Various Artists

Best of A Cappella

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Relic, the nation's premier doowop reissue label, celebrates its past with this 20-track retrospective reissue of their first album from 1965. They spotlighted East Coast vocal groups, most of them new and unknown at the time. The fact that they stayed that way does not detract from the set's significance. These numbers are sung with simplicity and at times with an almost painful innocence and the natural exuberance that comes from a labor of love. The absence of supporting (or masking) technology ensures that you hear everything, including mistakes, flat notes, superb and awful harmonies, great leads and not-so-great voices. While not everything qualifies as even good, it is all compelling.

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