Little Anthony & the Imperials

The Best of Little Anthony & the Imperials [Liberty]

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Brooklyn's Little Anthony and the Imperials managed to stay relevant beyond their doo wop beginnings with a series of stunning and dramatic soul-pop hits. The group even found a niche on the oldies circuit -- albeit in splintered form -- throughout the '70s and '80s. And while early contemporaries like the Platters and the Drifters better embodied the classic '50s vocal sound, Little Anthony and company were the ones able to move into the soul arena with relative ease. Mind you, the band were not the next rough-hewn Stax sensation, but an urbane, even easy listening version of the Impressions (strings and symphonic bombast often accentuated by Little Anthony's pleading vocals). This now outmoded hits package from Liberty gives listeners a fine if slim overview of the band's early- to mid-'60s prime. Highlights include the usual suspects ("Going Out of My Head," "Tears on My Pillow," "Hurts So Bad"), and relatively marginal sides like "Our Song" and "I Miss You So."