Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
Doo Wop 101
Gregor von Kallahann | 10/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To answer a previous reviewer's commentary, this record is part of a series of special Doo Wop based budget line releases, all of which have the name of a prominent genre hit as its sub-title. Nowadays, you can research ANY potential purchase online and find out just what the track listing is. So while I'm sorry the buyer was disappointed NOT to get 10 different versions of "Blue Moon" (and would anybody REALLY want that?), it's pretty clear that the emptor didn't get the caveat (or is it the other way around?).
Doo Wop was actually music of my chidhood, not of my teen years. And it was good fun stuff to have around you as a four year old. When you're newly verbal, nonsense syllables have the power to just make you giddy. Maybe it's the thrill of hearing adults babbling the way you used to do. Who knows? But to this day, I maintain the Doo Wop era was a great time to be a little kid, especially if you had a big sister old enough to buy the records.
I know now that there are are any number of musical purists out there who, while they may allow that there's a legit place for pure Doo Wop, but who are still horrified for the Doo Wop-ification of even older standards. I was actually in my late teens before I even knew that "Blue Moon" (included here, natch) and "In the Still of the Night" (not) were old standards that had been updated and utterly transmogrified by nervy urban kids with no sense of propriety but a with a great groove. What was likely sacrelege to some older listeners. Maybe you could compare it to contemporary "sampling." The more things change...
Not all Doo Wop was light weight, and maybe that's why some admirers of the genre prefer to subsume the genre under the broader rubric of R&B. When you listen to a soulful number like the Chantels "Maybe," you can understand why. It's included here, and it sounds right. But I can see why R&B purists might want to classify it simply as "group harmony." The background is rich, but relatively understated. Arlene and the girls just tear it up--it's fun, but never frivolous.
But then, true Doo Wop is always playful, but hardly frivolous. Yes, the giddy fun of a song like "A Thousand Miles Away's" background vocals belies the song's rather somber lyrics. But that's the beauty part, really. There's an irony between many of these song's heartache-y lyrics and the spirted vocals and arrangements. It makes the songs just about right for teens of any era, who are just learning about heartbreak and often just kind of trying it on for size for the time being.
This is a pretty nifty collection overall. Aside from the Marcels' title song and the Chantels classic, it includes the Drifters' "Money Honey," the Bobbettes' "Mr Lee," "I Love You" by the Volumes, the Heartbeats' aforementioned "A Thousand Miles Away," "You Baby You" by the Cleftones, and "Lovers Never Say Goodbye" by the Flamingos. But my two favorites (along with the Chantels of course) ihave to be Frankie Lyman's "ABC's of Love," which is every bit as good as "Why Do Fools Fall In Love," leastwise in my book. And the album ends with Clyde McPhatter's gorgeous "A Lover's Question," what a beautiful voice. If any one singer embodied the playfulness and the soul that was Doo Wop it was Sir Clyde's.