In early 1956, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers -- Herman Santiago, Jimmy Merchant, Sherman Garnes, and Joe Negroni -- achieved international stardom with the song "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?." Lymon, as lead singer (and all of 13 years old), was the star of the act, and they remain one of the finest examples of New York vocal group singing. All of the essentials are on this album, which, among its numerous highlights also includes "Love Is a Clown" and the group's later hits, "Little Bitty Pretty One," "Portable on My Shoulder," and "Thumb Thumb." At the time of its release, this CD collection was notable not only for its generous programming -- 20 songs deep into the group's catalog -- but also for its sound quality. Previous LP compilations of the Teenagers' work, issued either through Roulette Records or labels of dubious legitimacy (such as Guest Star), had suffered from very poor quality mastering and sources; and even the commonly available U.S. LP reissue of the 1958 album The Teenagers Featuring Frankie Lymon -- which boasted one of the coolest covers of the 1950s -- offered miserably poor sound. This collection, either as a 20-song CD or a 16-song LP, was the first decent sounding Frankie Lymon reissue heard in decades; it's been supplanted for audio quality since then, but 20 years later, it's still worth hearing and owning, for the uninitiated.
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AllMusic Review by Jeff Tamarkin