Various Artists

Only Love 1955-1959

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It's Only Love 1955-1959 follows the pattern of JCI's It's Only series, offering a seemingly random collection of 20 hits from a given genre or style for a period of five years. These songs weren't necessarily the biggest hits of these five years, although there are a number of classics and smashes here. It may be hard to deduce exactly why these songs were chosen -- especially since the compilers apparently define the "love" genre as anything vaguely romantic, muiscally or lyrically -- but the end results are nevertheless quite entertaining. All of the songs are featured in their original hit versions, not remakes, which isn't always the case with midline collections. Furthermore, there a few cuts that aren't easy to find on other collections or even greatest-hits albums, which means it's interesting to collectors as well as casual fans. Most importantly, each volume captures the feeling of the era, even if it's missing several big hits, and that's what makes the series a nice introductory overview for curious listeners. Among the highlights on It's Only Love 1955-1959 are the Dell-Vikings' "Come Go with Me," Paul Anka's "Put Your Head on My Shoulders," the Everly Brothers' "'Til I Kissed You," Brook Benton's "It's Just a Matter of Time," Sonny James' "Young Love," Frankie Avalon's "Venus," Clyde McPhatter's "A Lover's Question," the Five Satins' "In the Still of the Nite," Bobby Darin's "Dream Lover," the Fleetwoods' "Come Softly to Me," Connie Francis' "My Happiness," Pat Boone's "Love Letters in the Sand" and Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways."

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