Bobby Freeman

Best of Bobby Freeman

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It's a shame that most listeners only know Bobby Freeman's "Do You Wanna Dance" in the Beach Boys' or Cliff Richard's cover versions, which is lively enough but still a white-bread workout compared to the 1958 original. This 20-song collection, covering "Do You Wanna Dance" on Josie-Jubilee, up through his last hit, the Sylvester (Sly) Stewart co-authored "C'Mon and Swim," does a lot to restore Freeman's name to the consciousness, and not just through shouters like "Do You Wanna Dance" and "Betty Lou Got a New Pair of Shoes." He acquits himself well on ballads like "Need Your Love" and standards like "Ebb Tide." The collection, mostly made up of the dance numbers that Freeman made his specialty, also includes one previously unissued cut, the doo wop-style "Follow the Rainbow," and the notes provide a detailed account of the confusing state of Freeman's recording history (at one point, he seems to have been working for two labels simultaneously). The sound is somewhat uneven, a bit tinny on certain cuts, while others, especially on the later tracks, are above average, giving a good account of his solid backing band on those cuts.

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