Ronnie Dove

The Collection, Part 3

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The Ronnie Dove Collection, Pt. 3 pairs two albums on one CD: Right or Wrong -- Dove's first LP from 1964 -- and Rarities, which was never released independently and does not overlap with Collectables' separate CD of Ronnie Dove rarities. Right or Wrong is an excellent album that spotlights Dove's achingly beautiful pop ballad style on a dozen tracks that include three chart hits: "Say You," "Right or Wrong," and "Hello Pretty Girl." "Say You" was Dove's first hit and concludes on a soaring falsetto note that shows Dove at his dramatic best. Slow songs dominate the album, and "Sweeter Than Sugar" is the only one that could be categorized as rock & roll. Unfortunately, the disc sounds like it was mastered from vinyl with its mixture of mono and stereo and audible surface noise. It is possible that the master tapes have been lost since these are the same problems that plague other reissues of Ronnie Dove's music. The rarities segment includes recordings from the '60s and '70s, some of which appear to be previously unreleased, although they are not identified as such. The most significant rarities on offer are both sides of Dove's debut single from 1959, "Lover Boy" c/w "I'll Be Around." Recorded with the Beltones, these early, rough recordings find Dove singing with a bit of an Elvis Presley influence. Those two songs were obviously mastered from noisy vinyl, but that can be forgiven in light of the exceptional rarity and value of the single.

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