Various Artists

The Fire & Fury Doo Wop Story

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Producer Bobby Robinson released a slew of classic blues and R&B sides on his Harlem-based Fury and Fire record labels in the late 1950s and early '60s, including tracks by such notables as Elmore James, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Lee Dorsey, and many others, but he also released a lot of doo wop sides, as well, and this two-disc, 40-track set chronicles that element of Robinson's legacy. There’s a lot of fun stuff here, including Gladys Knight & the Pips' second version of the Johnny Otis-penned “Every Beat of My Heart” (the first version was originally released by Huntom Records and then picked up by Chicago’s Vee-Jay Records, that’s the version most people know, but Robinson’s do-over was almost note for note the same, and features slightly better sonic quality), a pair of sprightly Pips recordings without Gladys, “Linda” and “Darling,” the Channels' “Bye Bye Baby,” the Kodaks' jaunty and bouncy “My Baby and Me,” and Jackie and the Starlights' gritty (at least for doo wop) “I’m Coming Home,” which features searing and raw-voiced lead vocals by Jackie Rue. The whole set bounces along with a kind of energetic innocence; it's the perfect soundtrack for that first warm spring night of the year.

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