American Dreams: Original Soundtrack 1963-1964 includes some of the music featured in the nostalgic Dick Clark-executive produced program. Excepting the several faithful cover versions that were performed by popular impersonators during the show's American Bandstand-set scenes, this could be any garden-variety compilation of '60s chart pop -- including Martha Reeves & the Vandellas' "(Love Is Like A) Heatwave," the Everly Brothers' "Gone Gone Gone," the Kinks' "You Really Got Me," Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence," and Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is." Folks old enough to remember when the songs were originally popular would likely see the cover versions as sacrilege, whether it's Vanessa Carlton's "Wishin' and Hopin'," Duncan Sheik's "Beyond the Sea," India.Arie's "Come Ye," or B2K's (featuring Marques Houston) "My Girl." But the appearances from the younger artists were obviously a way to connect with younger viewers, many of whom tuned in to see Michelle Branch play Lesley Gore and/or Third Eye Blind mimic the Kinks. (Note to those who didn't catch the show: The latter part of that sentence was not made up; it actually happened.) Since everything here has a legitimate connection to a specific episode, the disc makes for a decent accessory for fans of the show. Otherwise, it's perfectly skippable.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman