Various Artists

The Del Shannon Tribute: Songwriter, Vol. 1

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In an era when bubblegum songs were pitched to teen pop idols like Fabian, Del Shannon (the stage name of Michigan's Charles Westover) stuck out on the charts. For one, he wrote his own songs, and they managed to strike a melodic and appealing balance out of teen confusion, paranoia, loss, and the urge for going anywhere else to escape emotional suffocation. He was a musical outlaw in a prefab cultural landscape, and he has always deserved more acclaim, critical and otherwise, than he originally received during his up-and-down career, a career that, in retrospect, contained a high level of musical consistency, whatever turn or style he took on. This set features several artists reimagining the Del Shannon songbook in tribute, and like all successful tributes, it leads one right back to Shannon's original versions.

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