Various Artists

25 Classic Doo-Wop Ballads

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AllMusic Review by

Doo wop collectors -- and, for that matter, those whose doo wop collection is limited to best-of doo wop anthologies -- will probably already have too many of the hits on this particular CD to make it a compelling addition to the library. In fact, some of them previously appeared on best-of doo wop comps on the same label, Varese Sarabande (on 25 All-Time Doo Wop Hits and 25 More All-Time Doo Wop Hits). On its own terms, however, it's a very solid (and very long) single-disc compilation of first-rate doo wop ballads, and an excellent listen to the music's slower and more romantic side for listeners who don't already have the majority of the tracks. It has numerous stone-cold classics, including the Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes for You," the Skyliners' "Since I Don't Have You," the Capris' "There's a Moon out Tonight," the Penguins' "Earth Angel," the Five Satins' "In the Still of the Night," Little Anthony & the Imperials' "Tears on My Pillow," and the Dells' original 1956 version of "Oh What a Night." There are also a number of fairly big hits that find their way onto doo wop (or general '50s) anthologies less often, like the Classics' "Til Then," the Dreamlovers' "When We Get Married," Ronnie & the Hi-Lites' "I Wish That We Were Married," and Rochell & the Candles with Johnny Wyatt's "Once Upon a Time." And there are a bunch of low-charting and noncharting singles that even some doo wop fans might find unfamiliar, like the Slades' original version of "You Cheated," which was covered for a Top 20 hit by the Shields. Some might have preferred to hear the original version of "The Wind" (by the Diablos) rather than the 1960 cover by the Jesters, however, even if the Jesters' version is respectable.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:21
2 2:14
3 2:18
4 2:55
5 2:59
6 2:18
7 2:52
8 2:39
9 2:23
10 2:26
11 2:18
12 2:27
13 2:52
14 3:04
15 2:52
16 2:52
17 2:54
18 2:51
19 2:31
20 2:29
21 3:23
22 2:46
23 2:22
24 2:41
25 3:06
blue highlight denotes track pick