When one considers how many
records Perry Como has made in his forty-five-year career, it is
extraordinary to think that this one
recorded at the age of sixty-eight
may be his best yet. Como's manner has always been laidback and easygoing;
and when he has opened up and reached out a bit, as on his early hit
"Temptation", he hasn't had to go very far to impress a
On "Live On Tour" ( taken from three successive nights at the Mill Run Theatre in Niles, Ill. ) re retains the effortless quality that has been his hallmark, a quality that a young Bing Crosby shared but lost control of in middle age. Como has it down better now than ever ( listen to "Where ort When" ), his voice sounder richer, fuller, and more controlled than it did thirty years ago. His projection, particularly on "Temptation", does not just come from a good microphone. Experience is a wonderful thing when the instrument stays in shape.
In addition, this record is a model of live performance and recording. The sound is vital and completely rounded, and the orchestra's superb renderings of Nick Perito's arrangements give the show a marvellous sense of presence.
There are things one can quibble about. Como's exchanges with the audience may have worked in the theatre, but they are not something one wants to hear every time you play the record. And toward the end some huskiness begins to cloud his voice. But Sinatra is three years younger and sounds that way when he begins a show. Como never quite achieved the adulation of Crosby or Sinatra perhaps he has found a way to grow older more gracefully than they.
John S. Wilson
HIGH FIDELITY MAGAZINE 1981
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