A pair of albums by Johnny Mathis from the 70s – with bonus tracks too! First up is First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – 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'Arneil
l 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'Arneil
l 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". Bonus tracks include "Remember The Good", "Morning Has Broken", and "Sometimes".