Marty Wilde

The Greatest Hits: Born to Rock and Roll

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Universal Music, looking around for artists to advertise on TV who hadn't already had compilations galore, came up with Marty Wilde, father of Kim Wilde, who had enjoyed a series of hits in the late 1950s which had never before been collected together on one mainstream full-price album. In fact, Marty Wilde had never troubled the album charts until this "best of" in the spring of 2007. Although the album is titled Born to Rock and Roll this really isn't rock & roll in the true sense of the genre; it's music to sit listening to in coffee bars rather than getting up and dancing to. Despite Wilde achieving 13 hits between 1958 and 1962, only 11 are included here, two minor hits, "The Fight" and "Hide and Seek" are missing, but all the big ones are here, running roughly in chronological order from "Endless Sleep," "Donna," "A Teenager in Love," and "Sea of Love," to his final Top Ten single "Rubber Ball." Yes, they are all covers of, in most cases, even more famous original American hits, but that's what a lot of British artists did in the late '50s, hear a song by the original singer and, before it had a chance in the U.K., cover it and get your version noticed by the masses more than the original. Wilde, unlike many of his contemporaries, did actually write songs as well as simply perform them, putting his talents to his fifth hit, "Bad Boy," and years later to a song called "Jesamine," which was included on this album, having become a big hit by the Casuals and which, like many classic songs from the '60s, was better in the hit cover version than the original. There were a lot of filler tracks on Born to Rock and Roll, but this was inevitable coming in with 25 tracks, especially around the middle section of the album with virtually unknown tracks "Abergeveny" and "Danny," and very insipid versions of "Dream Lover," "All American Boy," and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." The album ends with a re-recording of the title track, "Born to Rock and Roll," and a duet with his daughter Kim Wilde on Elton John's classic "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word." He had duetted with another daughter, Roxanne on the track "I'm Leaving It All Up to You." An earlier greatest hits simply called The Best of Marty Wilde, released on Universal Music's budget label Spectrum, was probably a better value, with 24 tracks (instead of 25), and all 13 hits were included for less than half the price.

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