Recording information: London, England (03/23/1962-07/21/1971); Los Angeles, CA (03/23/1962-07/21/1971); Muscle Shoals, AL (03/23/1962-07/21/1971); Nashville, TN (03/23/1962-07/21/1971).
Tommy Roe's Greatest Hits on MCA is a fine 18-track collection that serves up the bubblegum icon's best songs and very little filler. Unlike a large number of Roe collections, this disc contains all original recordings made during his prime. And what a prime it was! Between 1962 and 1969, Roe was responsible for some of the brightest, snappiest bubblegum on the planet. From the funky breakbeats of "Dizzy" to the hushed romanticism of "It's Now Winter's Day" to the swampy groove of "Jam Up and Jelly Tight," there are enough hits here to make you think twice about calling Roe anything less than Hall of Fame material. This collection does a fairly good job of rounding up the hits and great songs, though there are a few omissions that knock it down a notch ("Cinnamon," "Money Is My Pay") as does the inclusion of a mediocre take on "Stagger Lee" from the early '70s. A couple of collections have come along since the release of this to challenge it's worth, but they are each flawed in their own way too. Until the perfect Roe collection comes along, this is a fine purchase. And if you are a fan of bubblegum, pop, or good old rock & roll, you need some Tommy Roe in your collection. ~ Tim Sendra