Many people relate to Paul Williams the songwriter, who wrote hit songs for The Carpenters (“I Won’t Last A Day Without You,” “Rainy Days And Mondays,” and “We’ve Only Just Begin”), Three Dog Night (“Out In The Country,” “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” and “Family Of Man”), and dozens of others. Some relate to Williams the actor, who appeared in several dozen films, most famously as Little Enos Burdette in the Smokey And The Bandit films. Finally, some people are addicted to Paul Williams the singer and performer who has issued over 20 albums.
During 1979, he issued his only album for the Portrait label. The album and the label disappeared soon afterwards. Now, A Little On The Windy Side has been resurrected with four bonus tracks, a vibrant and clear sound, and a nice booklet that presents a history of Williams and his music.
William has always been a master composer. His singing voice is adequate but takes some getting used too. While he has written some rock songs, his albums fall into the easy listening/pop category. They are well-intentioned light pieces of musical fluff that entertain for a time and make you smile.
The only cover tune is a simple take on “Moonlight Becomes You” from the great American songbook. He gives it a light disco groove and adds some strings around the edges.
The center of the album is five songs written with Kenny Ascher. There is the laid back ballad “The Gift” and the shiny “A Little Bit More.” The upbeat “For Goodness Sake” should have been released as a single as it just stays in your mind.
In some ways the album has a cobbled together feel as three songs first appeared in films and another is an updating of 1972’s “Another Fine Mess,” which was a country hit for Glen Campbell.
The best of the bonus tracks are a gospel flavored “When The River Meets The Sea,” which was written for a Jim Henson special and an unusual direction for Williams and his simple take on “Love Conquers All,” a composition originally recorded by Seals and Crofts.
A Little On The Windy Side may not be his best work but is very representative of the many facets of his career. He still has a committed fan base who will no doubt appreciate this reissue.