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Dr. Joseph Lee (Toronto, Canada)
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The Songs Of Pomus & Shuman
The Songs Of Pomus & Shuman
Price: CDN$ 18.90
16 used & new from CDN$ 7.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Songs of Pomus & Shuman (3CDs): 75 songs written by Jerome “Doc” Pomus and Mort Shuman; great music; good sound!, April 15 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

The concept of a songwriting partnership, one partner covering the lyrics and the other the music, is a long-established one. Rodgers and Hammerstein, Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer…the list is endless. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were arguably rock ‘n’ roll’s first great teaming – but when the Brill Building started cranking out pop hits in the early 60s you could add Sedaka and Greenfield, Goffen and King and Mann and Weil to the roll of honour. Often overlooked and underrated are Jerome “Doc” Pomus and Mort Shuman. From this compilation and the list below, one can appreciate how many great hits were written by them. Pomus and Shuman died within a calendar year of each other in 1991. While Doc was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following year, it took his partner another 18 years to earn that accolade.

CONTENT:

In order to decide whether one wants to buy a CD, it is important that one knows what songs are included in the CD. Since Amazon.ca did not provide a song listing, I have compiled a detailed song listing (with chart position, year and personal comments), which is as follows:

Disc 1:
01 Sweets For My Sweets – The Drifters (16/1961)*Charlie Thomas, lead vocal; original version; the cover version by the Searchers hit #1 in UK (1963)
02 Little Sister – Elvis Presley (5/1961)*b-side to His Latest Flame (see below).
03 A Teenager In Love – Dion & the Belmonts (5/1959)*R&R Hall of Fame
04 School Of Heartbreakers – Ral Donner (1961)
05 Don’t You Dare Let Me Down – Conway Twitty (b-side to C’est Si Bon, 1961)*before he turned Country & became a superstar.
06 Turn Me Loose – Fabian (9/1959)
07 Pajama Party – Bobby Pedrick, Jr. (1957)*he later he took his first & middle name and called himself Robert John, with the big hit Sad Eyes (1/1979)
08 Angel Face – Billy Fury (Uncharted UK single on Decca, 1959)
09 You’re Teasing Me – LaVern Baker (1959)
10 Teenage Heartache – Ray Peterson (Uncharted Single, 1960)
11 Foxy Little Mama – Little Tony & His Brothers (b-side to Too Good, 1960)*rare gem; what an original title for a group!
12 (You’re Got) The Magic Touch – The Platters (4/1956)
13 Seven Day Weekend – Gary US Bonds (27/1962)*from movie It’s Trad-Dad, starring Helen Shapiro.
14 Souvenir Of Mexico – Ben E. King (b-side to Amor, 1961)
15 Comes The Day – Rusty Lane & The Mystics (Uncharted Single, 1959)*rare gem; on Laurie label 3031; b-side is Karen.
16 Sorrow Tomorrow – Bobby Darin (b-side to You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby, 1961)
17 Boogie Woogie Country Girl – Big Joe Turner (b-side to Corrine, Corrina, 1956)
18 I Ain’t Sharin’ Sharon – Jimmy Darren (1959)*in 1959, James Darren also recorded under Jimmy Darren (Gidget & Angel Face).
19 Two Fools – Frankie Avalon (54/1959)(b-side to Just Ask Your Heart)
20 Misery’s Child – Richard Hayes (1957)
21 The Snake And The Bookworm – Cliff Richard (from album Cliff Sings, 1959)*Sir Cliff’s 2nd album.
22 Sun Glasses – The Shades (1958)
23 You Be My Baby – Ray Charles (1958)
24 Spanish Lace – Gene McDaniels (31/1962)*with Johnny Mann Singers, backing vocals.
25 You Never Talked About Me – Del Shannon (b-side to The Swiss Maid, 1962)

Disc 2:
01 Surrender – Elvis Presley (1(2)/1961)
02 The Tiger And The Mouse – Connie Francis (1955)*before she became popular.
03 Don’t Fly Away – Jan & Dean (Uncharted Single, 1961)*rare gem; on Dore label 610; b-side: Julie
04 Go, Jimmy Go – Jimmy Clanton (5/1960)
05 If You Need Me – Dave Sampson (1960)
06 I Count The Tears – The Drifters (17/1960)*Ben E. King, lead vocal.
07 (Since You’re Gone) I Can’t Go On – Bobby Darin (1958)
08 Carryin’ That Load – Ray Charles (1958)
09 Stampede – Danny Valentino (1959)
10 Kiss And Make Up – The Crowns (1958)
11 Teenage Tears – James Darren (1959)
12 I Need A Girl – Big Joe Turner (1959)
13 Your Other Love – The Flamingos (54/1960)
14 Would You Stand By Me? – Billy Fury (1961)
15 Hey Memphis – LaVern Baker (1961)
16 Ginny In The Mirror – Del Shannon (117/1962)(b-side to I Won’t Be There)
17 A Texan And A Girl From Mexico – Anita Bryant (85/1961)
18 This Magic Moment – The Drifters (16/1960)*Ben E. King, lead vocal.
19 Havin’ Fun – Dion (42/1961)
20 Once Upon A Time – Ricky Valence (1960)
21 Footsteps – The Skyliners (1960)*not the same song by Steve Lawrence.
22 People Gotta Talk – Ersel Hickey (1959)*his only charted hit: Bluebirds Over The Mountain (75/1958)
23 Hushabye – The Mystics (20/1959)
24 I’m On Fire – Tommy Bruce & The Bruisers (b-side to their first hit, Broken Doll, 1960)(uncharted)*UK male vocal group
25 I Dig Girls – Bobby Rydell (46/1959)(b-side to We Got Love)

