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ENGELBERT Ė LET THERE BE LOVE - UNIVERSAL
Record Rating: ***

Engelbert - Let There Be Love - Universal The name on his records said Engelbert Humperdinck. Beatle fans used to refer to him as Engelbert What's His Dink. His real name was Arnold George Dorsey. He was a struggling British crooner until he changed his image completely, added his famous sideburns and met Tom Jones manager Gordon Mills in 1965. And the rest is history.

Nearly 40 years later Englebert Humperdinck continues to thrill audiences around the world. His long career, now in its fifth decade, is largely down to his versatility as well as his enduring voice. His loyal fan base continues to buy concert tickets in droves, as his recent concerts in India came to show. Plus he has continued to record new albums at a rate of at least one per year during each of the past 35 years, a statistic that none of his contemporaries from the 60ís can claim. Still recording new and original material, Englebert occasionally returns to record covers from the music scene of the early 70ís to the late 90ís. The content of his latest one Let There Be Love is one such project. A fan of Bryan Adams, Engelbert's performance of Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman is a worthy tribute. Another highlight, and another small triumph, is Ben Kingís Stand By Me. But this is not Engelbert at his peak. Heís tried to retain the impressive vocal range that he first displayed in the 60ís with hits including Release Me, The Last Waltz and There Goes My Everything on the 14 tracks here Ė but he fails. In this album Engelbert finds himself doing covers of Ronan Keatingís When You Say Nothing At All, Bill Whitherís Just The Two Of Us - plus much more.

Engelbert who at the circa 60ís height of his career shared the charts with The Beatles and Elvis Presley, has never enjoyed the appreciation that has come to those artists in recent years - mostly because he's way too earnest compared to the all rockability of the others.

Humperdinck certainly deserves a place on some space-age bachelor's mix tape with his early quietly ebullient hits, maybe yours. Or at least your dad's. A more essential album for Engelbert fans and anyone who enjoys classic 60ís love songs would the far better 1960ís -1970ís Greatest Hits collection of his, thatís out there in a music shop somewhere.

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