Customer Reviews: Dion & Belmonts - Greatest Hits
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VINE VOICEon June 24, 2001
While there have been numerous Dion/Dion w/Belmonts CD's that have come and gone, this effort out of the German Repertoire label is a superb accomplishment. This single-disc greatest hits collection is the first true gathering of greatest hits for Dion's entire career. While there are some minor charted records not included here, these twenty tracks represent every invasion of the top-40 by Dion, solo and with the Belmonts. Indicative of the completeness of this set is the inclusion of "Be Careful Of Stones That You Throw", a tune nearly always ignored in other Dion collections.

Sound quality is excellent - on a par with the work that Ace Records did with the Dion Laurie catalog some time ago. All tracks except four, six and eight are in true stereo. Liner notes are sparse - comprising a brief, half-page synopsis of Dion's career - but is offered in both English and German.

A six-star rating in deserved to some degree simply because Repertoire has produced exactly what it calls this disc - Dion and the Belmonts' Greatest Hits - and has done it extremely well. If only one single-CD Dion disc is going into a collection, this unquestionably deserves top priority.
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HALL OF FAMEon July 31, 2002
One very talented artist from the late 1950s and 1960s that has slid from public notice is Dion Dimucci, more popularly known simply as Dion. Starting with a group of neighborhood pals as �Dion and the Belmonts�, he rose literally from the streets of New York to become one of the most successful pop recording artists of the era. Competing against other perpetual hit machines like Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Dion produced a steady stream of chart busters throughout the early and mid 1960s. All of that music, as well as his return to public acclaim with the fabulously successful �Abraham, Martin, and John� near the end of the decade after the assassinations of both Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.
Most of his chartbusters are here, from his initial success with the Belmonts with �Teenager In Love� to �The Still Of The Night� to �Where Or When� to his fabulously popular �The Wanderer�, which touted the smarmy style of swaggering, wildly pompadoured teenage males playing the irresistible male stereotype as best they knew how, with skin tight Levis and form-fit white tees shirts, rolled-up sleeves and all. And the flood of similar songs also making the top ten are also here, including �Runaround Sue�, �Ruby Baby�, �Donna The Prima Donna�, �The Majestic�, �Drip Drop�, and on and on. Here we find such gems as �Sandy�, �This Little Girl�, �Be Careful Of Stones That You Throw�, and �Little Dian�. Listening to this collection is like stepping back in time to my own adolescence, when life was simpler and the radio was filled with a stream of non-stop hits from a plethora of artists, who, like Dion, seemed to be able to just keep pumping them out, one after another, with almost monotonous regularity. Enjoy!
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on April 23, 2002
If you're looking for a quintessential collection of Dion & The Belmonts music on a single disc, then look no further than this German import of Dion & The Belmonts Greatest Hits! Let me tell you, the pristine sound quality on this disc has to be heard to be believed, especially when considering that most of these songs were recorded at least 35 years ago! You'd swear they were recorded yesterday! The fine packaging and the fact that every one of Dion & The Belmonts Top 40 singles spanning three different record labels are included on this disc make it WELL worth the value price! My question is, why can't U.S. labels ever seem to put out high quality single disc collections like this??? I've gotten to the point where I'm turning exclusively to import titles to get all my oldies music compiled and remastered the way I want it!!
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on July 1, 2000
It's a pure delight to finally have all of Dion's major hits, solo and with The Belmonts, on one CD. This import album truly delivers the goods. There is currently (and never been before) a U.S. compilation that matches this one, seeing as how Dion's solo hits between 1961 and 1968 were on 3 different labels, thereby making licensing more difficult for a single disc compilation. It's the best collection available for those who want just the biggest hits from Dion & The Belmonts and Dion solo. I would also put it in the category of one of the all-time best "Greatest Hits" albums ever made.
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on November 22, 2015
Dion with the Belmonts and later as a solo act kept the spirit of doo-wop and rock'n'roll alive even through the country and pop dominated early sixties. As a group they were unbeatable, able to do the most complex four-part harmonies, sometimes with each voice doing something completely different then stopping on a dime, as their first big hit "I Wonder Why" amply demonstrates. That song was a revelation and led to a series of hits peaking with the rock classic "A Teenager In Love" with Dion doing a strong lead and "Where or When", the old Rodgers and Hart song done as a slow dance number in close four-part harmony and Dion taking the lead only briefly.

