Del Shannon's Classic Masters is a 12-track collection of some of Shannon's biggest hits and best songs. His trademark tune, "Runaway," kicks off the disc in dramatic style; it is one golden oldie that listeners never tire of hearing. His other hits "Hats Off to Larry, " "Little Town Flirt, " "Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow the Sun)," and "Handy Man" are here as well. The rest of the disc is made of songs that were not really hits but show off Shannon's heartbreaking and theatrical style to great effect. "Two Kinds of Teardrops" should have been a big hit, as it is blessed with a killer hook and great vocals; the same goes for the amazing Phil Spector-influenced "Stranger in Town." Along with the classics from his peak era in the mid-'60s, Classic Masters also includes Shannon's fine cover of the Phil Phillips chestnut "Sea of Love," which he recorded in 1981. One could argue for the inclusion of more tracks or maybe even a few different ones (maybe his original version of the Peter & Gordon hit "I Go to Pieces," for example), but as it stands, Classic Masters is a solid introduction to the work of one of rock & roll's true and tragically overlooked originators.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra