Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Best of Mercury Years
Genres: Pop, R&B
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Take note of my comments below...but it's not a review.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a bit upset...bought a CD today that very visibly announced "12 original '50s hits BY THE ORIGINAL ARTISTS. Included in those 12 hits was "Earth Angel" but the artists were NOT "The Penguins". Apparently that record company overlooked it, but they are wrong. It was one of my all time favorite songs and I will not accept anyone but the Penguins as the original group. The store I bought this cd said they can't control it..they have nothing to do with the advertising, etc. It's not right though. And I wonder if the Penguins know about this. It's really not fair to them (or to their heirs if that is the situation). I hope they're still alive. You can email me if you wish. TIA Roz Mansouri"
A Tad Misleading To The Uninformed
(2 out of 5 stars)
"With one notable exception the series known as The Mercury Years - The Best Of ... is one of the top such series around. I have the Vic Damone, Crew Cuts, Diamonds, Gaylords, Georgia Gibbs, Eddy Howard, and Ralph Marterie CDs and all present bona fide original hits by these artists.
The exception is the CD under review because, whereas the artists just mentioned had multiple hits on the Mercury label and its subsidiaries, The Penguins had exactly zero. Their two hit singles came with two other labels, the first in 1954 when Earth Angel, which has often been cited in various polls as being among North America's favourite oldies, was released by the small DooTone label.
Written by the great Jesse Belvin, it was the first vehicle for the group - consisting of lead Cleveland Duncan, Bruce Tate, Dexter Tisby and Curtis Williams - after they signed with DooTone, taking their name from the symbol on packages of Kool Cigarettes. With Hey Senorita as the flipside it climbed all the way to # 1 R&B (where it remained for 3 weeks) and # 8 Billboard Top 100 in February, 1955, losing out on the Top 100 only to The Crew Cuts' cover (# 3) for, ironically, the Mercury label, but finishing well ahead of the Gloria Mann cover (# 18) on Sound.
However, further hits while with DooTone evaded them completely. After moving to Atlantic Records in 1957, Pledge Of Love b/w I Knew I'd Fall In Love made it to # 15 R&B that summer. The thing is, try and find that one anywhere.
The group, with Teddy Harper and Randolph Jones replacing Tate and Williams in the process, then bounced from one label to another, including Sunstate, Original Sound, and then Mercury and their subsidiary Wing, without any further chart success. They also re-recorded Earth Angel so many times (including during their stint with Mercury) that, unless you were totally familiar with the original version as the result of being around when it came out, you'd have no way of knowing if what you had was the real thing.
The original is certainly available on any number of retrospective compilations such as the Time-Life series, and one called Doo Wop Classics from Prism Leisure, and if you don't have it yet, I would recommened you take that approach rather than buying either this CD or the one entitled EARTH ANGEL, also listed under the group's name."
It's a remake, and a rather good one at that
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Regarding the previous review, this CD is not by a different group but rather contains a remake of a few of their hits for DOOTONE as well as some aditonal material recorded for Mercury."