Contains 30 tracks recorded 1954-1964.
As a 30-song compilation of doo wop from the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s, this suffers both from inconsistency and unfavorable comparisons to numerous superior doo wop anthologies. There actually is a lot of good music here, but it's hard to figure what exactly the audience is for a disc that mixes classic familiar doo wop hits with smaller hits and downright flops. The hits on board here tend to be a little more on the cleaner and whiter side than those on the average doo wop comp, though not exclusively so. The roll call of those hits is fairly long: Dion & the Belmonts' "I Wonder Why," the Earls' "Remember Then," Randy & the Rainbows' "Denise," the Penguins' "Earth Angel," Curtis Lee's "Pretty Little Angel Eyes," Rosie & the Originals' "Angel Baby," the Teen Queens' "Eddie My Love," the Jive Five's "My True Story," the Crests' "The Angels Listened In," the Mystics' "Hushabye," Cathy Jean & the Roommates' "Please Love Me Forever," the Chimes' "Once in a While," and the Capris' "There's a Moon Out Tonight." Some of the lesser-known tracks are indeed gems, like the Eternals' goofy "Babalu's Wedding Day" and "Rockin' in the Jungle" (great jungle cries on the latter), the Belmonts' "We Belong Together," the Pentagons' "To Be Loved (Forever)," and the Genies' "Who's That Knocking." Interspersed with these are some much less essential obscurities, a couple of which weren't issued until the 1980s and 1990s, and some of them blatantly derivative of bigger hits (on Randy & the Rainbows' "Why Do Kids Grow Up," they offer a poor facsimile of their own "Denise"). It was an inspired move, however, to put on the Skyliners' beautiful lush orchestrated ballad "This I Swear," rather than their classic but over-anthologized "Since I Don't Have You." ~ Richie Unterberger