Hey there folks and Welcome to Retro Dee Reviews!
In this section I will be reviewing music albums. I hope this will help other retro fans who are looking to add to their CD collection. Maybe it will reveal that an album is just what you’re looking for. Or maybe it will show you that it’s just not your cup o’ tea.
So to buy or not to buy? Let’s have a look at this entry of “Retro Dee Reviews”!
Disclaimer: These reviews are my personal, independent opinions and I do not get paid or compensated in any way to endorse anything.
Retro Dee Reviews: “The Ultimate Rock n Roll Collection – The 50’s” (part of Collectibles by BMG Special Products)
This is the first compilation of 1950’s songs (by various artists) that I purchased. I found it on Amazon for a good price and ordered it at the end of 2016. As you probably know, there are a million different compilation albums out there from this era. I chose this particular one because it has songs from Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper and I was looking for an album with songs from all three that I could play as a tribute to February 3rd.
As you can see, it has an attractive pink and baby blue cover with some great 50’s graphics and an adorable vintage photo of a couple dancing. It’s apparently part of The Anniversary Series, and like it says, there are “25 Original Hits by the Original Artists.”
Inside is just one leaflet which is the back of the cover. It has an ad telling you to call a 1-800 number to order more CDs or movies. So, basically, there is no information as far as the songwriters go.
The CD itself is blue with yellow sparkles and “The 50’s” written in pink retro font. Very pretty:
The back insert has the same pink and baby blue theme and the list of songs and artists is easy to read (which is not always the case) so it comes in handy when you want to see what song is playing.
Now let’s get the semi-minor complaint out of the way. The quality of each song varies; some are better than others. This compilation was made in 1997, which means they did not have the technology we do now to remaster old recordings. This was obvious to me when I heard “Peggy Sue” on this CD. It sounds like it’s being played on an old record player in a dusty attic several blocks away. Of course, I’m comparing it to the remastered version on “The Very Best of Buddy Holly and The Crickets” 3-CD set by Not Now Music Ltd. So I suppose it’s not really fair.
But don’t get me wrong, this CD is NOT poor quality. It’s very enjoyable to listen to and the variety and choice of songs is excellent.
Okay! So what songs are on it?
We start with the first of THREE songs by Elvis Presley on this compilation: 1. “Jailhouse Rock” Next is 2. “Peggy Sue” by Buddy Holly, then 3. “Since I Don’t Have You” by The Skyliners.
Then the tempo picks back up with 4. “At The Hop” by Danny and The Juniors. Then it slows down again with 5. “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino.
Next is 6. “Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)” by The Impalas which is one of my favorites, followed by another one of my very favorites: 7. “Tell Me Why” by Norman Fox & The Rob Roys.
Then there’s the dramatic ballad 8. “It’s Only Make Believe” by Conway Twitty , then the romantic 9. “For Your Love” by Ed Townsend. Then Elvis again with 10. “Heartbreak Hotel”
The next three are dramatic ballads all in a row: 11. “Sea of Love” by Phil Phillips, 12. “Chances Are” by Johnny Mathis (backed by Ray Conniff & his Orchestra) and 13. “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” by The Platters.
The pace picks up once more with 14. “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley, then the second of The Skyliners songs on this CD: 15. “This I Swear”. Next, 16. “All In The Game” by Tommy Edwards which I thought was a 60’s song, but I guess not.
Then 17. “Chantilly Lace” by The Big Bopper which is such a fun song– we love you, J.P.! 18. Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry, which no compilation should be without, followed by 19. “Pledging My Love” by Johnny Ace.
Next up is the phenomenal 20. “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens, then more dancing fun with 21. “Shout!” (parts 1 & 2) by the Isley Brothers. After that, the pace slows down again to the melancholy tune of 22. “Sleepwalk” by Santo & Johnny.
The final three songs to wrap up this compilation are: 23. “Love Potion #9” by The Clovers, which I don’t like for some reason (it sounds like a 70’s song to me) 24. “Chapel Bells” by The Fascinators and then finally 25. “Bye Bye Love” by The Everly Brothers — their first huge hit, and ironically the only song by Don and Phil I can’t stand. And believe me, I adore Don and Phil. Just not that song.
But, you know what they say: “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.” 🙂
So there you have it! This CD has become a tradition for me to play on the eve of Feb 3, in honor of the musicians we lost and their era. BOTTOM LINE: I definitely recommend this album if you want to add a 1950’s CD to your collection.
Retro Dee Unofficial Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4/5 Stars
So thanks for reading, and please stay tuned for the next installment of Retro Dee Reviews. If you like, you can follow me here on good ole Word Press and on Twitter @RealRetroDee and/or on instagram @mariepascal82
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