One Day Music's 2014 compilation Devoted to You rounds up 50 big hits of pre-Beatles pop and rock. All of these songs were recorded between 1957 and 1961, most by artists in the rock and R&B orbit but some, like Sarah Vaughan, are jazz singers, others are cabaret (Shirley Bassey, Peggy Lee), some are straight pop (Andy Williams, Johnny Tillotson), and there's the occasional country singer who pops up (Hank Locklin). Instead of diluting the comp, the broad scope strengthens it as it winds up drawing a portrait of a specific time -- namely, the sweet, candied flip of the earliest years of rock & roll, when juvenile delinquents were as likely to sing a song of devotion (Eddie Cochran swinging through "Hallelujah I Love Her So") as they were to tear it up. There are some big hits here -- mainly from the Everlys, Gene Pitney, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Sam Cooke, the Shirelles -- but what's interesting is what's in the margins, as that's the stuff that doesn't get circulated much and helps evoke the era it depicts.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2