Various Artists

Doo Wop Under the Covers

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AllMusic Review by

This 26-song compilation from the Roulette Records vaults is a good complement to the West Side Records' triple-set on Roulette and the various double sets on it precursor labels. It's a strange collection, featuring various R&B acts covering the work of other acts -- The Essex's version of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" is a good enough rendition, though Frankie Lymon's solo recording of "Silhouettes" shows how undistinguished a singer he was after his voice changed -- Wayne Anthony's "A Thousand Miles" away is a lot more impressive. Little Anthony & the Imperials are heavily featured, in a series of strong performances, including "I Cover the Waterfront" and "Please Say You Want Me." Most of these groups or their arrangers put a special touch on their work, such as the accented sax and drums on "A Hundred Pounds of Clay" by the Cleftones, the ethereal presence of Richard Barrett's lead, and the falsetto singing of the group, on his performance of "Come Softly to Me" by the Chantels, and the bells-like vamping behind Joey Page on "Blue Velvet." The collection is diverse enough and the sound is good enough to make it indispensable to doo wop and oldies enthusiasts, and the music may also seriously please casual listeners as well. The only thing that's a little strange about the annotation, despite an effort at thoroughness, is that no release dates for these recordings are included, only those of the more familiar renditions.

Track Listing

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blue highlight denotes track pick