Disc 3:
01 Hound Dog Man – Fabian (9/1959)
02 Too Hot To Handle – Jimmy Simmons (1958)
03 Little Ship – The Delicates (1961)
04 (Marie’s The Name Of) His Latest Flame – Del Shannon*album track, 1961; original versio; Elvis’s version (4/1961)
05 Doin’ The Best I Can – Elvis Presley (album track from GI Blues, 1960)*brings back sweet memories of doing a slow dance at Christmas Party during my teenage years!
06 Rag Doll – Jess Conrad (1961)*rare gem
07 Lonely Avenue – Ray Charles (1956)
08 Sweet Talk – Bobbby Comstock & The Counts (b-side to Tennessee Waltz (52/1969) *rare gem
09 I’m A Man – Adam Faith (1960)*UK’s cover version to Fabian’s US hit (31/1959)
10 So Close To Heaven – Ral Donner (b-side to You Don’t Know What You’ve Got, 1961)
11 Say The Word – Mickey & Sylvia (1957)*McHouston “Mickey” Baker & Sylvia Vanderpool Baker.
12 It’s Been Nice – Marty Wilde (b-side to Bad Boy (UK 7/1959).
13 Too Good – Little Tony & His Brothers (UK 19/1960)*rare gem; on Decca 11190; group leader called Anthony Clacci.
14 Love Roller Coaster – Joe Turner (1957)
15 Senor Big And Fine – LaVern Baker (1960)
16 Wait – Jimmy Clanton (91/1960)(b-side to Come Back, 1960)
17 Happy Time – The Skyliners (1961)
18 My Island Of Dreams – Clyde McPhatter (b-side to Lovey Dovey, 1959)
19 A Mess Of Blues – Elvis Presley (32/1960)(b-side to It’s Now Or Never)
20 It’s Not True – Ricky Valence (1961)*his only charted, but No. 1 hit in UK, cover version of Ray Peterson’s Tell Laura I Love Her (UK 1/1960)
21 (Wake Up) Miss Rip Van Winkle – The Tibbs Brothers (1956)
22 Music Man – Danny Valentino (1959)*his only charted hit: male version of Sue Raney’s Biology, 1960.
23 Plain Jane – Bobby Darin (38/1959)
24 I’ve Cried Before – Dion & the Belmonts (1959)
25 Save The Last Dance For Me – The Drifters (1(3)/1960)*Ben E. King, lead vocal

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 In this 3 CD set, there are 75 songs, many being top charted hits, plus quite a few rare gems.
2 The sound is uniformly well remastered with no hiss.
3 The songs are all original versions. No re-recorded versions.
4 There is a well written essay by Michael Heatley.
5 The price is reasonable, especially when you bought from sellers. Great value!

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 A booklet would have been nice. I have purchased other similar compilations on Weil and Mann, Goffen and King, and there were no booklets too.
2 Inclusion of chart positions and label and number would be appreciated.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I have bought similar compilations on other song writers, like Weil and Mann, Goffen and King, etc., and I was also totally pleased with those purchase. After you finished listening to the entire set, then, you would start to appreciate how talented and underrated this dynamic duo song writers are. The songs are well chosen. The sound is good. The price is right. This 3 CD set is highly recommended.

Bubbling Under 2
Bubbling Under 2
Price: CDN$ 23.89
11 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Bubbling Under Volume 2: 32 rare gems that bubbled under Billboard Hot 100 from 1961 to 1967! Good sound!, April 11 2014
This review is from: Bubbling Under 2 (Audio CD)
CONTENTS:

In order to decide whether you are going to purchase this CD, it is important to know what songs are included. Since Amazon.ca did not provide a song listing, I am compiled a detailed song listing (with chart position, year and personal comments) which is as follows:

01 Let Me Show You Where It’s At – Freddy Cannon (127/1965)
02 Tear For Tear – Gene Chandler (114/1962)*his second follow-up after Duke of Earl; he called himself Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler at that point.
03 Hangin’ On To My Baby – Tracey Dey (107/1964)
04 Eyes – The Earls (123/1963)
05 Follow The Rainbow – Terry Stafford (101/1964)*his biggest hit: Suspicion (3/1964), a much bigger hit than Elvis’s version (103/1964)
06 Don’t Take Her From Me - Kris Jensen (112/1963)*his biggest hit was Torture (20/1962)
07 Not Me – Gary US Bonds (116/1961)*follow-up to New Orleans; his next release was his biggest hit Quarter To Three.
08 Will You Be My Baby – Bobby Rydell (114/1963)*b-side to Wildwood Days (17/1963)
09 Shook Up Over You – Dee Clark (125/1963)
10 She’s New To You – Molly Bee (130/1963)
11 Rome (Wasn’t Built In A Day) – Johnnie Taylor (112/1962)*his first charted hit
12 He’s Sure To Remember Me – Brenda Lee (135/1964)*b-side to When You Loved Me (47/1964)
13 Gee TO Tiger – The Tigers (119/1965)*rare gem; title refers to Pontiac’s 1965 GTO muscle car.
14 The Closest Thing To Heaven – Neil Sedaka (107/1964)
15 Easy To Love (So Hard To Get) – The Chiffons (105/1964)
16 Gee Oh Gee – The Echoes (112/1961)
17 A Handful Of Memories – Baby Washington (116/1962)
18 The Train – Eddie Rambeau (129/1965)*his biggest hit Concrete And Clay (35/1965)
19 Either Way I Lose – Gladys Knight & Pips (119/1964)
20 Big Girls Don’t Cry Limbo – David Carroll (102/1962)*rare gem; his biggest hit: Melody Of Love (8/1955)
21 Let Us Make Our Own Mistakes – Brian Hyland (123/1963)*rare gem
22 I’ll Find You – Valerie & Nick (117/1964)*better known later as Ashford & Simpson
23 Feminine Touch – Dorsey Burnette (117/1961)*answer song to Gene McDaniel’s 1961 hit A Hundred Pounds Of Clay
24 Go On And Have Yourself A Ball – The Mar-Vells (115/1964)
25 Just Let It Happen – The Arbors (113/1967)
26 I Know Better – The Flamingos (107/1963)*their biggest hit: I Only Have Eyes For You (11/1959)
27 Pushin’ A Good Thing Too Far – Barbara Lewis (113/1964)
28 Put Away Your Teardrops – The Lettermen (132/1964)
29 Fugitive – Jan Davis (129/1964)
30 We Have Something More (Than A Summer Love) – Connie Francis (128/1964)*b-side to Don’t Ever Leave Me (42/1964)
31 Impressions – The Jones Boys (101/1966)
32 Magic Town – Jody Miller (125/1965)*her biggest hit: Queen Of The House (12/1965) – answer song to Roger Miller’s King Of The Road

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 Even some songs in Billboard Hot 100 are hard to find, not to say those Bubbling Under. This set has 32 songs with many rare gems. Great collection.
2 The sound is very good and clean.
3 There is an excellent 32-page booklet with great essay on each song, plus many precious picture sleeves and labels. The label, number and chart positions are all included. The contents are simply very well done and outstanding. This is how a good booklet should be.
4 Most compilations these days go as far as 1962 taking advantage of the Public Domain law. In this case, there is no restriction, going up to 1967. Thank you for doing that!
4 The price is reasonable (especially from sellers). I bought mine from Amazon.co.uk for £7.33. Since the Canadian dollar is still low, in retrospect, I did not save that much.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
None

FINAL THOUGHTS:

In my audio room, I have plenty of Billboard books covering Billboard Hot 100 Singles, with the latest edition including the Bubbling Under section too. There is also a separate Bubbling Under book by Joey Whitburn from Record Research, which is also excellent. If you like these types of book, it will be much cheaper ordering directly from Record Research. The prices on Amazon.ca are very expensive.

