Various Artists

The Best of APT Records, Vol. 2

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In its eight years of existence, the ABC-Paramount subsidiary APT Records scored only one hit, but talk about one-hit wonders. The Elegants' doo wop lullaby "Little Star" remains one of the most evocative and potent records of the group-harmony era. But while "Little Star" has served as a staple of oldies anthologies for decades, little else from APT's late-'50s heyday has received the reissue treatment. In tandem with its predecessor, The Best of APT Records, Vol. 2 rights that wrong, even if its scratchy, direct-from-vinyl mastering suggests dubious legal origins. The disc reclaims another 30 rare singles from unwarranted obscurity, many of them B-sides from singles included on volume one. Not everything holds up, but in spite of its commercial failings, APT was actually one of the more daring labels of its time, licensing a series of worthy masters from smaller indie imprints and exploring terrain from lush doo wop to incendiary rock & roll. Highlights this time out include the Jive Tones' dynamic "Geraldine," the Forevers' lovely "Baby," and the Red Jacks' rockabilly workout "Big Brown Eyes."