The pride and joy of Washington, D.C., this smooth R&B/doo wop group ranks as the genres' most successful messengers, enjoying a string of hits -- from 1951 to 1958 -- for Atlantic Records. Ahmet Ertegun, Atlantic's owner, wrote eight of their first nine singles. This is not a definitive collection; some hits are included (i.e., "Lovey Dovey," "Devil or Angel," "Down in the Alley," and "One Mint Julep"), but many others -- including "Ting a Ling," "I Played the Fool," and "Little Mama" -- are not. While 21 tracks don't do the Clovers' vast repertoire justice, the CD is titled Anthology and you expect a collection skewered with hits rather than two takes of the obscure "Squeeze Box." Not conforming to its title, however, makes this collection valuable. You're getting renditions of "Don't Play That Song," "Going Home to Jesus," and irresistibles like "Let's Get Loose" and "You Sexy Thing" -- cuts you rarely find on one package. They're out there on the morass of Clovers compilations but are usually scattered among various discs. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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