This set is Volume 2. I have Volume 1 too. Both are excellent. Rare Rockin’ Records, a reissue label from Australia, has done an excellent job in giving us these two volumes. The booklet is also outstanding. The sound is good. There are many rare gems and a few made their CD debut. This set is highly recommended, but I feel more for collectors.

Power of Love
Power of Love
Price: CDN$ 29.55
15 used & new from CDN$ 11.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Bailey – The Power Of Love: Great debut CD from X Factor winner in 2013 with 11 great songs, including the No. 1 Skyscraper!, April 10 2014
This review is from: Power of Love (Audio CD)
INTRODUCTION:

Sam Bailey (born 29 June 1977) is an English singer, known for winning the tenth series of The X Factor in 2013. Following her win, her debut single, a cover of Demi Lovato's Skyscraper, was released on 16 December 2013, achieving the Christmas number one on 22 December 2013. She was the first X Factor winner in three years to gain the Christmas number one spot. (Trivia: last time was Matt Cardle’s When We Collide in 2010)

On 24 February 2014, Bailey supported Beyoncé on one of the dates of her UK leg of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, as well as performing on The X Factor Live Tour. Her debut album The Power of Love was released on 24 March 2014 and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, the last time being Alexandra Burke topped the chart with her debut album Overcome in October 2009. In support of the album, Bailey will go on her first ever headline tour in January and February 2015.

She is happily married to Craig, with two lovely children, Brooke and Tommy.

CONTENTS:

Since Amazon.ca did not provide a song listing, I have compiled a song listing (with chart position & year, plus personal comments), which is as follows:

01 The Power Of Love*Sam performed live on he 19th National Television Awards
02 From This Moment On
03 There You’ll Be
04 And I’m Telling You (duet with Nicole Scherzinger)*Sam originally performed in the X Factor Final.
05 Compass
06 Lord Is It Mine
07 Get There
08 Treasure
09 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (duet with Michael Bolton)*Sam performed live on he 19th National Television Awards
10 Superwoman
11 Skyscraper (UK 1/2013; SCOTLAND 1/2013; IRELAND 1/2013)

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 This is a very powerful album with 11 great songs. These songs really displayed her full vocal power and range. She could soar up in the sky with her vocal, matching that of Nicole Scherzinger, in And I Am Telling You, and also can be very tender as in her No. 1 UK hit Skyscraper.
2 The entire CD is very well remastered with clear clean crisp vocals and backing instrumental tracks. Great bass.
3 There is a 12-page booklet containing all the lyrics.
4 The price is reasonable (especially with sellers). I bought my copy from Amazon.co.uk for £5.83. With the low Canadian dollar, in retrospect, I did not save that much.

NEGATIVE POINT:
None

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This is truly an amazing debut album from Sam Bailey. All the songs are very enjoyable, especially the very catchy Skyscraper, that will grow on you, especially the haunting piano backing. The sound on the entire CD was superb and very well remastered. Sam Bailey has a great vocal talent, and will surely achieve greatness as time goes by, like Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke. This is a great CD and is highly recommended.

A Group Called Smith + Minus - Plus
A Group Called Smith + Minus - Plus
Price: CDN$ 20.70
17 used & new from CDN$ 15.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Smith – A Group Called Smith/Minus-Plus: two albums on one CD; Minus-Plus making its CD debut; great sound!, April 10 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

Smith was a pop-rock band from Los Angeles, California, consisting of Gayle McCormick (vocals), Rick Cliburn and Alan Parker (guitars), Larry Moss (keyboards), Jerry Carter (bass) and Robert Evans (drums). They sang mostly cover songs. Their first single, Baby It’s You (originally by the Shirelles) shot up to #5 on Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. Their first LP A Group Called Smith also reach #17 on Billboard 200 in 1969. In this LP, the leads were split among several members: Cliburn (4), Carter (1)(on Who Do You Love?) and McCormick the rest (including Baby It’s You). In their next and final LP, Minus-Plus, Cliburn and Carter were replaced by Alan Parker and Judd Huss respectively. Eight of the ten songs were Smith originals. In this album, McCormick took the majority of the leads, but the sessions were much tougher the second time around because McCormick might have a nervous breakdown during that period. Take A Look Around was the leftover from the sessions from the first LP. Minus-Plus only reached #74 in 1970. Smith has 5 charted entries on Billboard Hot 100. After breakup, McCormick did a few solo albums, one of which (Gayle McCormick) reached #198 in 1971.

CONTENT:

This CD contains the 2 complete albums (20 songs), from which all their singles (a and b-sides) are found. There are 20 songs. The albums are:
A Group Called Smith (Dunhill/ABC 50056)(5/1969)
Minus-Plus (Dunhill/ABC 50081)(74/1970)

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 This is the first time the second album Minus-Plus appears on CD. Their first album was released on CD in 1994 (Varese Sarabande).
2 This is also the first time where all their charted singles (a and b-sides) are found in one package.
3 The sound is superb as per high standard at Real Gone Music. Great remastering job! The sound of Moss’s B-3 organ is simply outstanding!
4 There is a fantastic 12 page booklet, with essay by Richie Unterberger. As per high standard at Real Gone Music, the front covers of both albums are featured covering the entire page. Thank you!
5 The price is reasonable (especially from sellers).

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 There are no bonus tracks. The entire CD is 65 minutes long. Come on, Real Gone Music, you could have filled up the remaining CD with Gayle McCormick’s solo efforts, like Gonna Be Alright Now (84/1971) and It’s A Cryin’ Shame (44/1971) and You Really Got A Hold On Me (98/1972). The former two songs were available on Varese CD. Personally, I just purchased the solo Gayle McCormick CD for $8.67! Other bonus track should include The Weight (from Easy Rider Soundtrack).
2 No Singles chart positions were included.
3 I wish the back covers of the above albums are also included (usually done by Real Gone Music in other single artist compilation)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Although Smith only had two albums with 20 songs, some of these tracks really left a deep impression on me. Listening now to Baby It’s You really brings me back to the early 70s. I was a poor medical student at University of Toronto. I did visit Sam the Record Man and A&A Record Store weekly, and did not really have extra money to buy lots of records. Listening to 1050 CHUM radio was a special treat then. I am glad that now I have their albums on CDs with crystal clear crisp sound! Thank you, Real Gone Music. The entire CD is totally enjoyable. Just turn up the volume and enjoy. Of course, this set is highly recommended.

