When Neil Sedaka broke through to the pop charts with the novelty hit "I Go Ape" in 1959, there were few who thought he would still be in the charts nearly half a century later, and although the singles had dried up a considerable time ago, The Show Goes On: The Very Best of Neil Sedaka -- a greatest-hits package released by a major TV specialist record company -- did feature seven brand new tracks among the 43 in total brought together for the first time in the 21st century. There had been many such compilations previously, including a very similar one on Universal in 1999, but this had the added selling point of the new tracks. On this collection, Universal was very clever, intermingling songs from three distinct periods of Neil Sedaka's career to provide an overview of 50 years of Sedaka without the type of chronology that would have bunched all the new songs at the end. And that would have been the wrong thing to do, as virtually all of the new songs were acoustic ballads, including "You," "Shake a Hand," "Lovely Leba," "I Fell in Love with a Dream," and a couple of duets with his daughter Dara. The other two time periods encompassed his late-'50s/early-'60s hits (all of which were included somewhere on the double-disc set except for two minor singles, "King of Clowns" and "Lets Go Steady Again") and his comeback period between 1972-1975, when he was considerably more successful in his native U.S.A. than in Britain. During this part of the '70s he still managed to achieve a further seven hits, mostly slower and more adult-oriented material than his early teen bubblegum material (compare "Laughter in the Rain" and "Our Last Song Together" to "Calendar Girl" and "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen"). Some of his more famous songs from the 1970s period were included: "Bad Blood," a U.S. number one single that failed to chart in the U.K.; "The Hungry Years"; "Immigrant"; the slow version of "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"; and -- showing that he still had a sense of fun -- the song "Betty Grable." He also began disc two with the biggest hit of 2005, the reissued and long-running number one for Tony Christie, "Amarillo."
AllMusic Review by Sharon Mawer
Track Listing - Disc 1
feat: Dara Sedaka
Track Listing - Disc 2