Oddly enough, despite the intensity of the Christmas posting, I have two or three projects going, and almost ready to put up. Weird. Anyway, this is the kind of LP--10-incher in this case--that you just have to buy because of the cover. Doesn't matter what the music sounds like--the cover is just classic. And I almost didn't bother with the music. I set the needle down, and this ultra-slow quartet stuff started, and I thought to myself, "No. No way." But there was something nice about the sound, and it quickly became apparent these were expert musicians, and, once I got used to the movement-of-the-minute-hand pace of the tracks, I started to like them. And their version of Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me is absolutely perfect. because... um.... Well, I'm not sure why. It just captures the essence of that tune, which is nothing more than the Heart and Soul chords that 90 percent of the slow early rock and roll ballads consisted of. Find keyboard. In root positions, play C Major, A minor, D minor, G7 in second position, lather, rinse, repeat. And the melody is so amazingly simple that it works for that reason, not despite it. It's perfection in song form.
Sound quality is very good, and the only condition issues are in the last track--ironically, the one track that moves. I took most of the noise out that track, but some residue remains. No matter. Give this one a chance. Let it pull you along. It's slower than a sleep-walking turtle, but somehow the effect is not soporific. Not on me, anyway. You quickly realize these are musicians who like slow tempos, and perhaps the main point is that playing fast isn't the only way to play things well or right. Best of all, it relays its era in a you-are-there sort of way, and I love records like that. Glad I got this one, even if it was mostly for the cover. The tracks are like an added benefit.
There's a 12-inch edition of this (with extra tracks, of course), and I'm going with the year for the 12-incher: 1958.
To the Monarchs of Melody: All My Love--The Monarchs of Melody
I Surrender Dear
I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You
Hold Me, Thrill me, Kiss Me
All My Love
All My Love--The Monarchs of Melody (Waldorf Music-Hall 33-194, 1958) Discogs identifies the musicians as: Accordion--Dominic Cortese and Nick Periro; Bass--Sandy Block; Guitar--Don Amone, and Hammond Ogran--Richard Lawrence.