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Johnny Maestro & The Crests For Collectors Only
Johnny Maestro & The Crests For Collectors Only
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock


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CD Details

All Artists: Crests
Title: Johnny Maestro & The Crests For Collectors Only
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Collectables
Release Date: 8/26/1994
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
Style: Oldies
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 090431881224, 904318812242

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CD Reviews

Great early rock group harmony.
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not just for collectors but for anyone who enjoys late 50's / early 60's group harmonies. Several stunning items on a consistently well remixed CD. Hits and unreleased gems abound. Johnny Mastero and his group are so vocally gifted that one begins to wish this was an acapella release."
Wow! Unbelievable Sound Quality
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As shown on the track listing, many tracks are in true stereo. All tracks sound as though they came from the original master tapes. To hear "Step By Step" for the first time in hi-fidelity true stereo was awesome. I did not know the Crests had recorded so many songs. I was only familiar with a couple of their hits until I listened to this two CD set. Highly recommended if you like this kind of sound from the late fifties/early sixties."
Easily The Best Of The Current CDs On The Crests
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Rhino and Varèse products, and even the Collectables single CD on The Crests, are pretty good compilations of their hits. Each contains all nine of the Coed hits, although it's hit and miss when it comes to the B-sides. This Collectables offering serves up those same hits along with ALL the B-sides so, from the point of a view of a completist collector, this is the best "bang for the buck."

If I have a complaint it's that NONE of the CDs - not even this double set - contains their very first charter for the small Joyce label in 1957 - Sweetest One [# 86] b/w My Juanita - credited to "The Crest's" (sic) and backed by the Al Browne Orchestra. That remains a most difficult selection to find.

John Mastrangelo from Brooklyn changed his name to Maestro [although on all the 45's where his name appears it was shown as "Mastro"], and with his light, mellow voice leading the way they scored big in late 1958/early 1959 with 16 Candles, taking it to # 2 Billboard Hot 100 and # 4 R&B, kept from the coveted # 1 only by the success of To Know Him Is To Love Him [Teddy Bears], The Chipmunk Song, and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes [Platters].

Nothing else they did would comes as close, although Six Nights A Week [# 17 R&B/# 28 Hot 100 in April 1959], The Angels Listened In [# 14 R&B/# 22 Hot 100 in September 1959], Step By Step [# 14 Hot 100 in March 1960], and Trouble In Paradise [# 20 Hot 100 in July 1960] were all solid hits by any standard. For their final two charters, both in late 1960, the 45s billed them as "The Crests featuring Johnny Mastro" - but neither Journey of Love [# 81 Hot 100] nor Isn't It Amazing [# 100] did much on the charts.

Different members made up the group over the years, with Maestro joined at the outset by Harold Torres, Talmadge Gough, J.T. Carter, and Patricia Van Dross, sister of the great Luther Vandross, who left in 1958. Later it would include Eddie Wright, Chuck Foote, and Leonard Alexander.

In 1960, after the two weak showings, Maestro himself left, replaced by James Ancrum, but the group would have no further hits. Still with the Coed label, however, Maestro would have a # 20 and # 33 Hot 100 respectively in 1961 with Model Girl and What A Surprise - the first billed as "Johnny Mastro The Voice Of The Crests" and the second as "Johnny Maestro The Voice Of The Crests" (they finally got his name right). His third and final hit that year was My Happiness, a # 57 billed as "Johnny Maestro with The Coeds."

In 1968 he would re-emerge on the Buddah label as the lead voice of Brooklyn Bridge, and reach the charts seven more times, with the best being the first - Worst That Could Happen - which made it to # 3 Hot 100.

A remarkable collection well worth the price. If only they had been able to find room for that one missing hit from 1957, even if only from a historical perspective."