With many appearances on American Bandstand and multiple hits they were a staple of the late fifties and very early sixties, but there were tensions beneath the surface. Though I love their version, maybe it was unfortunate that "Where or When" was such a big hit because their label, New York's Laurie Records, pressured them to move in an easy listening direction, doing songs like "When You wish Upon a Star" and "In the Still of the Night". It seems The Belmonts themselves weren't opposed to going in this direction and would have been happy to become a harmony group like The Four Lads or The Four Aces.

But not Dion. Dion was a true rocker, and there always always a bit of the bad boy to him. No way was he going to be confined to supper club songs. In the Belmonts era "A Teenager In Love" was the true heart and soul of Dion, whose style was very emotive. Though often lumped in with the Teen Idols, Dion's style was totally different. Most of them were pop singers and potential crooners but Dion sang in an R&B style full of emotion and a soaring voice that just wouldn't be contained. After a bit of a slow start after "Lonely Teenager" he became one of the major stars of the early sixties, dependably turning out hit after hit, many of them classics like "Runaround Sue", "The Wanderer" "Lovers Who Wander"and "Donna the Prima Donna". Most of those were co-written by Dion with Ernie Maresca, an old doo-wop singer himself who had his own hit with "Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out" in 1962. He had hits right to the end of 1963 but was one of many singers who were completely buried by the British Invasion. He was also one of those fortunate to have a later big hit with "Abraham, Martin and John" in 1968, just as Bobby Darin, Neil Sedaka and Paul Anka.

There are lots of collections of Dion and the Belmonts out there but I picked this one because it has more songs than most without going into an extra disc. My only quibble is that I would have liked to see "Tell Me Why", The Belmonts first post-Dion song and the only one that had any chart action, and a nice little rock'n'roll number. Repertoire Records has a good reputation for their reissues and this is no exception. They use the original masters and the sound is terrific. All the major and minor hits are here, even all the songs from when he switched from Laurie to Columbia and both labels were putting out Dion singles. They are not in order of release, which I prefer in order to listen to a performer's development or remember the times of those hits in the order that they happened. This seems like it would be especially relevant here since there are two distinct periods, with or without The Belmonts. But no one seems to do that and I can always make a chronological playlist when I want.

Like many other CD's here, this one uses a photo with Dion, Carlo and Fred, only. Angelo was a full member of the group and its high voice. He was the one who'd show up on American Bandstand in his Navy uniform. In the spirit of fairness I think that a CD should show them as the quartet that they were. This does not detract from the quality of this CD, however, but I just noticed how many CD's use a trio photo.

I'm glad to see this collection listed at the top, which means it is the best seller. If you're looking for a Dion & the Belmonts collection, this is the one to get.
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VINE VOICEon June 26, 2006
Here is Dion & Dion and Belmonts in a wonderful series of hits. Great fun for those new to the music and great memories for those who remember.

After Elvis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rock music fell into the doldrums of 58-63 and the Italian American doo-wop groups went into the gap. (There were really two '60's - the later wild '60's, after '65, that everyone knows, and the totally different early 60's). No money for instruments, they developed 4 part harmonies singing acapella on the streets corners on Phildelphia and New York. Many of them were not very talented, Fabian Forte, Frankie Avalon, etc. But head and shoulders above the rest of them was the alternately sensitive or swaggering baby-faced Dion DiMucci, the Swinging King of the Bronx. Originally Dion's soaring tenor with his greaser friends from Belmont Avenue.

