Pure mellow magic – four early 70s Johnny Mathis albums in a single set! Love Story has Johnny Mathis finding a perfect 70s space for his sublime vocal style – not the late nite love moods of the early years, but instead the warmer territory of the rising adult contemporary market – one that almost seemed tailor made for the Mathis magic! Producer Jack Gold does a great job of mixing up moods here – but as you might expect, the ballads are where Johnny really knocks it out of the park – on titles that include "Love Story", "We've Only Just Begun", "My Sweet Lord", "Goin Out Of My Head/
Can't Take My Eyes Off You", "Loss Of Love", "We've Only Just Begun", and "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life". You've Got A Friend is a great setting for the legendary voice of Johnny Mathis – as the maturing singer takes on then-contemporary tracks by artists like Carole King, Kris Kristofferson, and The Bee Gees! These tunes really get a different treatment here in Johnny's hands – not just because the arrangements are quite far from the original pop songs – but also because that magic Mathis style really has a lot of different inflections on the lyrics! Titles include "You've Got A Friend", "Help Me Make It Through The Night", "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart", "If You Could Read My Mind", "For All We Know", "If We Only Have Love", and "It's Too Late". First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is one of those records that perfectly illustrates the shift that Johnny Mathis had made by the 70s – his move from the late nite spot on the cushions of the couch, to a more sophisticated interpreter of richer emotions that provide more than a day's worth of expression on an album like this! Mathis has completely perfected his voice by this point – and almost uses it in painterly fashion, over full arrangements from All Caps and D'Arneill Pershing – with lightly flowing strings, tinkling piano, and all these subtle elements that never get in the way of Johnny's majestic lead. Titles include "The Summer Knows", "Since I Fell For You", "Without You", "Betcha By Golly Wow", "Last Night I Didn't Get To Sleep At All", "Speak Softly Love", and "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face". Song Sung Blue is a nice little album that has the legendary voice of Johnny Mathis taking on mature songwriting material from Gilbert O'Sullivan, Ralph MacDonald, Burt Bacharach
, Neil Diamond, and even Bill Withers! All the tunes get completely transformed in the Mathis approach – very different than their familiar versions, not just thanks to Johnny's unique vocals – but also the rich arrangements by D'Arneill Pershing, who was turning out to be one of the best Mathis arrangers in the 70s – able to balance individual elements in the backings in just the right way to echo the spirit of the songs. Titles include "Play Me", "Alone Again Naturally", "Lean On Me", "Too Young", "Where Is The Love", "Run To Me", and "Song Sung Blue".