1. It's All In The Game

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  • Edwards Tommy - It`s All In The Game – The MGM Recordings 1958-60 (CD)


    This 2 CD set from ’Shout’ is a wonderful collection of recordings from one of the most underrated vocalists of the 50’s and 60’s.

    The warmth of Tommy’s effortless vocal and the lush orchestration from LeRoy Holmes amount to an astonishing listen over 2 CD’s (originally 4 LP’s).

    To hear these recordings again in CD format with the majority taken from the MGM master tapes, it really does cement Tommy’s wonderful talent with any song. The albums simply ooze class throughout.

    The first one on CD1 is ”It’s All In The Game” recorded in 1958 and released following the success of the single of the same name. The album would prove that the winning formula of a gentle, oh so very light rock and roll beat over well penned and executed songs worked beautifully. My only gripe here is with the sound quality however. It appears the original master tapes could not be found for the majority of this album, and we have had to settle for Mono versions on some of the recordings. If you want the stereo masters (and they are better, trust me) you need to check out the ’Eric’ CD from 1994 titled ”the complete hits of Tommy Edwards”, this CD contains all Masters in crystal clear stereo sound.

    The second lp on disc 1 is ”For Young Lover’s”, the album is similar to the first, but may have been aimed more at the young adults suggested in the title. Here we seem to have been treated to the best sound source available, just fantastic! wonderful stereo and clear transfer from the masters. Tommy’s version of ”My melancholy baby” was a moderate hit in the UK in 1959, the majority of the album was recorded in 1959 with a few left overs from 58. For a second album so closely following the first (MGM expected fast turnover in those days!) the overall quality of songs is very high, but a couple do sound like left overs from the first album.

    CD2 – Two more MGM Lp’s this time from 1959 titled ”You started me dreaming” and ”Step out singing”. The first in my opinion has to be the greatest LP he ever made, some of the most inspired lyrics and arrangements, a dreamer or romantic is in heaven with this set of songs. Tommy’s voice is so well at home here that it gives me goosebumps. Perfect sound quality, I have never heard this album sounding so full and rich. Just wonderful! The song ”Navajo” is my favorite of his recordings ever!

    Finally the ”Step Out Singing” LP where MGM tried to put Tommy into the swing style that was proving popular at the time with the likes of Bobby Darin et al.
    Again Tommy delivers in real style, even if the arrangements this time seem to almost drown out his delivery in places. Whilst we are again treated to the rich quality of the stereo masters, on this occassion (in my opinion) the Mono LP was actaully a far better mix. Some early stereo recordings from the late 50’s suffered from a poor mix of vocal and music, as if they still didn’t know how best to utilise the stereo format, and this album is no exception, as it lacks the impact of the Mono mix. Tommy’s voice is clearer in MONO on this album, BUT I am not moaning as this company have done a wonderful job, given us a lovely booklet of rare information, and thanks to you my friend (Donald Gunter) Tommy now has the headstone he deserves!

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