Billy Ward & His Dominoes' early-'50s Federal material has been reissued on a number of CDs, and unless you're pretty fussy about a certain track alignment, whichever one you come across will most likely do. This one has 19 tracks and is pretty close, though not exactly the same, in content as Rhino's Sixty Minute Men: The Best of Billy Ward & His Dominoes and Rev-Ola's Sixty Minute Man, to take two examples. All of them have the influential early R&B vocal group hits that would be considered essential for any Dominoes compilation: "Do Something for Me," "Sixty Minute Man," "I Am With You," "That's What You're Doing to Me," "Have Mercy Baby," "I'd Be Satisfied," "The Bells," and "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)." This particular Varese Sarabande compilation has a few noncharting singles and B-sides that don't automatically show up on Ward anthologies, as well as two "bonus tracks" of alternate takes of "That's What You're Doing to Me" and "These Foolish Things" that weren't issued on Federal in the 1950s. Of course that means it's also missing some Federal sides that do show up on other reissues. Rhino's Sixty Minute Men still remains the best deal if you can find it, as it stretches a little beyond the McPhatter/Federal era to also include Ward's 1957 pop hit "Star Dust." Incidentally, this CD mistakenly identifies track five as "That's What You're Doing to Me" (whose official version and alternate take appears elsewhere on the disc), when it's actually the B-side of "Sixty Minute Man," "I Can't Escape From You."
The Essential Masters Review
by Richie Unterberger