Frankie Avalon, Italiano, Chancellor CHL-5025, 1962
Ciao is the universal Italian word. Italians use it to say hello or goodbye. In this case, Chancellor Records was saying goodbye to Frankie Avalon. There were three other Avalon releases on the label, but one was a Christmas Album, one was a greatest hits record, and one featured older, unreleased material. By late 1962, Avalon left the label to work on film projects such as the non-Oscar nominated Beach Blanket Bingo and Muscle Beach Party.
However, for a sugary sweet teen idol who was getting a little lungo in the denti, this is a fairly enjoyable album. It wasn’t exactly a terrible idea to re-reocrd Italian Pop standards given Bobby Rydell’s success with Volare and Elvis Presley’s reworking of O Sole Mio into It’s Now Or Never, and Torna A Surriento into Surrender. The songs have a Bobby Darin feel too, with a thumping bass and rhythm track underneath harpsichord and mandolin leads.
With the loss of its biggest seller, Mr. Avalon, at the same time as its second biggest seller, Fabian, Chancellor Records was in trouble. The label’s last top 10 hit came in the summer of 1962 with Claudine Clark’s Party Lights. By 1965, the company was gone, and it would be decades until its original hits would be reissued. As a result, fans of Frankie Avalon need to watch out and only by his Chancellor records (or his United Artist film soundtracks), lest they inadvertently wind up with a 1974 Belgian recording of Venus.
Cost: $10, $871 Remaning