Various Artists

All the 60's

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All the 60's is a three-CD box set assembled by the Strategic Marketing division of the Australian branch of major label Warner, consisting of 45 tracks performed by 32 different American recording artists. The selection and sequencing are random; the only determining factors in choosing the songs seem to have been that the tracks were in the Warner vault, having been released originally by Warner Bros. Records or Atlantic Records or one of their subsidiaries, for the most part, and that they were American chart singles, for the most part. That they were released in the 1960s was not absolutely necessary, despite the title. Eight selections actually derive from the 1950s, some as early as 1954 and 1955. (Maybe they were released later in Australia?) Forty of the 45 reached the Billboard Hot 100, and three of those that didn't were Top Ten R&B hits; of those 40 pop chart entries, 39 reached the Top 40, 30 made the Top Ten, and ten went all the way to number one. A broad range of pop styles are represented. Ray Charles and Bobby Darin have three cuts each, while the Coasters, the Everly Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, Trini Lopez, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Nino Tempo & April Stevens, and Mel Tormé each have two, and among the chart-toppers are records by the Four Seasons, the Monkees, Percy Sledge, Sonny & Cher, and the Young Rascals. A strict limit of 15 tracks per disc makes for a collection running 125 minutes that could have fit onto two CDs easily. The average listener not clued into which major labels control which record catalogs from the '60s will find this album a hopeless stylistic jumble with no rhyme or reason, even though a favorite song is likely to pop up here and there.

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