Legendary crooner Johnny Mathis celebrates his 80th birthday today and the folk at Columbia Legacy are helping celebrate the milestone with the release of terrific new boxed set “The Singles.” This expansive set features 87 non-LP and compilation-only tracks spread over four discs, including 31 tunes never before available on CD.
“When over the course of a career you record as many songs as I have recorded, you tend to forget a few,” Mathis explains. “Revisiting this music was a complete surprise. I was thrilled beyond belief that some of the songs that I recorded specifically for single records, some of which had simply disappeared once they had been released, are now going to be heard again. It is my greatest hope that my fans will share my enthusiasm.”
Mathis was at his commercial peak between 1957 and 1963, with 18 tunes landing in the Top 40. Over the course of his long career, Mathis has earned 10 gold, four platinum and two multi-platinum albums. “The Singles” is a completist’s dream that should fill in any gaps in his discography.
His biggest hit, “Chances Are,” is here, as are classic cuts “It’s Not for Me to Say,” “The Twelfth of Never,” “No Love (But Your Love),” “Teacher, Teacher,” “My Love for You,” “What Will My Mary Say,” “Gina,” “Small World,” “A Certain Smile” and dozens more. At a whopping 260 total minutes, “The Singles” is all the Johnny Mathis anyone could ever need. (Jeffrey Sisk)