Collector’s Choice – along with the Bing Crosby Archive – recently issued six Bing Crosby special releases, reissuing three classic albums in the “deluxe format” along with a previously unreleased disc, a new compilation and a 2-CD set of Crosby
Interesting that in the 1970’s and 80’s it would have been totally uncool to listen to artists like Jerry Vale, Vic Damone, Ferrante & Teicher and…Bing Crosby. But after Danny Bennett successfully resurrected his father’s career and Tony Bennettfound a new, hip audience there was the additional reinvention of “Space Age Bachelor Pad” music for the younger crowd, a format also known as “Lounge”, “Exotica” and the many mixed genres in-between. As with “Northern Soul”, a musical experience from England that brings European interest to obscure American rhythm and soul 45s (and reignites popularity back home), it is now more than OK to like the music that your great-grandparents listened to. Indeed, just listening to Bing Crosby’s Return To Paradise shows a sophistication in the recording that modern records in 2010 don’t care to embrace, despite all the advances with technology. In my opinion these classic recordings actually have more presence than what is being poured into the compact discs of 2010 – including some bylegendary rockers now going in a middle-of-the-road direction.
Bing Crosby performing a duet with David Bowie certainly added to his legacy, and introduced him to yet another audience – cleverly leap-frogging on the enormous popularity of “White Christmas” with their recording of “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” in 1977. So the cache of working with a commercially viable underground legend like La David – though all those years ago – certainly positioned Bing…and these new releases …for commercial success in 2010.
No, Return To Paradise Islands by Bing is not Esquivel’s dynamic See It In Sound space-age bachelor pad classic, nor is it Jerry Goldsmith’s wonderfully eerie Planet Of The Apes original soundtrack, but Crosby’s smooth voice had something that was a nice counterpart to his ultra-hip colleague, Frank Sinatra, and is a reason why Return To Paradise is a welcome addition to the Space Age Bachelor Pad pantheon.
Crosby has recorded the classic “Paradise” as well as “Paradise Isle” but his Return to Paradise Islands album is in the same pocket as Ferrante & Teicher’s Pianos In Paradise, only with the lush backing of conductor Nelson Riddle’s silky arrangements and the Hawaiian flavors that permeated a number of middle-of-the-road albums back in the day. They certainly don’t make them like they used to.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.