The Crystals

Back to Back

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K-Tel's Back to Back series is in theory a pretty good idea. Take two bands or artists, select their five best songs, and end up with two mini-"best of" collections on one disc. In practice, the series often falls flat due to an incongruous pairing of artists, or in the case of the Crystals/Shirelles disc, the use of re-recorded versions of the band's songs as all ten songs here are. The new versions stick close to the original arrangements and the vocals aren't terrible. There is just no way they could ever come close to the originals. And there is really no reason to ever have to hear anything but the originals. There are other low-cost collections of both artists that use original recordings; seek them out instead. And watch out for the dreaded re-recordings when checking out other entries in this series.

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