Sunday, August 30, 2015

Let Oscar winner Anthony Quinn tell you what the hell love is

A face that says "romance": Anthony Quinn on the cover of his 1969 LP.

I don't know who was asking for it, but in 1969, Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn, star of Zorba the Greek, recorded a spoken word album entitled In My Own Way... I Love You for Capitol Records. By that point, he'd already won two Academy Awards, so I guess he could do whatever the hell he wanted. I mean, who was going to say no to Anthony Quinn? The 12-song collection, also featuring the Harold Spina Singers, contained Quinn's gravely-voiced, philosophical musings about love, which he recited over a lush musical background. I'm guessing the album was supposed to set the mood for a romantic evening. If you were some high-powered advertising executive, say, and you'd just brought home some cutie from the typing pool back to your penthouse apartment, you'd put In My Own Way... I Love You on the hi-fi, pour some drinks, dim the lights, and wait for the magic to happen. And what did you get for your money? Well, you'd get tracks like "What is Love?" It takes Mr. Quinn quite a while to get around to answering the title question, and his winding path takes him through such diverse topics as peanut brittle, the New York Yankees, and "snitching a drag on a cigarette." My favorite part is when he just starts listing women's names. I can't tell you how many times I've amused myself by imitating this very passage. What eventually is revealed is that Anthony Quinn is, hands down, the manliest man who ever manned. Take a listen.

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