For fans of Jay & the Americans who don't want the exhaustive 28-song collection Come a Little Bit Closer: The Best of Jay & the Americans, Fuel 2000's 14-song disc Absolutely the Best is just the ticket. It focuses on just the hits and throws in a few of the best songs as good measure. They managed to rack up quite a few hits, too: "Come a Little Bit Closer" was a number three hit in 1965; "She Cried" was a number five hit in 1962; the near-operatic "Cara Mia" was a surprise number four smash in 1965; and their crowning glory, "This Magic Moment," the Orbison-esque weeper, reached number six in 1969. Other near-hits were their version of "Only in America" (which was actually inferior to the original Drifters version, but the lyrics were more believable when sung by David "Jay" Black), "Let's Lock the Door (And Throw Away the Key)," and their late-'60s homages to the sound of Phil Spector, "Walkin' in the Rain" and "Do I Love You?" Other songs of interest are their 1965 version of neophyte songwriter Neil Diamond's "Sunday and Me" and their tribute to their idol, an emotional version of Roy Orbison's "Crying" from 1966. Jay & the Americans' absolute best songs are indeed here, ready for fans of vocal pop of the 1960s to enjoy.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra