Personnel: The Johnny Evans Singers (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: James Ritz.
Recording information: BBC Studio, Maida Vale, London (01/19/1976); CBS Studios, London (01/19/1976); United Western Studios, Los Angeles (01/19/1976); BBC Studio, Maida Vale, London (09/12/1977-09/14/1977); CBS Studios, London (09/12/1977-09/14/1977); United Western Studios, Los Angeles (09/12/1977-09/14/1977); BBC Studio, Maida Vale, London (10/11/1977); CBS Studios, London (10/11/1977); United Western Studios, Los Angeles (10/11/1977).
Arranger: Pete Moore.
It was appropriate for Bing Crosby to make a record of reflective material in late 1977. Earlier in the year, he had celebrated his 50th anniversary in music with a special taped for CBS, then undergone an extended stay in the hospital after falling off a stage at the same show. And, ironically, these September sessions in London also proved to be his last -- he collapsed on a golf course just one month later. Crosby had recorded several albums in England during his late-career renaissance of the mid-'70s. Arranged as usual by Ken Barnes, Bing relaxes over a conceptual set of seasonal songs, including mostly age-old standards ("June in January," "In the Good Old Summertime") as well as a new one, "Seasons," a French song by Gilbert B?caud given English lyrics especially for Bing. The arrangements and production are typical of the period, given a high gloss anchored by electric bass but otherwise incorporating all the hallmarks of vocal pop from the previous three or four decades. Bing's voice is hardy and strong for a 74-year old, but it's clear he doesn't possess the same strength and gravitas of even his recordings of the '60s. For every late-period gem like "Summer Wind," there's a "June Is Bustin' Out All Over," which is anchored by a saccharine studio vocal group similar to the Singers Unlimited. ~ John Bush