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Dr. Joseph Lee (Toronto, Canada)
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8 Classic Albums
8 Classic Albums
Price: CDN$ 23.72
14 used & new from CDN$ 10.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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
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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$ 24.57
22 used & new from CDN$ 9.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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$ 26.47
23 used & new from CDN$ 11.51

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$ 24.34
22 used & new from CDN$ 11.51

2 of 2 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$ 21.98
23 used & new from CDN$ 15.07

2 of 2 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$ 12.00
25 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

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.

Somewhere In Time [Blu-ray + UltraViolet Copy] (Sous-titres français)
Somewhere In Time [Blu-ray + UltraViolet Copy] (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Christopher Reeve
Price: CDN$ 11.49
5 used & new from CDN$ 11.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere In Time (blu-ray): unforgettable story of passion & love, great acting, beautiful music score; very highly recommended, April 2 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
VIDEO:

Somewhere In Time arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC @ 31.99 Mbps 1080p 1.85:1 encode. Cinematographer Isidore Mankofsky shot the film with different stocks for scenes set in 1912 and those in the present. The Fuji stock used for scenes in 1912 produced lighter colours and a softer image, which Mankofsky further softened with diffusion filters. The 1980 scenes were shot with Kodak films, which were clearer and sharper than the 1912 counterparts. The strongest element is the palette. The present-day scenes have saturated colours, realistic and, where appropriate, deeply rich. Detail is generally quite good, although, as noted, the image for the 1912 scenes has been deliberately softened and diffused. Nevertheless, the fine points of the period costumes are readily discernible, and so are facial details. Thanks to Universal’s restraint in DNR, a healthy level of grain is present. Unfortunately, dirt and defects are noticeable for this 34 year old film. (3.5/5)

AUDIO:

The film's original mono mix is presented in lossless DTS-HD MA 2.0. It's a wonderful mix, especially John Barry’s beautifully haunting score, now in stereo, including Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini, with Chet Swiatkowsky on piano solo. Barry’s selection of this piece on a key plot point in the story really enriched my viewing experience. By the way, the Title Theme From Somewhere In Time was performed by Roger Williams. Dialogue also comes across crisp and clear. (4/5)

MOVIE:

Somewhere In Time is one of my all-time favourite movie. There's never been a movie that's given me the kind of emotional impact – the pure joy of great storytelling and sadness of true loss – as this film has. A film like Somewhere in Time hinges a great deal on believability, and could not have been pulled off without the incredible talent of Christopher Reeve in the lead role. Seymour and Christopher Plummer, who plays Elise McKenna's manager, are equally strong in their roles, and even today it's hard to think of any other actors that would be more perfect for these parts. A sad fact about the movie is that more than half the cast of the movie is no longer with us. In fact, only Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer remain with us in terms of the primary actors. This is one movie that tugs at your heart strings and elicits tears and joy every time I watch it, even after repeated viewings. It has a great love story telling, great acting and beautiful music to match. Simply perfection! (5/5)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Somewhere In Time is an unforgettable story of passion, obsession and love that will live on forever. It will remind you to treasure the person you are with now. This blu-ray edition is a vast improvement over the previous DVD releases, and with such a low price of $10.99, this set is very highly recommended.

Original Album Classics
Original Album Classics
Price: CDN$ 19.99
18 used & new from CDN$ 16.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rick Springfield: 5 popular albums (CDs) housed in miniatured cardboard covers, 57 songs with many singles tracks; great sound!, April 1 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Original Album Classics (Audio CD)
INTRODUCTION:

Rick Springfield was born Richard Springthorpe on August 23, 1949 in Sydney, Australia. He was a pop-rock singer/songwriter/guitarist/actor, plus a teen idol heartthrob. He was best known playing Dr. Noah Drake on the TV soap opera General Hospital. He also starred in the 1984 movie Hard To Hold. Rick has 21 charted singles on Billboard Hot 100 from 1972 to 1988, including his only Number 1 hit Jessie’s Girl in 1981.

CONTENT:

In this set, there are 5 Rick Springfield’s albums, each having its own individual miniatured cardboard LP cover. The albums (with label, number, chart position and year) are as follows:
Comic Book Heroes (Wizard Record 201)(Australia 54/1973)
Working Class Dog (RCA Victor 3697)(US 7/1981; Australia 33/1981; Canada 33/1981)
Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet (RCA Victor 4125)(US 2/1982; Australia 28/1982; Canada 6/1982)
Living In Oz (RCA Victor 4660)(US 12/1983; Australia 45/1983; Canada 20/1983)
Tao (RCA Victor 5370)(US 21/1985; Australia 85/1985; Canada 50/1985)

