Dion & the Belmonts

Their Best

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This is a good collection of Dion & the Belmonts' Laurie material for those folks who already have "The Wanderer," "Runaround Sue," and the like. There are 20 tunes here, and the casual or merely interested fans will not have the killer readings of tunes like "In the Still of the Night" or Doc Pomus' classic "I've Cried Before," even if they do have the opener "A Teenager in Love." Most of what's here focuses on the ballads, the atmospheric Dion painting teenage soundscapes worthy of the same kind of darkness that Roy Orbison wove, but from a much younger and therefore utterly lost perspective. There is an occasional wild one in here and it's evidenced by the inclusion of a stellar version of "Rosalie," written by Dave Bartholomew. The Belmonts actually ape the Trashmen's backing vocal -- that apes doo wop in the first place -- on "Surfin' Bird!"

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