The Cadillacs

The Complete Josie Sessions

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This box is really the CD descendant of Murray Hill Records' early-'80s-era LP set, which included lots of outtakes. It seems like complete and absolute overkill to put out four CDs on a vocal quintet that only ever charted two songs ("Speedoo," "Peek-A-Boo") nationally, and, works. But, if you like '50s R&B, doo wop music, or generally just good singing, there's so much here to listen to that will delight you that the package suddenly seems reasonable. The Cadillacs' secret was the sheer variety of their music -- they started out working in a slow romantic vein, and eventually hit it big with one of the fastest-rocking vocal numbers of the period, but they also sang blues (with solid backing, including some fine guitar work) like "(That's) All I Need." Their last sides are still finely sung, but aren't romantic -- rather, they began moving toward comedic and satiric pieces such as "Please Mr. Johnson" and "Jaywalker." The diversity is entertaining in itself, and the only real objection that one could have is the presence of different versions of the same songs. Even these are very interesting, such as the slower alternate version of "Speedoo," which would never have been a hit but does reveal more about the song itself. The sessionography is also a big help in sorting out precisely who was in the group at any given moment after their early sides.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:04
2 02:22
3 02:05
5 01:56
6 01:58
7 02:28
8 02:06
9 02:33
10 02:36
13 03:00
14 02:27
15 02:17
16 01:58
17 02:13
18 02:13
20 02:14
22 02:07
23 02:06
26 00:48
27 01:58
blue highlight denotes track pick