Though the import Charly collection, which also calls itself The Definitive Collection goes a lot deeper with 20 tracks' worth, this double-disc set by Recall is nothing to sneeze at. First off, there are 40 tunes here, and virtually every major and regional hit Del Shannon recorded. Secondly, in comparison, there is a lot less album fodder, which is especially useful when considering Shannon recorded primarily during an era in which the single was king, maybe two, and virtually everything else was used to fill up LP sides. Shannon was a covers artist; he was a singer of rock and pop songs used to fill jukeboxes, late night radio, and hits collections issued by various personality DJs. His one monster smash, "Runaway," was written by Max Crook and issued in 1961. It was a long hard road down after that, but Shannon was able to ride the rock & roll slide for quite awhile, scoring to a lesser degree with his own "Hats Off to Larry," and "So Long Baby," a cover of Dion's "Runaround Sue," and Doc Pomus' "(Marie's The Name) of His Latest Flame," to name a few. (Why the late Pomus' amazing "You Never Talked About Me" isn't included is a mystery considering it is the definitive' performance of the tune and scored higher on the charts than any other version.) There are great songs included in this mix, such as Shannon's "I Go to Pieces," Barry Mann's "I'm Gonna Be Strong," Otis Blackwell's "Handy Man," and an excellent version of Sonny Bono's "Needles and Pins," which may not be Jackie DeShannon's version but is far better than many of the others out there. Recommended.
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