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King of the New York Streets Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, December 5, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 5, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: The Right Stuff
  • ASIN: B00005228H
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,002 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I Wonder Why (Session Talk)
2. I Wonder Why
3. Don't Pity Me
4. A Teenager In Love
5. Where Or When
6. Wonderful Girl
See all 29 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Abraham, Martin & John
2. Purple Haze
3. The Dolphins
4. Daddy Rollin'
5. Your Own Backyard
6. Sanctuary
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. (I Used To Be A) Brooklyn Dodger
2. Spanish Harlem Incident
3. The Truth Will Set You Free
4. And The Night Stood Still
5. Always In The Rain
6. King Of The New York Streets
See all 17 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

The city of New York oughta build a statue of Dion. Like only a handful of rock-era singers--Frankie Valli and Lou Reed come to mind--the Bronx's Dion DiMucci embodies the city's swagger and energy. The amply annotated and illustrated King of the New York Streets neatly captures three phases of Dion on a trio of discs: "The Wanderer" (the doo-wop/pop idol years), "Abraham, Martin & John" (chronicling his confessional singer-songwriter period), and "Brooklyn Dodger" (on the comeback trail). The cocksure leader of the Belmonts and young solo sensation who scored hits with "Runaround Sue" and "The Wanderer" may have lost some of his bluster by the time of 1968's elegiac "Abraham, Martin & John" (penned 20 minutes after Robert Kennedy's assassination) and 1970's "My Own Backyard," which addresses his recovery from heroin addiction. The final disc, however, highlights the work of an artist who's unbowed. Here's an aging but still motivated and gifted performer coming up with solid new songs while confidently interpreting contemporary material (Bruce Springsteen's "If I Should Fall Behind" is turned into a lovely street-corner serenade) and oldies. A 1999 take on another Springsteen song--"Book of Dreams"--proves that, a full 40 years after he first hit the top 10 with "Teenager in Love," Dion's passion persists. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
I buy an awful lot of box sets every month, an awful lot.
I've seen him live twice and these recordings are every bit as good as his live performances, or is it the other way around.
This is a great set, going from the mid 50's through the 80 - 90 era.
Janis K. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Though there have been several great Dion retrospectives released over the years, they've since gone out-of-print, leaving Dion's work fragmented on various oldies and doo-wop compilations as well as a Columbia set collecting his later 60's work. However, with this box set, we once again have a domestic collection that compiles his best work throughout his entire career. The first disc, covering his prime in the 60's, is simply perfect; it could easily be filleted from this box set and issued by itself as a great, even definitive single disc retrospective of Dion's best and most popular work. It collects the best tracks cut with the Belmonts and the classic, breakthrough solo singles ("The Wanderer," "Runaround Sue," etc.). Listening to this material, you'll understand why Rolling Stone would call Dion exhibit A in contesting the notion that nothing great happened in rock between 1960 and the day the Beatles set foot in America.
The next two discs show how well Dion's voice has held up over the years. He's still in strong form, but the quality of the material isn't as strong as his earlier songs. However, there's no denying Dion's unwavering talent in intepreting works from new contemporary writers, particulary Bruce Springsteen, which makes these last two discs still worth exploring, with a few great gems scattered here and there.
This is a definite must for Dion fans, and until they make a single disc compilation like the first disc on this set, this is also the best introduction to Dion.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Lee F. Bonaldi on March 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I'm not sure where to begin with this review. In many ways this CD overwhelms me. Fortunately it is divided into 3 "periods". You can follow Dion from his young swaggering Doo-Wop days, through his "Mid-Life" crisis, and finally to a mature rock'n'roll artist who is as powerful today as he was when he first started out. I don't think that it is an exaggeration to say that there is not one bad track in this collection. The energy that this man can generate at this stage in his career is unique among not only rock'n'roll artists, but musical artists in general. This is not a man who sits on his laurels. I hope Dion is with us for many, many more years to come.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Crabby Apple Mick Lee on January 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful box set. Most Dion collections focus the early short span of years in which he was a teenage idol. Unfortunately, as far as rock is concerned, Dion might was well have fallen off the face of the earth after 1963. This collection gives us a much fuller account of Dion's musical career.
The first disc is full of the early hits and favorites from the late 1950's and early 1960's. Some other collections go much further into the deep catalogue for this period; but all the hits and a few more are thrown in here. I was especially delighted to hear Dion's version of "Spoonful". Yes, it is the very same "Spoonful" Cream would turn into a concert favorite a few years later. It wasn't until I followed along with the liner notes that the song's connection with heroin abuse was made clear. It turns out that heroin addiction was a very real problem for Dion at that time. When I first had heard "Spoonful" in the late 1960's I thought it was about....Well, something else.
The second disc covered the great long years in the wilderness for Dion. These were years in which Dion was very much into the singer/songwriter niche. If most of us know anything at all from this period it is "Abraham, Martin and John". "Abraham, Martin and John" is one of those rare songs that transcends music genre by giving voice to the grief and hope the country felt at the death of Martin Luther King. The melody was simple but compelling while the lyrics were heartfelt without being preachy. It may not rank up there with "Yesterday" in total number of different recorded versions by other artists; but I swear nearly everybody and his brother had their own version of this song on records and in musical concerts for years after 1968.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Greg Brady on August 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I liked Dion's 50s and early 60s stuff (otherwise I'd never have borrowed this set from our local library) but I didn't really expect much out of this overall. I figured there would be some great doo-wop cuts, some OK latter period "nu-wop" (from the Arista YO,FRANKIE LP) and a decent cut here and there from the folkie/singer-songwriter years. I'd never really heard anything post-"Abraham, Martin, and John" since the radio doesn't play those songs. I thought I'd love disc 1 (doo-wop), hate disc 2 (folkie stuff), and tolerate disc 3 (late 70s through the 80s comeback), but this set was a welcome surprise.

Besides the early megahits "A Teenager in Love", "Donna the Prima Donna", "Ruby Baby", "Runaround Sue" and "The Wanderer", I discovered the wistful "I Used to be a Brooklyn Dodger", a pair of gospel gems in "The Truth Will Set You Free" and "Sweet Surrender", the mellow "Sanctuary", Dylanesque "I Can't Help but Wonder Where I'm Bound" and junkie anthem "Your Own Backyard", not to mention "New York City Song" and "Running Close Behind You".

I expected the "comeback" material to be mediocre but I was pleasantly surprised by "And the Night Stood Still" and "King of the New York Streets" along with a nice updating of Frankie Ford's "Sea Cruise" and a cover of Springsteen's "Book of Dreams" in an arrangement that reminded me a bit of Billy Joel's "The Longest Time".

The set isn't perfect: It's missing rarities like the songs Dion recorded as "Dion and the Timberlanes". It would also be nice to have at least 1 of the songs he cut as a demo/Valentine's Day gift for his mother in 1956. ("Wonderful Girl" and "We Belong Together" which helped him get the deal with Laurie Records. We DO get a later version of "Wonderful Girl".
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