Ernie Maresca

The Original Wanderer

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AllMusic Review by

Although this compilation is billed to Ernie Maresca, and does include his hit "Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)," he in fact is the artist on just seven of the 30 tracks. This CD is not so much an Ernie Maresca anthology as an overview of his work as a writer, assembling Maresca compositions or co-compositions, mostly though not exclusively from 1961-1966, as recorded by numerous acts, including the Regents, Dion, the Chiffons, the Delrons, Bernadette Carroll, the Belmonts, Maresca himself, and a host of no-names. Other than "Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)," the Regents' "Runaround," and the pair of Dion hits licensed for inclusion (one of which, "The Wanderer," is presented in an alternate take), this is pretty samey-sounding and mediocre, though not terrible, period early-1960s New York pop/rock. Maresca milked the riffs that anchored the Dion hits to death, and they never sounded nearly as good in those variations. Be mindful, too, that a couple of songs that were hits are not presented in the versions that were the hits: "Whenever a Teenager Cries" is sung here by the Jeans, not Reparata & the Delrons, while "Child of Clay" is done by the 1929 Depression, not Jimmie Rodgers (though collectors might find that an incentive as this 1929 Depression version is actually the original one). Any standouts worth noting? Not really, though Bernadette Carroll's small innocuous girl group-style hit "Party Girl" is here; the mid-1960s singles by the Hubcaps and Sal Corrente show him trying to tailor his writing to the Jan & Dean hot-rod sound; and the original fuzzy late-1950s demo of "The Wanderer," sung by Maresca himself, is a historically valuable find. That could not be said of the really bizarre 1977 version of "The Wanderer" by the Foreign Intrigue, an unfunny comic parody by a singer using a deep-spoken foreign accent.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Dion
2:48
2 2:27
3
feat: The Regents
2:43
4
feat: The Desires
2:04
5 2:10
6 3:12
7
feat: The Desires
2:33
8
feat: The Regents
2:07
9 2:33
10 2:11
11 1:46
12 2:50
13
feat: Dion
2:52
14 3:02
15
feat: The Belmonts
3:00
16 2:16
17
feat: Mike Taylor
2:22
18 2:13
19
feat: The Regents
2:21
20 2:36
21
feat: The Chiffons
2:44
22 2:17
23 2:27
24 2:27
25 2:18
26 2:16
27 2:21
28 2:17
29 2:21
30 1:58
blue highlight denotes track pick