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 Rick Springfield’s individual albums on CDs are hard to find and expensive. This is a great way to collect his five albums in one set (with 57 songs).
2 There are many singles found in this 5 CD set (label, number, chart positions, year included):
I’m Your Superman (uncharted single, 1973) from album Comic Book Heroes
Why Are You Waiting (b-side to I’m Your Superman, 1973) from album Comic Book Heroes
Believe In Me (Australia 62/1973) from album Comic Book Heroes
The Liar (b-side to Believe In Me, 1973) from album Comic Book Heroes
Jessie’s Girl (RCA 12201)(US 1/1981; Australia 1/1981; Canada 6/1981) from Album Working Class Dog
Carry Me Away (b-side to Jessie’s Girl, 1981) from album Working Class Dog
I’ve Done Everything For You (RCA 12166)(US 8/1981; Australia 31/1981; Canada 40/1981) from album Working Class Dog
Red Hot And Blue Love (b-side, 1981) from album Working Class Dog
Love Is Alright Tonite (RCA 13008)(US 20/1982; Canada 26/1982) from album Working Class Dog
Everybody’s Girl (b-side, 1982) from album Working Class Dog
Don’t Talk To Strangers (RCA 13070)(US 2(4)/1982; Australia 10/1982; Canada 3/1982) from album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet
Tonight (b-side, 1982) from album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet
What Kind Of Fool Am I (RCA 13245)(US 21/1982; Canada 41/1982) from album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet
How Do You Talk To Girls (b-side, 1982) from album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet
Calling All Girls (uncharted single, 1982) from album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet
I Get Excited (RCA 13303)(US 32/1982; Canada 42/1982) from album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet
Kristina (b-side, 1982) from album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet
Affair Of The Heart (RCA 13497)(US 9/1983; Australia 26/1983; Canada 17/1983) from album Living In Oz
Like Father, Like Son (b-side, 1983) from album Living In Oz
Human Touch (RCA 13576)(US 18/1983; Australia 92/1983) from album Living In Oz
Alison (b-side, 1983) from album Living In Oz
Souls (RCA 13650)(US 23/1983) from album Living In Oz
Me & Johnny (uncharted single, 1983) from album Living In Oz
Celebrate Youth (RCA 14047)(US 26/1985; Canada 39/1985) from album Tao
Stranger In The House (b-side, 1985) from album Tao
State Of The Heart (RCA 14120)(US 22/1985; Canada 75/1985) from album Tao
The Power Of Love (The Tao Of Love)(b-side, 1985) from album Tao
3 The sound is excellent and very well remastered. The vocals are very clean with vibrant guitar riffs.
4 The miniatured LP cardboard covers are great. All 5 CDs are housed in a hard cardboard case. A complete song listing is listed on the back covers. It is sometimes next to impossible to read the song title on the miniatured back covers.
5 There are 3 bonus tracks: Easy To Cry, Taxi Dancing (original version) and Jessie’s Girl (demo version)
5 When this set was first announced, I could not believe the price of $13.99. Yes, it is too good to be true. Now the price is $17.88.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 A booklet would be nice. But per the usual Original Album Series or Classics, there is no booklet.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Rick Springfield’s albums on CDs are hard to come by. Here, we have 5 of his more popular albums in one set, consisting of 57 songs. As noted above, you also get most of his popular singles (a and b-sides). The sound is good. The cardboard covers are precious. Turn up the volume and listen to Rick Springfield in his prime. You will sing along with Jessie’s Girl. This set is highly recommended for all music lovers.

Eight Classic Albums (4CD)
Eight Classic Albums (4CD)
Price: CDN$ 16.95
16 used & new from CDN$ 6.86

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jim Reeves: 8 Classic Albums (4 CDs): his first 8 albums (94 songs, 17 singles); Great sound: Tremendous value!, April 1 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

Jim Reeves was born on August 20, 1923 in Panola County, Texas. He was best known as “Gentleman Jim.” He has an amazing 80 charted entries in the Billboard Country Singles Chart from 1953 to 1980, including 11 Number 1 hits. He also has 44 studio albums. He sadly died in a plane crash in Nashville on July 31, 1964 at the age of 40.

CONTENT:

This 4 CD set from Real Gone Music contains Jim’s first 8 albums (from 1956 to 1960), with a total of 94 songs. The albums (with label, number & year) included in this set are:

Disc 1: 1 Singing Down The Lane (RCA 1256) 1956
2 Bimbo (RCA 1410) 1956
Disc 2: 3 Jim Reeves (RCA 1576) 1957
4 Girls I Have Known (RCA 1685) 1958
Disc 3: 5 God Be With You (RCA 1950) 1959
6 Songs To Warm The Heart (RCA 2001) 1959
Disc 4: 7 He'll Have To Go (RCA 2223)(US 15/1960)
8 According to My Heart (RCA 9925) 1960

