Various Artists

Doo Wop Shop [Ace]

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AllMusic Review by

As a 30-song compilation of doo wop from the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s, this suffers both from inconsistency and unfavorable comparisons to numerous superior doo wop anthologies. There actually is a lot of good music here, but it's hard to figure what exactly the audience is for a disc that mixes classic familiar doo wop hits with smaller hits and downright flops. The hits on board here tend to be a little more on the cleaner and whiter side than those on the average doo wop comp, though not exclusively so. The roll call of those hits is fairly long: Dion & the Belmonts' "I Wonder Why," the Earls' "Remember Then," Randy & the Rainbows' "Denise," the Penguins' "Earth Angel," Curtis Lee's "Pretty Little Angel Eyes," Rosie & the Originals' "Angel Baby," the Teen Queens' "Eddie My Love," the Jive Five's "My True Story," the Crests' "The Angels Listened In," the Mystics' "Hushabye," Cathy Jean & the Roommates' "Please Love Me Forever," the Chimes' "Once in a While," and the Capris' "There's a Moon Out Tonight." Some of the lesser-known tracks are indeed gems, like the Eternals' goofy "Babalu's Wedding Day" and "Rockin' in the Jungle" (great jungle cries on the latter), the Belmonts' "We Belong Together," the Pentagons' "To Be Loved (Forever)," and the Genies' "Who's That Knocking." Interspersed with these are some much less essential obscurities, a couple of which weren't issued until the 1980s and 1990s, and some of them blatantly derivative of bigger hits (on Randy & the Rainbows' "Why Do Kids Grow Up," they offer a poor facsimile of their own "Denise"). It was an inspired move, however, to put on the Skyliners' beautiful lush orchestrated ballad "This I Swear," rather than their classic but over-anthologized "Since I Don't Have You."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:22 Amazon
2 02:11 Amazon
3 01:50 Amazon
4 02:56 Amazon
01:58 Amazon
02:11 Amazon
7 02:11 Amazon
8 02:44 Amazon
9 02:14 Amazon
10 02:49 Amazon
11 02:58 Amazon
12 02:32 Amazon
13 01:58 Amazon
14 02:34 Amazon
02:27 Amazon
16 02:18 Amazon
02:46 Amazon
18 02:29 Amazon
02:32 Amazon
02:15 Amazon
02:02 Amazon
22 03:13 Amazon
23 02:27 Amazon
24 02:31 Amazon
25 02:16 Amazon
26 02:02 Amazon
27 02:33 Amazon
28 02:14 Amazon
29 02:32 Amazon
30 02:14 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick