"This Little Anthony and Imperials compilation CD from EMI Australia is a nearly complete career retrospective of this quintessential early R'n'B/pop/vocal group. Little Anthony and the Imperials achieved two distinct periods of success during their recording era. First, in the late fifties, on the End label they rose to prominence with their "Tears On My Pillow" and may be known even more widely for their quasi-nonsensically titled "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop". All their pop charted entries from their End stint are included in this CD. After several years in obscurity, their career was rejuvenated with the help of Don Costa's DCP label and the writing talents of Teddy Randazzo, producing some of the most polished, sophisticated, incredibly emotionally charged ballads to come out of the 60s. Tunes such as "Goin' Out Of My Head" and "Hurt So Bad" have become standards that put to shame most of what has come out of popular music for decades since. Little Anthony's unique sound carries these tunes to heights that no emulations (Lettermen, Linda Ronstadt, many others) can begin to touch. This extraodinary combination of voice, music and arrangements is evident in other less well-known tunes as well. "Take Me Back", "I Miss You So" and "Hurt" are achievements beyond what their charted history would indicate. While most of their output consisted of charged ballads, there is one cut, "Gonna Fix You Good" that has a distinct Motown Holland-Dozier-Hollandesque feel, a competent effort that offers a change of pace from most of the other tunes on the CD. Most of their charted entries from this later period on DCP, Veep and United Artists are included in this collection. Of the 25 total tracks, the first 18 are exactly the same as those on the early Rhino LA&I collection. This CD goes a bit beyond that, making it a more complete career-spanning collection than the Rhino piece. The sound quality is quite good overall with tracks 1-6,13,14,17,25 in mono, the remainder in stereo. Somewhat oddly, "Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop" appears in its rare stereo version while "I'm On The Outside Looking In" and "Take Me Back" are mono versions. The liner notes four-page booklet contains track listings and a few pics but no backround text. Overall, best of the single-disc "best-ofs" for these icons of the early American rock and roll music era."
Great music from the fifties and sixties
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 01/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Little Anthony and Imperials may not be widely remembered these days, but they recorded some great songs. This compilation contains all the tracks on the Rhino release plus seven others, but (unlike the Rhino CD) no liner notes. In the UK, they hardly made any impact on the charts but two songs here became big UK hits for others. Yesterday has gone became a top five UK hit for Cupid's inspiration in 1968, though their version is very hard to find on CD (actually, that was why I bought this - I really wanted that song - but there is much else to enjoy here).Tears on my pillow, which has been covered by several great singers including Reba McEntire, became a top ten UK hit for Kylie Minogue in the late eighties. (A reggae song with the same title topped the UK charts in the seventies for Johnny Nash - this is NOT the same song.)Hurt was a minor American hit for Little Anthony, but Timi Yuro had the big hit with it. Since then, many others have covered it including Elvis Presley and Juice Newton. Another classic song is Goin' out of my head. You get the original version here, but the Zombies, the Lettermen, Petula Clark, Vikki Carr and Cilla Black are among those who have covered it, so you've probably heard this song somewhere. The Letterman also covered Hurt so bad, also a Little Anthony original to be found here, but the best-known cover of that song is by Linda Ronstadt.This is a great compilation of music by an almost forgotten group. Thanks to all the cover versions, you might recognize at least a few of the songs even if you don't remember the original versions."
"The Voice of the Century"
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 05/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The sweetest natural counter-tenor in all of doo-wop history! This is the music that takes ME back, back to the back seat of my first Chevy, back to the back of the theater and the back of the classroom (for different motives). None of that cardigan sweater crooner pop for me! My buddies and I covered Little Anthony in the instrument closet of the music room at my junior high, and sang it for school assemblies. Oh yeah, oh yeah!"
Darkest Shadow | 05/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My wife and I have been married for many moons now and this CD reminds us of those many moons passed. The tears on our pillows now are tears of joy which come from our hearts. Little Anthony & Imperials-25 Greatest Hits is truely excellent CD. Thank you."