Various Artists

60 Number One Hits of the '60s, Vol. 2

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The second of five volumes of Razor & Tie's 60 Number One Hits of the '60s appropriately contains 12 tracks, or one-fifth of the total. All the selections are indeed number one hits -- one from 1962, one from 1963, one from 1964, two from 1965, two from 1966, two from 1968, and three from 1969, apparently chosen at random and sequenced the same way. All but one of the tracks are selected from the various record companies since subsumed into Universal Music, which means that the Motown hits are available, and the Temptations' "I Can't Get Next to You" and Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (both written by Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield), along with the Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There," provide some stylistic consistency. But the album is really a grab bag of novelties, from the New Vaudeville Band's 1920s-styled "Winchester Cathedral" to Louis Armstrong's take on the show tune "Hello Dolly," and even the Halloween perennial "Monster Mash." So, all that makes the music hang together is its familiarity in the ear of the nostalgic listener, who is advised to get a five-CD changer, put all five volumes in, and hit "random sort." Since the sequencing doesn't make any sense anyway, this is as good a way to listen to a bunch of miscellaneous hits drawn from a ten-year period as listening to them in order.

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