8 Classic Albums
8 Classic Albums
Price: CDN$ 24.72
3 used & new from CDN$ 21.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Bert Kaempfert 8 Classic Albums (4CDs): Bert’s first 8 albums with 98 songs; all his singles from 1959-1962; great sound!, April 9 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: 8 Classic Albums (Audio CD)
INTRODUCTION:

Bert Kaempfert was born on October 16, 1923 in Hamburg, Germany. He was a multi-instrumentalist/bandleader/producer/arranger for Polydor Records in Germany. In 1961, he hired The Beatles to back Tony Sheridan for an album called My Bonnie. The album and its singles, released by Polydor, were the Beatles' first commercially released recordings. He also composed many famous tunes, like Strangers In The Night, Wooden Heart, Spanish Eyes, Danke Schoen, L-O-V-E, and Almost There. He has released numerous albums and singles over the years. He died on June 21, 1980 (age 56) in Switzerland.

CONTENT:

Disc 1:
Portugal – Fado, Wine And Sunshine (Polydor 237.506) 1958 (later re-released as April In Portugal in 1959 with a different front cover but the same song listing)
Combo Capers (Polydor 531.643) 1960
Disc 2:
Wonderland By Night (Decca 74101)(US 1(5)/1960)
The Wonderland Of Bert Kaempfert (Decca 74117)(1960)
Disc 3:
Dancing In Wonderland (Decca 74161)(US 92/1961)
With A Sound In My Heart (Decca 74228)(1961)
Disc 4:
Afrikaan Beat And Other Favorites (Decca 74273)(US 82/1962)
A Swingin’ Safari (Polydor 237.354)(1962)

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 These are Bert Kaempfert’s first 8 albums. Here you get all 8 complete albums in one set, with a total of 98 songs. All but 2 albums (Combo Capers and A Swingin’ Safari) have been available elsewhere as Twofers on Taragon label in 1996 and 1998. But these CDs are very expensive. I bought this current set to get Combo Capers and A Swingin’ Safari, which I don’t have.
2 These 8 albums also contain many singles:
(01) Wonderland By Night (Decca 31141)(US 1(3)/1960) from Wonderland By Night
(02) Dreaming The Blues (Decca 31141)(b-side, 1960) from Wonderland By Night
(03) Cervaza (Decca 30866)(US 73/1961) from The Wonderland of Bert Kaempfert
(04) Catalania (Decca 30866)(b-side, 1961) from The Wonderland of Bert Kaempfert
(05) Tenderly (Decca 31236)(US 31/1961) from The Wonderland Of Bert Kaempfert
(06) Without Your Love (Decca 31236)(b-side, 1961) from The Wonderland Of Bert Kaempfert
(07) Now And Forever (Decca 31279)(US 48/1961) from Dancing In Wonderland
(08) Only Those In Love (Decca 31279)(b-side, 1961) from Dancing In Wonderland
(09) Afrikaan Beat (Decca 31350)(US 42/1962) from Afrikaan Beat & Other Favorites
(10) Echo In The Night (Decca 31350)(US 108/1962) from Afrikaan Beat & Other Favorites
(11) That Happy Feeling (Decca 31388)(US 67/1962) from A Swingin’ Safari
(12) Take Me (Decca 31388)(b-side, 1962) from A Swingin’ Safari
3 There are also many outstanding album tracks, like Happy Trumpeter.
4 The sound is very well remastered, clean with no hiss. The horn section is outstanding.
5 As noted above, individual albums or Twofers from Taragon are both very expensive. But Taragon label has the best remastered sound, ever and my 10 Twofers CDs from Taragon are still my reference. Too bad Taragon has closed its business. Comparatively, with this 4 CD set, the price is reasonable (especially from sellers).

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 There is no booklet. Naturally, there are no album front and back covers.
2 There are a few misspelled titles: Disc 2 song 21 should be Catalania (not Catalina); LP title should be With A Sound In My Heart, not With A Song In My Heart.
3 There were no bonus tracks.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I am so glad to have lived in the era of the 50s and 60s where orchestras blossomed, like Billy Vaughn, Percy Faith, Mantovani, Frank Chacksfield, Ray Conniff, etc. Bert Kaempfert has his own distinctive sound. He literally was brought to international fame with his No. 1 US hit of Wonderland By Night. Happy Trumpeter was used as a theme for a famous soap on radio in the 60s in Hong Kong. If you like instrumental music, this 4 CD set with 98 songs (including all his singles from that period, both a and b-sides, see above), with great sound, is highly recommended.

Wonder of You-the Very Best of Ray Peterson 1957-6
Wonder of You-the Very Best of Ray Peterson 1957-6
Price: CDN$ 24.16
12 used & new from CDN$ 10.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Peterson: Very Best (1957-1962): 30 songs, singles with a and b-sides, charted and uncharted; good sound!, April 8 2014
INTRODUCTION:

Ray Peterson was born on April 23, 1935 in Denton, Texas. As a boy he had to overcome polio. Blessed with a four-octave singing voice, Peterson was signed to a recording contract by RCA Victor Records in 1958. He formed his own Dunes label in 1960. He was best remembered for his tragedy song Tell Laura I Love Her. He charted on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1959 to 1964. His version of The Wonder Of You was later used by Elvis Presley that reached #9 in 1970. Peterson died of cancer on January 25, 2005 at age 69.

CONTENTS:

The CD contains hit singles (charted and uncharted) from 1957 to 1962, with a total of 30 songs. Since Amazon.ca did not provide a song listing, I have painstakingly compiled a detailed song listing (with singles label & no, chart position & year, plus personal comments), which is as follows:

