Varese Sarabande's sequel to its 2002 compilation 25 All-Time Doo Wop Hits is another good mix of hits and well-remembered singles that didn't chart, but got a lot of airplay in certain parts of the country. Like its predecessor, it's not an ideal touchstone for those looking to systematically build a library of the core doo wop classics; that honor belongs to Rhino's three-volume series of doo wop box sets. The fact is, though, that a lot of consumers aren't going about building a doo wop collection as if they're librarians. And 25 More All-Time Doo-Wop Hits presents a satisfying and high-quality blend for someone who wants a jumble of the familiar and the less-familiar, though the hits here aren't as big and classic as they were in the first installment. Among the familiar chart hits here are the Skyliners' "This I Swear," Rosie & the Originals' "Angel Baby," Curtis Lee's "Pretty Little Angel Eyes," Jive Five's "My True Story," the Chimes' "Once in a While," the Belmonts' "Tell Me Why," and the Duprees' "You Belong to Me." Other songs made the Top 40 but aren't played too much on oldies stations, like the Fireflies' "You Were Mine," the G-Clefs' energetic "Ka-Ding Dong," and the Temptations' "Barbara" (a different Temptations than the famous Motown group of the same name). Some of the most interesting cuts, though, are the non-charters, like the Eternals' outrageous "Rockin' in the Jungle," one of the greatest doo wop novelties with its absurd birdcalls; the Diablos' "The Wind," a 1954 single with a lead vocal by Nolan Strong that was obviously heavily influential on Smokey Robinson; and the Collegians' 1957 single "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom," part of whose nonsense vocal was influential on the Marcels' famous "Blue Moon." The one bum note is sounded by the undated, clumsy doo wop revival piece "Looking for an Echo" by Kenny Vance & the Planotones, but at least the good grace was taken to place it as the last track.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger