CD Unbelievable/Cross My Heart: Chess Recordings 1964-1969 * (CD 15815214),
back to browsing

Unbelievable/Cross My Heart: Chess Recordings 1964-1969 *

  • 1. Tell It Like It is
    2. How Nice It is
    3. Summertime
    4. Foggy Day
    5. Teach Me Tonight
    6. Canadian Sunset
    7. Time After Time
    8. Misty
    9. Moon River
    10. My Funny Valentine
    11. Love is Here To Stay
    12. That Old Black Magic
    13. Almost Like Being In Love
    14. Over the Rainbow
    15. Why Am I Lonely
    16. Cross My Heart
    17. Why Do I Love You So
    18. You've Got Such Good Loving
    19. Fat Boy's Boogaloo
    20. Tell Me the Truth
    21. What Have I Done
    22. Crazy 'Bout You Baby
    23. I'm In Love (Oh Yes I Am)
    24. By The Time I Get to Phoenix
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): SHOUT 75

  • Credits

    Audio Remasterer: Simon Murphy .
    Liner Note Author: Clive Robertson.
    Billy Stewart's second album, 1966's Unbelievable, and the posthumous, 1974 odds-and-ends collection Cross My Heart are combined onto one CD for this 79-minute compilation. It's not apt to satisfy non-completists as it's not a best-of, missing the majority of his chart hits and including just one big smash, "Summertime." For those looking for supplements to his most popular songs, however, it's not a bad deal, and includes quite a few tracks not likely to be found on other compilations. The centerpiece is the Unbelievable album which, in keeping with his unexpectedly successful, exuberantly stuttering update of "Summertime," is comprised entirely of pop standards given a soul treatment. "Summertime" is still far and away the standout of that LP's dozen tracks, in part because some of the others have more middle of the road, pop-jazz-oriented arrangements. Nonetheless, if you want to hear him tackle like-minded material like "Moon River," "My Funny Valentine," "Over the Rainbow," "That Old Black Magic," "Misty," and a couple more by "Summertime" composers George & Ira Gershwin, this is your chance. The most liberal interpretations that make the most of his freewheeling trademark scat-stutter style, like "Moon River," "That Old Black Magic," and "Canadian Sunset," are more enjoyable by far than his more straightforward ballad readings.
    The 12 tracks from Cross My Heart were taken from various 1964-1969 singles, with the exception of one of the better cuts, "Fat Boy's Boogaloo," a 1967 James Brown-flavored Stewart original that made its first appearance on that 1974 LP. Generally, these aren't as striking as his best hits, with some exceptions like 1964's "Tell It Like It Is," which puts his fully developed, odd vocalizations to infectious, upbeat, mid-'60s soul without a hint of influence from the pop standards. The rest is good to acceptable '60s Chess soul fare, though, Stewart proving himself capable of writing a good straightforward soul-pop ballad on "How Nice It Is" and "Why Am I Lonely." Some of the late-'60s tracks get slicker and more faceless from both the production and songwriting viewpoints, though the cover of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" works better than you might expect. The Shout label does a good job with the packaging of this rather awkward match of vintage albums, adding historical liner notes and sequencing the Cross My Heart tracks so they're heard in chronological order rather than the scattershot sequencing used on the original LP. ~ Richie Unterberger

0 Stars 0 average rating
  • Genre: Rock
  • Label: Shout SHOUT 75
  • Distributor: n/a
  • Analog/Digital: n/a
  • Mono/Stereo: Stereo
  • Released: 4/1/2013
  • UPC: 5013929507524
In Stock -- Item Ships for FREE
Our price $31.21
Add to wishlist

What viewers like you said...

Have you listened to this album? Be the first to write a review

Also suggested for you...

  • buy now for


  • buy now for


  • buy now for


  • buy now for