01 Fever (RCA-Victor 7098)(uncharted a-side, 1957)
02 We’re Old Enough To Cry (RCA-Victor 7098)(b-side, 1957)
03 Doggonit! (unreleased, 1957)
04 Shirley Purley (RCA-Victor 7165)(uncharted a-side, 1958)
05 Let’s Try Romance (RCA-Victor 7165)(b-side, 1958)*rare gem; CD debut!
06 Suddenly (RCA-Victor 7255)(uncharted a-side, 1958)
07 Patricia (RCA-Victor 7303)(uncharted a-side, 1958)
08 Richer Than I (RCA-Victor 7404)(uncharted a-side, 1958)
09 The Wonder Of You (RCA-Victor 7513)(Billboard 25/1959; UK 23/1959)
10 I’m Gone (RCA-Victor 7513)(b-side, 1959)
11 Come And Get It (RCA-Victor 7578)(uncharted single, 1959)
12 My Blue Angel (RCA-Victor 7578)(b-side, 1959)
13 Goodnight My Love (Pleasant Dreams)(RCA-Victor 7635)(Billboard 64/1959)
14 Till Then (RCA-Victor 7635)(b-side, 1959)
15 What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For (RCA-Victor 7703) (Billboard 104/1960)
16 Answer Me, My Love (RCA-Victor 7703)(b-side, 1960)
17 Tell Laura I Love Her (RCA-Victor 7745)(Billboard 7/1960)*Decca, RCA’s UK licensor took the decision not to release it because of poor taste, while EMI rushed out a cover version by Ricky Valence, which not only went to #1 in Britain, it became a significant international hit (although another UK cover, by John Leyton, took the chart honours in Scandinavia).
18 Wedding Day (RCA-Victor 7745)(b-side, 1960)
19 Teenage Heartache (RCA-Victor 7779)(uncharted a-side, 1960)
20 Corinna Corinna (Dunes 2002)(Billboard 9/1961; UK 41/1961)*in UK, the title is spelled Corrine, Corrina; a little trivia here.
21 Be My Girl (Dunes 2002)(b-side, 1961)
22 I’m Tired (RCA-Victor 7845)(Billboard 104/1961)
23 Sweet Little Kathy (Dunes 2004)(Billboard 100/1961)
24 You Didn’t Care (Dunes 2004)(b-side, 1961)
25 Missing You (Dunes 2006)(Billboard 29/1961)
26 You Thrill Me (Dunes 2006)(b-side)
27 I Could Have Love You So Well (Dunes 2009)(Billboard 27/1962)
28 Why Don’t You Write Me (Dunes 2009)(b-side, 1962)*rare gem; CD debut
29 Is It Wrong? (Dunes 2019)(uncharted a-side, 1962)
30 I’m Not Jimmy (Dunes 2022)(uncharted a-side, 1962)

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 This 30 song set is a pretty good collection of Ray Peterson’s singles output (charted and uncharted, a and b-sides) from 1957 to 1962. Two songs, Let's Try Romance & Why Don’t You Write Me, make their CD debut.
2 The sound is good, with no hiss.
3 Although the booklet has only 6 pages, it does contain detailed label & number information which is very helpful for collector like myself to compile a Complete Singles Discography on Ray Peterson. This is a vast improvement over previous Jasmine releases. The best Discography is always done by Bear Family. The essay by Groper Odson was excellent and informative.
4 The price is reasonable, especially from sellers. I bought mine from Amazon.co.uk. With the low Canadian dollars, in retrospect, I did not save much.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 There are many songs missing: (1) Tail Gate (b-side to Suddenly, 1958), (2) My Blue-Eyed Baby (b-side to Patricia, 1958), (3) I Always Want You Near (a-side, 1958), (4) Dream Away (b-side to I Always Want You Near, 1958), (5) Love Is A Woman (b-side to Richer Than I, 1958), (6) Why Don’t You Write Me (b-side to I Could Have Loved You So Well, 1961), (7) If Only Tomorrow (Dunes 2018, 1961), (8) Slowly (b-side to Is It Wrong, 1962), (9) A Love To Remember (b-side to I’m Not Jimmy, 1962). Mind you, Jasmine is smart in calling it The Best Of, instead of Complete Singles Collection.
2 Inclusion of album covers (front and back) plus picture sleeves in the booklet will be appreciated in the future.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Remember, this set only covers the period from 1957 to 1962. Peterson still has 8 more charted singles from 1963 to 1966 (16 songs, a and b-sides). If you like a more comprehensive coverage, the best choice is Tell Laura I Love Her on Bear Family Records (2006) with 31 songs, covering the later period, but not complete. The price is also more expensive.

I feel a Complete Singles Collection (with songs arranged chronologically, charted and uncharted, a and b-sides) is long overdue for Ray Peterson. Collectors’ Choice or Real Gone Music, are you listening?

Overall, this 30-song set is a good representation of the golden period of Ray Peterson, and is truly The Very Best Of Ray Peterson. The sound is good, and price reasonable (sellers). This set is highly recommended for all music lovers of oldies.

Early Years-Featuring the Lana Sister/ the Springf
Early Years-Featuring the Lana Sister/ the Springf
Price: CDN$ 28.09
12 used & new from CDN$ 11.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dusty Springfield Earl Years (2CDs): 55 songs: Lana Sisters & Springfields; many rare gems! BEFORE her solo career!, April 8 2014
INTRODUCTION:

Dusty Springfield was born Mary O’Brien on April 16, 1939 in London, England. In 1958, she started her professional singing career as Shan in the newly-christened Lana Sisters, in essence a raunchier version of the McGuire sisters. In 1960, Dusty, his brother Dionysius and Rashed Field formed the Springfields. Their stage names were: Mary decided to call herself Dusty, Dionysius opted for Tom, while Rashed incorporated his own middle name to become Tim Field. And the rest is history. In 1962, Mike Hurst would replace Tim Field. Dusty Springfield went solo in 1963 and became Britain’s “top-pop” diva, with 29 charted hits on Billboard Hot 100. She sadly died of cancer on March 2, 1999 at age 59.

CONTENT:

This 2 CD set is purely Dusty’s early years, BEFORE she went solo. If you are looking for her solo hits, please look elsewhere. There are 55 songs, comprising the singles output of the Lana Sisters and the Springfields, plus album tracks. Since Amazon.ca did not provide a song listing, I have painstakingly compiled a detailed song listing (with singles label & number, chart position & year, album title, label & no. & year, plus personal comments), which is as follows:

Disc 1:
Lana Sisters:
01 Ring-A-My Phone (Fontana 148)(uncharted single, 1958)
02 Chimes Of Arcady (Fontana 148)(b-side, 1958)
03 Buzzin’ (Fontana 176)(uncharted single, 1959)
04 Cry, Cry Baby (Fontana 176)(b-side, 1959)
05 Tell Him No (Fontana 190)(uncharted single, 1959)
06 Mister Dee-Jay (Fontana 190)(b-side, 1959)
07 Seven Little Girls, Sitting In The Back Seat (Fontana 221)(uncharted single, 1959) *cover version of Paul Evan’s original US hit; UK version by Avons (UK 3/1959)
08 Sitting On The Sidewalk (Fontana 221)(b-side, 1959)
09 You’ve Got What It Takes (Fontana 235)(uncharted single, 1960)
10 My Mother’s Eyes (Fontana 235)(b-side, 1960)
11 Someone Loves You, Joe (Fontana 252)(uncharted single, 1960)
12 Tintarella Di Luna (Fontana 251)(b-side, 1960)
13 Two-Some (Fontana 283)(uncharted single, 1960)
14 Down South (Fontana 283)(b-side, 1960)

