Bobby Vee revisits a dozen popular rock, pop, and R&B songs of the '50s on Sings Hits of the Rockin' '50's. The songs are arranged by "ballad side" and "rhythm side," but most of the rhythm cuts are pretty mild. For example, Vee's versions of the Chordettes' "Lollipop" and the Elegants' "Little Star" share a side with his remakes of much harder-hitting Chuck Berry and Eddie Cochran songs. The ballads, too, tend toward light pop tunes such as "Lavender Blue" and "Earth Angel." Vee's Buddy Holly-inflected vocals put his own stamp on these well-known songs, and in some cases, the arrangements differ considerably from the originals, but the album wears thin after a few spins. Sings Hits of the Rockin' '50's was recorded quickly as a can't-miss thematic album guaranteed to move a fair number of units in the wake of the Top 20 Bobby Vee LP from earlier in the year, so even though Vee's performances are good, the album is too calculated and workmanlike to transcend its humble origins. Nevertheless, it followed its predecessor into the Top 100. The 1994 Globe reissue adds 20 bonus tracks from other albums and singles recorded around the same time.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Adams