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 Individual albums on CDs by Jim Reeves are hard to come by. Here, we have his first 8 album releases in one set with 94 songs – great value.
2 There are many singles found in this 4 CD set:
Mexican Joe (C&W 1(9)/1953) from album Bimbo
Bimbo (C&W 1(3)/1953) from album Bimbo
Gypsy Heart (b-side, Bimbo, 1953) from album Bimbo
Then I’ll Stop Loving You (C&W 15/1954) from album Bimbo
Penny Candy (C&W 5/1954) from album Bimbo
Drinking Tequila (C&W 9/1955) from album Bimbo
According To My Heart (C&W 4/1956) from album According To My Heart
Am I Losing You (C&W 3/1957) from album Songs To Warm The Heart
Anna Marie (C&W 3/1957; US 93/1957) from album Girls I Have Known
Everywhere You Go (b-side to Anna Marie, 1957) from album Jim Reeves
Theme Of Love (b-side to Blue Boy, 1958) from album He’ll Have To Go
Billy Bayou (C&W 1(5)/1958; US 95/1958) from album He’ll Have To go
I’d Like To Be (b-side to Billy Bayou, 1958) from album He’ll Have To Go
Home (C&W 2/1959) from album He’ll Have To Go
Partners (C&W 5/1959) from album He’ll Have To Go
I’m Beginning To Forget You (b-side to Partners, 1959) from album He’ll Have To
Go
He’ll Have To Go (C&W 1(14)/1960; US 2/1960) from album He’ll Have To Go
3 The sound is excellent and very well remastered – Jim’s soothing baritone voice comes through cleanly with no hiss.
4 The price is right – I bought this from seller.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 There is no booklet. Real Gone Music usually has fantastic booklet on individual artist’s compilation with album covers. None here in this series.
2 Real Gone Music could have filled up the space with some non-album singles tracks.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Being a collector and fan of Jim Reeves, I have been trying to get as many CDs and LPs as possible on Gentleman Jim. So far, I managed to find 19 vinyl albums. I am glad that Real Gone Music has released his first 8 albums. On March 18, 2014, Real Gone Music has just released Volume 2 for Jim Reeves: 6 albums plus bonus singles tracks. I am waiting for the price to drop further before I make my purchase. Anyway, in this current set, the sound is excellent. Besides the rare singles tracks listed above, there are many album tracks that are rare gems: like Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You), (Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I, plus his religious offerings. And if you are a Jim Reeves fan, this 4 CD set is highly recommended and great value.

International Connie Francis
International Connie Francis
Price: CDN$ 20.60
20 used & new from CDN$ 9.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connie Francis Internationa: first collection of Connie’s songs in 9 different languages, many making CD debut; Superior sound!, March 25 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
CONTENT:

Since Amazon.ca did not provide a track listing, I have compiled a detailed song listing:

01 Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool (German version)
02 Pretty Little Baby (Swedish version)
03 Vacation (Japanese version)
04 Mr. Twister (French version)
05 Many Tears Ago (Spanish version)
06 Shein Vi Di Levone (in Yiddish)
07 Never On Sunday (partially in Greek)
08 Chitarra Romana (Roman Guitar)(in Italian)
09 Paradiso (in German)
10 Wenn Du Gehst (in German)
11 Jamais (La Paloma)(French version)
12 Love Is Like A Violin (French version)
13 Where The Boys Are (Spanish version)
14 Don’t Break The Heart That Loves You (German version)
15 Lili Marleen (German version)
16 Someone Else’s Boy (French version)
17 Too Many Rules (Spanish version)
18 Malaguena (in Spanish)
19 Hava Nagilah (in Hebrew)
20 Gondola D’Amore (in German)
21 Mon Von Mexico (in German)
22 Eine Insel Fur Zwei (in German)
23 No One (Japanese version)
24 Immer Wenn’s Am Schonsten Ist (in German)
25 Einmal Komm’ Ich Wieder (in German)
26 Breakin’ In A Brand New Broken Heart (Japanese version)

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 Although Connie Francis has released a few Italian albums, this is the first time that all her songs in 9 different languages are collected in one set, with 26 songs: German (10), French (4), Spanish (3), Italian (1), Japanese (4), Hebrew (1), Greek (1), Swedish (1) and Yiddish (1).
2 Many of the songs appear on CD for the first time.
3 Sepia Records from UK is renown for its superior remastering, using 24 bit Cedar system. And this set is no exception. Good sound.
4 There is a 8-page booklet including an excellent essay and recording information.
5 The price is reasonable, especially from sellers.

NEGATIVE POINT:
1 A few picture sleeves would be nice, instead of having one page on advertisement on their products.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Before 1962, Connie Francis’s songs are now readily available, especially the two Box sets from Bear Family. A Complete Singles set (both a and b-sides) by Connie Francis from 1955 to 1962 will be released on May 6, 2014. I am still looking for a few Connie Francis CDs on her albums from the late 60s. Some of these are available on CDs, but extremely expensive (Connie Francis Sings Burt Bacharach: $61!). Being a completist and a fan of Connie Francis, I managed to collect 89 CDs and 25 vinyl albums. I also created pictures of all her album covers listed chronologically in mini posters, and thanks to Uncle Ray from Hong Kong, I got Connie’s personal autographs on them. These plagues are my prized possession adorning the wall outside my audio room. I am very happy that Sepia Records has compiled such a collection, with great sound, and is indeed a very welcome addition to my library. I feel that this set is more for collectors and die-hard Connie Francis fans, who already have her other recordings.

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