Cherished British singer Matt Monro has returned to the top ten of the UK album chart for the first time in 15 years. UMC’s new Stranger In Paradise release entered the Official Charts Company survey on Friday (20) at No. 8, becoming Monro’s first top entry since The Ultimate Matt Monro reached No. 7 in 2015.
The vocal stylist, who died in 1985 at the age of just 54, reached the UK album top ten just once in his lifetime, when Heartbreakers got to No. 5 in 1980. He first made the LP chart in August 1965 with I Have Dreamed, which appeared at No. 20 in its only chart week. Further top 30 albums followed in the 1960s with This Is The Life and Invitation To The Movies.
Stranger In Paradise combines The Lost Sessions, a disc of material unearthed from the Capitol vaults, and a newly-curated Best Of The Capitol Years set. The Lost Sessions features 16 tracks, presented for the first time in their original, undubbed form as Monro recorded them, not in the greatly-altered versions on Capitol’s Invitation To Broadway album of 1967.|
This 27-track Best Of The Capitol Years anthology features such trademark songs as ‘Born Free,’ ‘This Is The Life’ and ‘We’re Gonna Change The World.’ Also included is Monro’s version of ‘Maria,’ from the soundtrack of West Side Story, and the title song of the 1967 movie Pretty Polly, starring Hayley Mills, Shashi Kapoor, Trevor Howard and Brenda De Banzie.
Monro placed 13 singles on the UK charts during his lifetime, of which his first hit, the late 1960 ballad ‘Portrait Of My Love,’ remained his biggest, peaking at No. 3. He also hit the singles top ten with ‘My Kind Of Girl’ in 1961, ‘Softly As I Leave You’ in 1962, ‘Walk Away’ in 1964 and his interpretation of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ in 1965. All of these are featured on the new best-of along with the last UK singles chart entry of his lifetime, 1973’s ‘And You Smiled.’
Stranger In Paradise/The Best Of The Capitol Years can be bought here.
Listen to the best of Matt Monro on Spotify.