This 28-track CD contains the early Rockin' label recordings Otis Williams made with the original Charms. Their 1954 Top 15 pop hit "Hearts of Stone" was a significant achievement for an R&B group at that time, and "Two Hearts" was covered by Pat Boone and became his first hit. The Charms left Williams to record for Chart before he made "Ivory Tower" (his biggest hit), and those recordings sans Williams, including alternate takes, are here as well. "Ivory Tower" is not included, nor is "Ling, Ting, Tong" or "Bazoom (I Need Your Lovin')." Ace records released this CD for the European market, and although the track listings on the two versions are the same, the U.S. version has only a brief excerpt from the liner notes of the Ace release. Unfortunately, the abbreviated essay is entirely inadequate for those wanting to understand the tangle of labels and litigation behind these recordings. A more hit-oriented collection would provide a better overview, but collectors will appreciate the thoroughness and specific focus of The Original Rockin' & Chart Masters.
AllMusic Review by Greg Adams