Ronnie Dove

The Collection, Part 2

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The Ronnie Dove Collection, Pt. 2 collects two charting albums on one CD: Ronnie Dove Sings the Hits for You from 1966 and Cry from 1967. The disc is difficult to rate because of two conflicting issues -- the excellence of Dove's performances and the poor mastering of the CD. In terms of musical quality, Cry is one of Dove's finest albums, with Dove swinging in a unique Bobby Helms-meets-Wayne Newton style with a lush vocal chorus behind him. It's a treat to hear Dove sing Johnnie Ray's "The Little White Cloud That Cried," a surreal weeper that Newton also recorded. That song is an obvious counterpart to the album's title track, "Cry," another Johnnie Ray hit that made the Top 20 for Dove, too. The vaguely thematic album features several songs about crying in addition to the minor hit "One More Mountain to Climb." Ronnie Dove Sings the Hits for You contains a few hit singles: "I Really Don't Want to Know" is a remake of the old Les Paul & Mary Ford hit, and the upbeat singalong (with banjo!) "Happy Summer Days" is uncharacteristic but highly enjoyable. A cover of Harold Dorman's "Mountain of Love," also included, became a hit for Dove two years after its first appearance on album. Despite the quality of the music, The Ronnie Dove Collection, Part 2 seems to have been mastered from vinyl and sounds particularly bad on headphones. Casual listeners may not mind, particularly those with low-end or portable CD players, but audiophiles beware.

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