The Moonglows

Encore of Golden Hits

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Twenty tracks of vocal group excellence from the pioneers of blow harmony, a technique created by Harvey Fuqua involving the elongation of vowel sounds that contrasted the traditional doo-doo sound everybody else was doing. Like most '50s R&B groups, pop acts covered the Moonglows unmercifully, their "Sincerely" a beautiful doo wop/pop ballad aced the R&B charts but stopped at number 20 on the pop chart, while the McGuire Sisters' cover achieved gold status. Equally as exquisite is "Most of All," featuring a great lead from Bobby Lester; their original went to number five R&B, while Don Cornell's rehashing was a number 14 pop hit. The "Ten Commandments of Love," their most identifiable song, recorded as Harvey & the Moonglows, became their second most popular recording, reaching number nine R&B and number 22 pop. Other classics include "In My Diary" (which Fuqua recorded in the '60s with the Spinners); a slow, easy "Secret Love" (nothing like Billy Stewart's frantic '60s rendition); the wistful, innocent "We Go Together," the much-emulated "When I'm with You," and the out-of-character (for the Moonglows) "See Saw," it's straight R&B with no pop inclinations. The Moonglows -- Harvey Fuqua, Bobby Lester, Prentiss Barnes, Alexander Walton aka Pete Graves, and guitarist Billy Johnson -- should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as well as, the Flamingos and other pioneers. A glaring omission here is "Shoo Doo Be Doo." There's also nothing by Harvey & the New Moonglows, which featured Marvin Gaye.

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