Pat Boone's smooth, amiable singing style marked him as a pure pop crooner when he came on the scene in the mid-1950s, and while his clean-cut image (and sound) positioned him as the acceptable alternative to the grittier rock & roll that was beginning to emerge, early R&B/rock & roll styles were very much a part of his musical makeup. This is made clear on the collection PAT'S GREAT HITS, a concise compendium featuring some of his early charters. While some of the biggies (perhaps most notably "Ain't That a Shame") are absent, it's amazing to hear Boone dig into Ivory Joe Hunter's "I Almost Lost My Mind" with the same elan he brings to a fully orchestrated pop ballad such as "April Love." While Boone's style was smoother than anything generally accepted as rock & roll, there's no doubt that the man heard here doing his best Elvis on "Don't Forbid Me" was heavily inspired by earthier sounds.
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