Doo Wop 51: Live! isn't for everybody, nor is it for every doo wop fan, either. It's for the fan who loves the singing and loves nostalgia -- the kind who wants to hear the great groups reunite, in some form, and sing their hits years later. This isn't necessarily the same thing as being a doo wop fanatic, since there are plenty of ravenous doo wop fans -- the kind who seek out rare singles, arguing the merits of Philadelphia vs. New York -- who will not be interested in this simply because it is a latter-day recording. Similarly, this will not find an audience among listeners who just want to hear nothing but the best doo wop. Instead, this is solely a nostalgia trip and, on that level, it's pretty good. No, the groups don't sound as good as they used to, and while there are good vibes, the recording isn't as warm as the atmosphere, but for those looking for a reunion record -- looking to hear these groups reunite and sing the old songs another time while basking in sweet memories -- this fits the bill.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine