The Bachelors were a throwback to the vocal pop groups of the '50s right down to their oldies repertoire, but had a handful of stylistic quirks or gimmicks that gave them a unique sound. One was a mild country-pop strain that usually manifested itself in affected Southern accents and Floyd Cramer-style piano licks. Another was their clever use of a drum kit to turn traditional pop ballads into gentle toe-tappers. Golden Hits and Precious Memories is a 30-track British anthology that offers a compromise between the brief domestic collection and the two-disc import. Covering the years 1962-1965, it contains most of the group's American hits, and all but a few of the cuts were British hits. Hearing so much of the Bachelors in one sitting reveals an unfortunate repetition as the formula of their biggest hit, "Diane," is repeated again and again on songs like "Charmaine" and "Marie." The sameness of these cuts is not distracting enough to significantly diminish the enjoyment of a program that demonstrates one of the 1960s' most fruitful and entertaining updates of the traditional pop vocal sound.
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