The Springfields:
15 Dear John (Philips 1145)(uncharted single, 1961)
16 I Done What They Told Me To (Philips 1145)(b-side, 1961)
17 Breakaway (Philips 1168)(UK 31/1961)
18 Good News (Philips 1168)(b-side, 1961)
19 Bambino (Philips 1178)(UK 16/1961)
20 Star Of Hope (Philips 1178)(b-side, 1961)
21 Goodnight Irene (Philips 1220)(uncharted single, 1962)
22 Far Away Places (Philips 1220)(b-side, 1962)
23 Silver Threads And Golden Needles (Philips 1241)(Billboard 20/1962; C&W 16/1962)*their first US hit; the first single by a British group ever to do so (predating the Tornados’ Telstar by two months, and The Beatles by 15 months)
24 Aunt Rhody (Philips 1241)(b-side, 1962)
25 Swahili Papa (Philips 326536)(uncharted single, 1962)
26 Gotta Travel On (Philips 326536)(Billboard 114/1962)(b-side to both Swahili Papa & Dear Hearts And Gentle People, 1962)
27 Dear Hearts And Gentle People (Philips 40072)(Billboard 95/1962)
28 Island Of Dreams (Philips 326557)(Billboard 129/1963; UK 5/1962)
29 The Johnson Boys (Philips 326557)(b-side, 1963)*US b-side is Foggy Mountain Top, found in disc 2.
30 Little By Little (Philips 40092)(uncharted single, 1962)
31 Waf-Woof (Philips 40092)(b-side, 1962)
32 Alles Gold Und Alles Silber (Silver Thread And Golden Needles in German)
33 Ich Geh’ Ohne Ruh’ Durch Die Strassen Und Gassen (Island Of Dreams in German)

Disc 2:
LP Kinda Folksy (Philips 7551)(1961):
01 Wimoweh Mambo
02 The Black Hills of Dakota
03 Row, Row, Row
04 The Green Leaves Of Summer
05 Silver Dollar
06 Allentown Jail
07 Lonesome Traveller
08 They Took John Away
09 Eso Es El Amor
10 Two Brothers
11 Tzena, Tzena, Tzena
LP Folk Songs From The Hills (Philips 632304)(1963):
12 Settle Down
13 There’s A Big Wheel
14 Greenaback Dollar
15 Midnight Special
16 Wabash Cannonball
17 Alone With You
18 Cottonfields
19 Foggy Mountain Top (see above, b-side to Island Of Dreams)
20 Maggie
21 Darling Allalee
22 Mountain Boy
23 My Baby’s Gone
24 Leve Toi (Breakaway in French)
25 Petit Enfant Tu Dors (Bambino in French)
26 Sag Mir, Wo Die Blumen Sind (Where Have All The Flowers Gone in German)
27 Das Kostet Keinen Pfennig (Settle Down in German)
EP Christmas With The Springfields (Lyntone 125)(1962):
28 The Twelve Days Of Christmas
29 Mary’s Boy Child
30 Away In A Manger
31 We Wish You A Merry Christmas
32 Jingle Bells

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 This is a fantastic singles collection on Lana Sisters and the Springfields, plus EP and LP output, with a total of 55 songs. The songs are arranged chronologically.
2 Many foreign language versions are included.
3 The sound is good, with no hiss.
4 Although the booklet has only 6 pages, it does contain detailed chart information which is very helpful for collector like myself to compile a Complete Singles Discography on Dusty Springfield. This is a vast improvement over previous Jasmine releases. The essay by Groper Odson was excellent and informative.
5 The price is reasonable, especially from sellers. I bought mine from Amazon.co.uk. With the low Canadian dollars, in retrospect, I did not save much.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 Although the 14 songs selection on the Lana Sisters (7 singles with a and b-sides) is included, this is by no means complete. If you want the Complete Singles Collection by the Lana Sisters, try Chantelly Lace: The Complete Singles plus Bonus Tracks on RPM label released in 2011 with 10 more songs.
2 The Singles Collection on the Springfields is also not incomplete: Say I Won’t Be There (1963), Come On Home (1963), If I Was Down And Out (1964) and Oh Holy Child (1964). If you are looking for the Complete Springfields, I would recommend Over The Hills And Far Away, a 2 CD deluxe anthology with 47 songs on Philips label (1997).
3 Inclusion of album covers (front and back) plus picture sleeves in the booklet will be appreciated in the future.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

While Dusty Springfield went on to a tremendous solo career, Tom Springfield wrote songs for the Seekers, including I’ll Never Find Another You, The Carnival Is Over and Georgy Girl. If you are looking for Dusty’s solo anthology, there are many nice box sets out there. If you are a completist like myself and also a Dusty Springfield fan, the above set, highlighting her early singing career, is highly recommended. In return, you also get the Lana Sisters and the Springfields too.

Sealed With a Kiss & All the Great Hits 1960-62
Sealed With a Kiss & All the Great Hits 1960-62
Price: CDN$ 23.32
11 used & new from CDN$ 12.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brian Hyland (1960-1962)(2CDs): Great collection of his singles from 1960-1962, with many rare gems making CD debut; great sound, April 8 2014
INTRODUCTION:

Brian Hyland was born on November 12, 1963 in Queens, New York. He was one of the handful of pre-Beatles teen idols who ruled American airwaves in the early 60s. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he had a career that remained entirely valid throughout the 60s and 70s where he enjoyed many, still popular, hits. Today he is still performing today headlining numerous 60s orientated package shows, often with Bobby Vee.

