Last Try
19 You Came Along (From Out of Nowhere)
20 I Apologise
21 The Folks Who Live On The Hill
22 You’re Driving Me Crazy?The Song Is You (Medley)
23 You’ll Never Know
24 What Is This Thing Called Love?
25 Day by Day
26 Younger Than Springtime
27 Newport Cigarettes (Jingle)
28 Teem (Jingle)
29 Macleans Toothpaste (Jingle)
30 Mackintosh’s Weekend (Jingle)
31 Zal (1970’s version)(Jingle)
32 Kenny Everett Sketch (featuring We’re Gonna Change The World)
This 2 CD set is strictly for Matt Monro fans. If you are looking for his Greatest Hits, I would recommend The Complete Singles Collection, The Singer’s Singer box set, or even his ever popular Heartbreakers: 20 Golden Greats. Once you start to listen to Matt singing, you will be totally drawn into his singing, like magnetism. Even Frank Sinatra praised Matt for his phraseology: a great complement from the Voice himself!
Lastly, a big thank you to Michele Monro: for tirelessly working to find still hidden treasures, and then unselfishly sharing with all of us…Matt, You're The BEST!! And I also wish Michele good health.
The above set is very highly recommended for all Matt Monro fans.