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Various Artists

Tight harmonies and good grooming tell us we're in doo-wop land.

I love audacious titles like The Only Doo-Wop Collection You'll Ever Need. How can you argue with such bravado? But in this case, the handle is more than just marketing-department bluster. Shout! Factory got it right: This may be the only such anthology that most of us require. Just about every major name in the doo-wop scene of the late 1950s gets its due here. Smooth, street-corner soul is served courtesy of the Platters, Dion and the Belmonts, and the Silhouettes. More important, lesser-known crooners such as Little Caesar and the Romans, the Videos, and the Edsels also get a chance to dazzle listeners.

If you think your knowledge of doo-wop is limited to old Martin Scorsese soundtracks, think again. "Come Go With Me," "16 Candles" and "Get a Job" are just a few of the songs that have moved from pop-music standards to pop-culture landmarks. And if you think these old tunes simply amount to harmonic yearnings of innocent romanticism, give them another listen. What you'll hear is the slick, sincere and sophisticated sounds of seduction, circa 1958. Very confident and very cool.


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