A budget reissue label like Prism Leisure really should avoid titles like The Ultimate Collection that it has no chance of living up to. The British company is one of those bottom feeders that waits upon the 50-year copyright limit on recordings in Europe to remaster a bunch of old records and put out its own version of some vintage catalog without having to pay for it. The result may be a cheap way of getting music in reasonable if not great sound, but "ultimate" is the wrong way to describe it. Vaughn Monroe scored 56 pop singles chart entries on RCA Victor between 1940 and 1959, all of them featuring his distinctively sonorous voice. This compilation contains tracks originally released between 1940 and 1949, including most of his hit recordings from that decade, though several, among them the Top Fives "How Soon? (Will I Be Seeing You)" and "The Trolley Song," are missing, and a handful of songs on the disc were not hits. The sequencing is nearly random, and the annotations consist only of a brief biography. Purchased at a discount price, the album will satisfy a casual fan's desire to hear the highlights of Monroe's most successful period, although it does not compare with the more legitimate reissues on RCA and its licensees. "Ultimate" it is not.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann