Without a single misplaced footstep in sight, 20 Golden Greats soared effortlessly to the top of the U.K. chart, becoming the Shadows first album chart-topper since their sophomore album, back in 1962. It was a deserved triumph -- and, perhaps, a predictable one, even at the height of punk rock. A straightforward run through the Shadows' early- to mid-1960s singles, the peerless sequence which stretched from "Apache" in 1960 to "The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt" in 1964, consumes 15 of the album's 20 tracks; the remainder of the set then cherry picks the next four years to round up the lesser-heard, but equally laudable "Maroc 7," "Stingray," "The War Lord," "Genie With the Light Brown Lamp," and "A Place in the Sun." It's a dynamic collection, then, rounding up the 20 most quintessential Shadows hits, as opposed to the 20 most successful, the 20 best-known, or whatever other criteria such compilations like to be guided by. The fact that those other standards are almost automatically encompassed by its contents simply confirms the music's immortality. The chart success was merely the icing on the cake.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson