Shakin' Stevens

Hit Collection

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The recently revitalized Shakin' Stevens is best remembered for the string of hits he scored in the U.K. and Europe through the early to mid-'80s. This much-needed set contrarily concentrates on the latter part of his hitmaking career and the ones that got away -- singles that were solid chart performers at the time but tend to be overlooked by other collections. The most authentic of Shaky's rock & roll stylings, "Hot Dog" (his first U.K. hit from 1980), opens the set, but then it's solid late-'80s as the Dave Edmunds-produced "Lipstick Powder and Paint" peels off the 1985 album of the same name to usher in such half-forgotten jewels as "Turning Away," "A Little Boogie Woogie in the Back of My Mind," "Come See About Me," and so on. It's lightweight popabilly fare at best, and there's no doubting that Shaky was going off the musical boil a lot faster than he was slipping down the commercial listings. But two major smashes, the festive "Merry Christmas Everyone" and "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For," his final U.K. Top Five hit in 1987, do make the grade, while the best numbers on Hit Collection Edition are the ones that don't ring a bell until you hear them -- and then you wonder how you could ever have let them slip!

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