Dion had (still has) a great voice. This collection has all his great hits and a few lesser ones. Many cautionary tales about Dion getting cheated on by a variety of sl_tty girlfriends (Runaround Sue, Little Diane), gold digggers like Donna the Prima Donna or Dion feeling sad about being alone. But there is also a lot of fun and swagger, with songs like "The Wanderer".

The sound reproduction here is astonding! Really three-dimensional soundstage, the Germans did a much better job remastering this than any of other CD's that contain this same music. It starts good with four chords songs like "the Wanderer" and gets better and better, reaching it's peak with "Ruby Baby", "Donna the Prima Donna" and the sideways sea-sick "Drip Drop". These pressings sound like they could have been recorded yesterday!

Compare Dion's "Ruby Baby" with Donald Fagen's (Steely Dan) classic cover on "Nightfly". Then compare this music to Dion's masterful Dion's new acoustic blues release "Bronx In Blue". Great, truly memorable music on all three albums. You need these albums in your collection.
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on July 27, 2002
Working in a health care facility, I was amazed that I did not think of using this CD sooner to make my patients happy. Of course I grew up with this sound, but so did many others. When I introduced this CD into the program, it reached so many. We all sing along, the staff and patients alike, and it makes things just a little bit better. I keep a copy in the car just for me too. This is a real feel good CD and I highly recommend it!
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on December 18, 2014
If you`re like me (and most others) you want the HITS, baby. You got `em, in this one comprehensive collection, one of the very best retrospectives on a single CD. One minor quibble: The Belmonts aren`t on every track by any means, so the title`s a bit misleading. Just a minor point.

There is no `filler` in this CD; every cut is a boni fide Top 40 hit (only one is missing, `Don`t Pity Me` which managed to hit number 40, in 1959.) That means it includes 20 hits (with and without the Belmonts) on TWO different record labels, throughout Dion Dimucci`s entire ``hit`` career, from 1958`s I Wonder Why to 1968`s Abraham Martin and John, which he released long after he and his buddies had left the doo-wop street corner of their youth. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

I`m constantly thinning and revising my CD collection. I`m tossing two CDs--one featuring 10 hits from the days at Laurie records and another, featuring an overview of Dion`s slightly later work on Columbia (Ruby Baby; Drip Drop). This one disc will replace them both, and I get MORE hits than the other two combined.

Dion lives a `happily ever after`` story, for a number of reasons.

Like many, many other recording artists, drugs took a toll on him. However, Dion got himself clean--and kept clean. For that alone, he is notable. Five years after his last hit, the folks at Laurie got in touch, and introduced him to a new song. The song was his--but only if he returned to his former label. Dion didn`t hesitate and the result was Abraham Martin and John--and a poignant return to the charts. After completing his vocal track, Dion himself laid down the acoustic guitar track.

He is still at work in his elder years (as of 2012) writing and recording the blues. One listen to these new recordings and you realize that Dion is in very rare company: his voice is still vibrant and strong, something that very few artists from the late 50s (let alone the 60s!) can claim. An amazing talent.

Get this one.
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If you're looking like I was for Dion's hits that sound like the oldies stations play them, this is it.
I play this one so much, loving those goldies: "Wanderer" "Donna the Prima Donna" "Ruby Baby"etc.
Even has some more which I have become fond of hearing, such as "Love Came To Me" and "Drip Drop."
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on June 2, 2006
This is an absolutely irreplaceable collection of some of the real themes of another era. If you are trying to evoke the mood of the 1950s, who better than Dion?

This collection spans a long period of time, indeed. Dion was criticized for recording the same song over and over again. There are strong thematic resonances in his music, all right, but this collection takes us al the way up to somethings which sound totally different, too.

Dion's talent and originality will last for decades to come. If you need a reminder, this collection is really first-rate.
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