"This is not a good example of classic Don Ho Hawaiian music. The addition of audiance participation takes away from the songs. Also the addition of accordian and harmonica is not traditional for Hawaiian music. Don Ho had a smooth, deep, romantic voice and it is covered up by the amateur background singers and musicians. The style of the songs is not like the originals. Some of these songs sounds more like country/western, pop, and maybe a little Lawrence Welk added. I was very disappointed. I have several old LP's of Don Ho singing all his classics, including Tiny Bubbles, I'll Remember you, and Beautiful Kauai. Which by the way are the only good songs on this CD. I hate to pull out the old LP's when I want good Hawaiian music, but looks like that is what I'll have to do. I lived in Hawaii, so I know what the real things sounds like, and this IS NOT it. Don't waste your money."
Great music to get sloshed to.
Brian Chidester | 10/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those nights when you're drinking alone and wallowing in your own sorrows. Put this on and one of two things will happen: either you'll forget your cares and disappear into the laid back groove of Don Ho, Hawaii's answer to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Elvis Presley and Jimmy Buffett; or you'll be driven over the edge and commit hara-kiri with a butter knife. Either way, your troubles will be over...dissolving in a gentle cascade of tiny bubbles....."
Suck 'em Up!
Brian Chidester | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no definitive Don Ho & the Aliis anthology... it's a crime, for sure. The next best thing is to buy GREATEST HITS, TINY BUBBLES and THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM, all three on CD, all three to be found used on Amazon.com for a cheap cover. GREATEST HITS was released, originally, in 1969, and is a compilation of Don Ho hits and favorites from the apex of his career as a singer, songwriter, performer. A lot of people hate Don Ho because of childhood memories of schlock; more appropriately, however, he's the next step after Martin Denny, and his act was influenced by Elvis's success with BLUE HAWAII (probably Presley's best selling album ever). In 1965, Capitol Records' subsidiary Tower Records threw out one of the most interesting compilations of Hawaiian Lounge with the release of an LP titled WAIKIKI SWINGS. This seems to be the first album to present Don Ho to a mainland audience, under the guise of a liner note claiming that, "Don Ho, Kui & Nani Lee, and other Hawaiian Mods are all here." With a more 'In-Crowd' tailoring than that of previous imported slack key/steel guitar records, WAIKIKI SWINGS is a fantastic example of Elvis meets Kui Lee... no doubt actual Mods will take real offense and consider this whole idea stupid. But, Lounge collectors, Surf/Garage aficionados and even Mods that have a sense of humor (a rare, but existing breed) may have no problem connecting the dots and appreciating Don Ho's aesthetic without pretense. Don himself has referred to Kui Lee as the "John Lennon of Hawaii"; Lee died of cancer in 1966 after only one album, and Don Ho would be the one to take his music to a worldwide audience (Kui Lee represents a third of the songwriter credits on this CD, including the incredible "I'll Remember You"). DON HO -- GREATEST HITS! needs more songs... okay. But, the whole CD flies by, and every song is skillfully performed (which is what a greatest-hits package should be). The live cuts are reminiscent of the old-time Waikiki Beachboys and their ukulele parties on the Moana Pier. Don Ho fits their mold and has made a life for himself living at the beach. "E' Lei Ka Lei Lei (Beach Party Song)" and "By the Shack, by the Sea" are charming representations of the Beachboy lifestyle and musicality. Don Ho & the Aliis, young singers like Robin Wilson (A&M), Angel Pablo and Sam Kapu, Jr. were on stage at Duke Kahanamoku's having a ball every night. During his years at Duke's, Don literally erupted on the national show biz scene, first and most suddenly in a two-week engagement at Hollywood's ultra-posh Cocoanut Grove in 1966. His opening night was a triumph, breaking all previous attendance records. The excessive drinking probably didn't sit well with pot-smoking hippies, but Hawaiian Beachboy-types and Lounge crooners were not known to be light on their livers. Here's hoping Don Ho's whole catalogue sees reissue soon. Suck 'em Up!"
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Twelve tiki-torch classics from the incomparable Mr. Don Ho, The Godfather of the Cocktail Nation. On this collection, Ho wraps his patented slurry baritone around such tropical 100 proof hits as "Pearly Shells"and "Night Life". The amazing Ho works his trademark magic on the suggestive audience-participation classic "E Lei Ka Lei Lei" And who could forget "Tiny Bubbles" ? Not Me! Mix the mai tais, put on your grass skirt, and ROCK!"
More "Don Ho" than Hawaiian
Brian Chidester | 04/18/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"... This mostly does not sound like traditional Hawaiian music. It's more a showcase for the stylizing of vocals by Don Ho, which seems more exaggerated than in his earlier work. At times he seems to sound like Dean Martin, with slurred words. The general impression is that you are eavesdropping on a party. I bought the CD mostly to get the words to "Ain't no big thing" and I can not understand a lot of them because of the stylizing. If you are a great Don Ho fan, this may be for you. It's not traditional Hawaiian.--by an Illinois Listener."