Two Lanza Versions of "Love Is the Sweetest Thing"

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Derek McGovern

Apr 12, 2014, 6:18:24 AM4/12/14
I imagine that most people here are familiar with Lanza's Coke recording of "Love Is the Sweetest Thing," as heard on the old Touch of Your Hand LP and on various CDs (The Mario Lanza Collection, Original Album Classics, etc). What's interesting, though, is that this recording was never broadcast on Mario's radio show. Another version was---and yet that (relatively obscure) version has never been released on LP or CD. (It's the same case with "The Hills of Home.")

About six years ago on this forum, the unreleased broadcast version was mentioned in passing, and then briefly compared with the released LP/CD version by a few members. Since the links provided at that time to these two recordings have long since been broken, I thought I'd revive the topic on its own thread---and also create a page on our main site where both versions could be compared:

So which version do you like best---and why? For me, there's no contest, but I know that at least one stalwart of this forum will disagree with me :)    


Apr 13, 2014, 12:20:34 PM4/13/14


           Thanks for the challenge.  For me it was not an easy choice as I like both renditions.  I'll give a slight edge to the unpublished version for its vocal beauty, although the dramatic final portion of the other recording is spectacular.  



Vincent Di Placido

Apr 13, 2014, 5:09:34 PM4/13/14
I like both versions. Let's say Mario behaves himself more on the released version & it is more fitting for an official LP track but I love the sense of abandon & freedom Mario shows on the broadcast version, perfect for a one-off broadcast actually. So overall the correct decisions were made here, for once :-)


Apr 14, 2014, 2:43:46 PM4/14/14
I prefer the LP version for it's more even singing and to me it sounds more passionate with beautiful colouring.

Derek McGovern

Apr 19, 2014, 8:56:18 AM4/19/14
Well, I like most of the second half of the unreleased broadcast version, but the first half is just too sloppy for me, with Mario naughtily sliding here and there, and tossing off some of the phrases without his customary care. He's even a bit rough on the line "No song of birds upon the wing"---in complete contrast to how he caresses these same words on the released take. I'd be willing to bet that this was the first take (in spite of the fact that he sings the wrong word once on the other take), as he simply doesn't sound all that familiar with the song.

Yet more proof of how utterly wrong RCA's Richard Mohr was when he claimed that musically speaking Mario only had the one take in him! 

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