Tony Orlando & Dawn

Platinum & Gold Collection

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Tony Orlando & Dawn's soft-pop cabaret is one of the odder relics of the early '70s -- it was sweet enough to fit in comfortably on the AM airwaves, but its heavy roots in traditional pop pastiche guaranteed it a stronger appeal to the Lawrence Welk audience. Years later, their squarer traits shine through brightest, making even their biggest hits -- "Tie a Yelow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree," "Knock Three Times," "Candida" -- seem from an era older than the '70s. If you're looking for a hits collection -- whether you're a fan looking for a good summary, or a kitsch collector on the prowl -- this will likely not bother you (although those that are looking for some smooth '70s soft-pop pleasures should consider themselves warned), and RCA's 2003 collection Platinum & Gold Collection should serve your needs well. It's not as lengthy as Rhino's 1994 collection The Best of Tony Orlando & Dawn -- which ran four tracks longer, with seven songs overlapping -- but in some ways having only 12 tracks on this collection is more listenable, since a little of this stuff can go a long way. Since both discs have the big hits and have some of the minor hits missing, it's a toss-up to which one is better: they both do their job well, but the Rhino one is out of print, and this one is easy to find, which gives it an edge (and it's far better than the budget-line collection also on the market as of this writing). However, the differences aren't great enough to warrant a purchase of Platinum & Gold Collection if you already own the previous collection.

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