CONTENTS:

Since Amazon.ca did not provide a song listing, I have compiled a detailed listing (containing also album label & no & year, Singles chart position, label no. & year with personal comments) which is as follows:

Disc 1:
LP The Bashful Blonde (Kapp 3202)(1960) Mono:
01 Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini (Leader 805)(Billboard 1/1960; UK 6/1960)
02 Paper Doll
03 Rosemary (Leader 801)(Uncharted Single, 1960)
04 A Your Adorable
05 Cleo
06 Don’t Dilly Dally Sally (Leader 805)(b-side to Itsy Bitsy…, 1960)
07 Baby Face (Kapp 894)(Uncharted Single, 1961)
08 Poor Little Fool
09 I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire
10 Angel In My Heart (Kapp 384)(b-side to Baby Face, 1961)(Japan)
11 I Don’t Know Why (I Just Do)
12 Cozy Little Compact Car
LP Let Me Belong to You (ABC-Paramount 400)(1961) Stereo:
13 Are You Lonesome Tonight
14 I’m Sorry
15 The Night I Cried (ABC-Paramount 10262)(b-side to I’ll Never Stop Wanting You)(Record World 86/1961)
16 Bye Bye Love
17 It Ain’t That Way At All (ABC-Paramount 10374)(b-side to I May Not Live To See Tomorrow, 1963)
18 Let Me Belong To You (ABC-Paramount 10236)(Billboard 20/1961)
19 I’ll Never Stop Wanting You (ABC-Paramount 10262)(Billboard 83/1961)
20 Lonely Weekends
21 All Shook Up
22 Love Me Tender
23 Walk A Lonely Mile (ABC-Paramount 10359)(b-side to Warm Over Kiss, 1962)

Disc 2:
LP Sealed With A Kiss (ABC-Paramount 431)(1962) Stereo:
01 I Should Be Getting’ Better (ABC-Paramount 10294)(b-side to Ginny Come Lately, 1962)
02 Ginny Come Lately (ABC-Paramount 10294)(Billboard 21/1962; UK 5/1962)
03 Sealed With A Kiss (ABC-Paramount 10336)(Billboard 3/1962: UK 3/1962)
04 Summer Job (ABC-Paramount 10336)(b-side to Sealed With A Kiss, 1962)
Other 8 tracks on this LP repeated from Let Me Belong To You
Singles:
05 Library Love Affair (Leader 801)(b-side to Rosemary, 1960)*rare gem; CD debut
06 Four Little Heels (Clickety Clack Song)(Kapp 352)(Billboard 73/1960; UK 29/1960)
07 That’s How Much (Kapp 352)(b-side to Four Little Heels)(Billboard 74/1960)
08 I Gotta Go (Cause I Love You)(Kapp 363)(Billboard 101/1961)
09 Lopsided, Over-Loaded (And It Wiggled When We Rode On It)(Kapp 363)(b-side to I Gotta Go)(Billboard 105/1961)
10 Sixteen Cubes Of Sugar (Kapp 384)(Uncharted Single, 1961)*rare gem; CD debut
11 Lipstick On Your Lips (Kapp 401)(Record World 123/1961)*rare gem; CD debut
12 When Will I Know (Kapp 401)(b-side to Lipstick On Your Lips, 1961)*rare gem; CD debut
13 Every Other Night (Kapp 429)(Uncharted Single, 1961)*rare gem; CD debut
14 She’s My All American Girl (Kapp 429)(b-side to Every Other Night)*rare gem; CD debut
15 Let It Die (ABC-Paramount 10236)(b-side to Let Me Belong To You, 1961)*should have been included in the LP Let Me Belong To You
16 Warmed Over Kisses (Left Over Love)(ABC-Paramount 10359)(Billboard 25/1962; UK 28/1962)
17 I May Not Live To See Tomorrow (ABC-Paramount 10374)(Billboard 69/1962)*Jasmine Records mistakenly replaced this track with Walk A Lonely Mile, the last track on Disc 1 (see negative points below)

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 There are many Best Of or Greatest Hits on Brian Hyland. But if you are looking for the Singles Collection, this set with 40 songs has the most complete compilation of his singles output from 1960 to 1962. Many of his uncharted singles on Kapp appear on CD for the first time. (see above)
2 The sound is good, with no hiss.
3 Although the booklet has only 6 pages, it does contain detailed chart information which is very helpful for collector like myself to compile a Complete Singles Discography on Brian Hyland. This is a vast improvement over previous Jasmine releases. The essay by Bob Fisher written in August 2013 was excellent and informative.
4 The price is reasonable, especially from sellers. I bought mine from Amazon.co.uk. With the low Canadian dollars, in retrospect, I did not save much.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 The major blunder is the mistaken replacement of I May Not Live To See Tomorrow, the last track on Disc 2, by Walk A Lonely Mile, the last track on Disc 1. This is really an unforgivable act. Jasmine Records, you have been perfect so far with many great releases. How can you be so sloppy now? Fortunately, that track is readily available on other compilation.
2 There are two major omissions: (1) Me And My Shadow (Kapp 2055)(Uncharted Single, 1962); like Baby Face, Me And My Shadow was Top 10 hits in Far East. (2) Monday Morning Go To School Blues (Kapp 2055)(b-side to Me And My Shadow, 1962)
3 Inclusion of album covers (front and back) plus picture sleeves in the booklet will be appreciated in the future.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Brian Hyland has a charted career from 1960 to 1971, going through different labels (Leader, Kapp, ABC-Paramount, Philips, Dot and Uni). An interesting sidebar is that Universal Music Group now owns ALL of the labels that Brian Hyland recorded for during his entire career through their various acquisitions over the past thirty years. A multiple CD set of a Complete Singles Collection (arranged chronologically, with a and b-sides, charted and uncharted) is long overdue. Collectors’ Choice or Real Gone Music, are you listening? If you are just looking for a good Greatest Hits, I would recommend Hits & Rarities with 32 tracks. His later albums are also available on BGO as a Twofer.

Even with some deficiency as noted above, this set is still a great collection with good sound. If you are a collector, many singles from Kapp make their CD debut here, and are truly precious. This set is highly recommended.

The Complete Original Dunhill/ABC Hit Singles
The Complete Original Dunhill/ABC Hit Singles
Price: CDN$ 21.74
16 used & new from CDN$ 14.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grass Roots: 23 charted a-sides on ABC/Dunhil; original single mono versions; superb remastering & great sound! But no b-sides., April 4 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

The Grass Roots is a pop-rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, originally the brainchild of songwriting duo P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri. Original members consisted of Rob Grill (vocal, bass), Warren Entner, Creed Bratton (guitar) and Rick Coonce (drums). New lineup in 1971 included Entner, Grill Reed Kailing and Virgil Webber (guitar) and Joel Larson (drums). Bratton plays Creed on TV’s The Office. Coonce died in 2011 (age 64) and Grill also died in 2011 (age 67). The Grass Roots has 24 charted entries on Billboard Hot 100, one gold single (Midnight Confession), and 17 albums, including two gold albums (Golden Grass, 1968, and Their 16 Greatest Hits, 1971). They have sold over twenty million records worldwide.

CONTENT:

Real Gone Music has just released this Complete Original Dunhill/ABC Hit Singles, consisting of 24 songs on 1 CD.

