Tomorrow, Real Gone Music will release the first-ever collection of never-before-heard music from Andy Williams’ Columbia Records years, and we can confirm that it will have been worth the wait. Emperor of Easy: Lost Columbia Masters 1962-72 boasts 20 selections direct from the Columbia vault encompassing 16 previously unreleased studio outtakes and four rare singles. Every track on Emperor of Easy is new to CD.
Throughout his two decades with Columbia Records, Williams recorded 30 studio albums – 17 of which went Gold and another three of which were certified Platinum. He notched over 30 Hot 100 hits and 44 Adult Contemporary chart entries, four of which went to No. 1. Thanks to the popularity of his Emmy Award-winning television series The Andy Williams Show, the genial vocalist became a beloved presence in living rooms across America. Working with collaborators including Robert Mersey, Nick DeCaro, Jerry Fuller, Mike Post, and Dick Glasser, Williams was a link between the pre-Beatles era of standards and showtunes and the contemporary pop-rock sounds that dominated the airwaves as the 1960s progressed. All sides of the versatile singer are on display on Emperor of Easy including Broadway showstoppers, romantic movie themes, bossa nova, and soft rock.
Among the unreleased treasures rescued from the vaults are songs from Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Bonita”), Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse (“Two for the Road”), Burt Bacharach and Hal David (“This Guy’s in Love with You”), Paul Simon (“Homeward Bound”), Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (“I Don’t Know How to Love Her,” a gender-reversed twist on the classic ballad from Jesus Christ Superstar), and even Mel Tillis (“Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town”). One song by Bacharach and lyricist Bob Hilliard, “A Question of Love,” premieres on Emperor of Easy in its only recording by any artist. Williams also tackles such perennial favorites as “Proud Mary,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” “Too Young,” and “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair).”
In addition to the sixteen outtakes, four singles make their CD debuts: Andy and The Williams Brothers’ rousing “Our Night to Howl” from Johnny Mercer and Robert Emmet Dolan’s short-lived Broadway musical Foxy; the U.K.-only release “What’s the Matter Girl” from the pen of Tom Bahler; and the Spanish-language versions of Andy’s cherished themes to Love Story and The Godfather. Everything has been mastered by Mike Piacentini at Sony’s Battery Studios from the original Columbia mixes (most tracks in stereo, with the earliest material in mono).
These 20 recordings are presented in a deluxe package decked out in classic Columbia Records style. The 24-page booklet has been beautifully designed by John Sellards and includes numerous never-before-published full-color photos of the artist as well as a brand-new essay by TSD’s Joe Marchese placing all 20 tracks into the context of Williams’ career and incorporating new interviews with producer Jerry Fuller and Andy’s friend Johnny Mathis.
Emperor of Easy: Lost Columbia Masters 1962-72 is the ultimate gift to longtime fans of Andy Williams. This Real Gone Music release is available tomorrow and is available for pre-order at the links below!
- The Sinner
- Our Night to Howl (from the Broadway musical Foxy) (Columbia single AW 1227, 1964)
- No One to Cry To
- A Question of Love
- On the Southside of Chicago
- Two for the Road (from the 20th Century Fox film Two for the Road)
- Homeward Bound
- This Guy’s in Love with You
- Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town
- You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
- Through the Years (from the Broadway musical Through the Years)
- If I Ruled the World (from the Broadway musical Pickwick)
- San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)
- Proud Mary
- What’s the Matter Girl? (CBS (U.K.) single 7685, 1971)
- I Don’t Know How to Love Her (from the Broadway musical Jesus Christ Superstar)
- Too Young
- Historia de Amor (Where Do I Begin?) (from the Paramount film Love Story) (CBS (Spain) single 7188, 1971)
- Tema de Amor de la Pelicula “El Padrino” (Speak Softly Love) (from the Paramount film The Godfather) (CBS (Spain) single 8262, 1972)
All tracks new to CD. All tracks previously unreleased unless otherwise indicated.