A great buy for Dion fans
Harley P. Payette | Phillipsburg, New Jersey United States | 07/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Casual fans who only want to buy one set from Dion should pick up "The King of The New York Streets" box set or if you really want to cut it super short the import greatest hits on repretoire should satisfy you. Both sets have Dion's most famous hits (the ones played on the radio) from both Laurie and Columbia. The box goes even further covering Dion's whole career and is essential for any hardcore rock fan. But if you already have that and still want more, this is where to start and there's a lot to chew on.The music here is really five star quality. For years Dion's Columbia years were thought to be the nadir of his career because of the pop filler that weighed down his albums and because he slipped in popularity due to Beatlemania and his heroin addiction. By focusing on singles and rarities and some of his better album tracks the Columbia period is looking like an improvement and extension of the Laurie years and a link to what would come later. Tracks like "Donna the Prima Donna" and "Sunday Kind of Love" show he retained his mastery of Doo Wop. On ballads like "Oh Happy" he sings with more confidence and poise than he ever did at Laurie. And tracks like "Ruby Baby", "Flim Flam" and "Sweet Sweet Baby" show him developing a tough, ryhtmic pop blues style. In fact based on the evidence here you could rank Dion with Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich and a few others as one of the greatest white bluesmen. Did I mention there's evidence in the tracks and the notes that these recordings influenced Dylan's electric period? Dion's growth into a folk artist isn't really explored here. But that's another thing that makes this set great. You can pick up Columbia's "The Road I'm On" 2cd set plus the box set and still have nine tracks here you don't on either of those. "The Road I'm On" is a more complete retrospective but this is more consistent.This also has better notes featuring Dion's input. The sound is better on that collection but is still pretty fine here and for a lower price. But like I said you can buy both. FYI the versions of "Kickin Child" and "Two Ton Feather" here are alternate takes that differ substantially from the single versions contained on the two CD set. So get them both and if you're still hungry follow up with "Born to Be With You" and "Deja Nu" both available on Ace as imports with the latter also available domestically on Collectables."
Hear me talking, now!
Johnny Heering | Bethel, CT United States | 07/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD collects 20 songs that Dion recorded during his three year stint with Columbia Records. This stint was somewhat disappointing from a hit standpoint, producing only five real hits; "Ruby Baby" (#2 hit), "Donna the Prima Donna" (#6 hit), "Drip Drop (#6 hit), "This Little Girl" (#21 hit) and "Be Careful of Stones That You Throw" (#31 hit). For unknown reasons, "Be Careful of Stones That You Throw" was left off of this CD. So, not very many of the songs on this CD are ones that people have heard before. The CD starts off with four doo wop songs. Then there are seven songs done in the typical "Dion" style. That is followed by eight blues songs. And the CD concludes with a great cover version of a Bob Dylan song. This is a good selection of songs. Dion is a surprisingly good blues singer. Fans of Dion should enjoy this CD."