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 This is the first time that the hit singles by the Grass Roots are released chronologically, from 1965 to 1973 on the Dunhill/ABC label, their main label. There are 23 charted a-sides in this compilation. The 24th song is the “censored version” of Let’s Live For Today.
2 All the tracks are their original mono single versions. No album versions. No re-recorded versions. I wish more label would pay attention in using the “singles” version for Singles Discography releases. Are you listening, Mike Love & Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys?
3 The sound is simply superb – very well remastered with lots of vibrancy and no hiss, and much better than all previous releases.
4 There is an excellent 24-page booklet with a very detailed essay on the group, plus rare picture sleeves, 45 rpm single pictures, plus a very detailed discography.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 Where are the b-sides? In the past, when Real Gone Music released a Complete Singles Collection, normally, a and b-sides are included and arranged chronologically (like Tommy James & The Shondells, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Jay & The Americans, Timi Yuro, Patti Page, etc).
2 There are quite a few uncharted singles not included in this compilation: Feelings (1968), Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire (1973), We Can’t Dance To Your Music (1973) and Stealin’ Love (In The Night)(1973). They are all on Dunhill/ABC labels too.
3 Their last charted single, Mamacita (71/1975), was not included. The excuse is that it was on a different label (Haven/Capitol).

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I really have mixed feelings about this compilation. While I am overjoyed to hear the original single versions, all sounding vibrant and like brand new, I can’t help being disappointed that this compilation is really NOT “Complete.” Real Gone Music could have included all the b-sides, plus all the uncharted singles, plus not restricting to only the Dunhill/ABC label, and have a 2 CD set instead.

If you are looking for more song by the Grass Roots, I would also strongly recommend Where Were You When I Needed You on Varese Sarabande label (1994), 12 songs from their first album, plus six bonus tracks, including You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away. Hitch Hike and Eve of Destruction (currently $19.12). My old reference was a 2 CD set called Anthology: 1965-1975 on Rhino label in 1991, produced by Bill Inglot, including the single Mamacita plus many bonus album tracks not found elsewhere (current selling price $175.58!). The two Greatest Hits (Volumes 1 and 2) released in 1987 on MCA are fairly useless: only 10 songs each plus poor sound. Also, be careful of re-recorded versions.

In the end, I still will treasure this current release. Being their original single mono versions plus great sound, all the songs in this set have become my new reference standard. If there is ONE CD you want on the Grass Roots, this is it and is very highly recommended.

The Essential Backstreet Boys
The Essential Backstreet Boys
Price: CDN$ 15.99
18 used & new from CDN$ 12.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Backstreet Boys: Essential (2 CDs): Best Greatest Hits compilation, with 29 songs and great sound!, April 4 2014
INTRODUCTION:

The Backstreet Boys (sometimes known as BSB) are an American vocal harmony group, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The group consists of A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell. They rose to fame with their debut international album, Backstreet Boys (1996). In the following year, they released their second international album Backstreet's Back (1997) and their U.S. debut album which continued the group's success worldwide. They rose to superstardom with their third studio album Millennium (1999), which sold over 30 million copies worldwide, and its follow-up album, Black & Blue (2000). Richardson left the group in 2006 to pursue other interests, but rejoined in 2012. In total, BSB has released 9 studio albums and 27 singles (19 of which charted on Billboard Hot 100). The Backstreet Boys have sold over 130 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling boy band in history, and one of the world's best-selling music artists. They are the first group since Sade to have their first nine albums reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and the only boy band to do so. BSB are still active today, and recently toured with NKOTB.

CONTENTS:

To appreciate how great this compilation is, you have to look at the contents (song listing), which are not listed on Amazon.ca. I have compiled a detailed song listing (with chart position and year):

Disc 1:
01 Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)(Extended Version)(US 4/1997; UK 3/1997)
02 As Long As You Love Me (UK 3/1997)
03 Quit Playing Games (With My Hearts)(US 2/1966; UK 2/1996)
04 I’ll Never Break Your Heart (US 35/1995; UK 8/1995)
05 We’ve Got It Goin’ On (Radio Edit)(US 69/1995; UK 3/1995)
06 All I Have To Give (4:34)(US 5/1998; UK 2/1998)
07 The Call (US 52/2001; UK 8/2001)
08 I Want It That Way (US 6/1999; UK 1/1999)
09 Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely (US 6/1999; UK 3/1999)
10 Get Down (You’re The One For Me)(LP Edit No Rap)(UK 14/1996)
11 If You Stay
12 The One (US 30/2000; UK 8/2000)
13 Shape Of My Heart (US 9/2000; UK 4/2000)
14 More Than That (US 27/2001; UK 12/2001)
15 Larger Than Life (US 25/1999; UK 5/1999)

Disc 2:
01 Anywhere For You (UK 4/1996)
02 Just Want You To Know (US 70/2005; UK 8/2005)
03 Drowning (US 28/2001; UK 4/2001)
04 Incomplete (US 13/2005; UK 8/2005)
05 Weird World
06 Lose It All
07 Inconsolable (Main Version)(US 86/2007; UK 24/2007)
08 Helpless When She Smiles (Radio Version)(Germany 27/2007)
09 One In A Million (Main Version)
10 Crawling Back To You (Uncharted Single, 2005)
11 I Still (Australia 16/2006)
12 Straight Through My Heart (Main Version)(UK 72/2009)
13 Bigger (Uncharted Single, 2009)
14 Bye Bye Love (album track This Is Us, 2009)

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 BSB has a few Greatest Hits (The Very Best, 14 songs, 2011), Greatest Hits, Chapter One, 13 songs, 2001). This 2 CD set is the most comprehensive and complete compilation on BSB (29 songs, covering from 1995 to 2009).
2 Almost all the charted singles around the world are included as shown by the above song listing.
3 I also appreciate the inclusion of Extended Version, Radio Edit or LP edit with no rap, since most of us already have all their previous studio releases.
4 The sound is very well remastered, with crisp clear vocal harmonies and great beat.
5 There is a 14-page booklet with interesting essay and track listing and album source.

NEGATIVE POINT:

1 Since this compilation is released in 2013, it is really unfortunate that BSB’s two single releases, from their latest album In A World Like This in 2013, were left out. They should have been included, instead of album tracks, thus making this compilation more complete.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Backstreet Boys are one of my favourite boy-bands, others being *N-Sync, Westlife, Boyzone and One Direction. If you are looking for their Greatest Hits or Best Of, this is THE best choice for you, as noted above. The sound is great. The price is reasonable. There are also extended version or radio edit versions too. This 2 CD set is highly recommended.

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