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The Very Best of The Drifters


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Audio CD, April 20, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

16 classic tracks from the 1959-1964 period of this all-time great vocal group, which means you get to hear Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis and Johnny Moore! Includes There Goes My Baby; Save the Last Dance for Me; Up on the Roof; On Broadway; Under the Boardwalk; This Magic Moment; I Count the Tears; Sweets for My Sweet; Saturday Night at the Movies , and more.

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A by-the-numbers, chronological collection that hits all the commercial highlights of the Drifters' Golden Era (1959-64)--after the frequently dazzling early records with Clyde McPhatter, but featuring the consummate vocal stylings of Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis, Johnny Moore, and more on 16 memorable hits. Among the pinnacles: "There Goes My Baby," the record whose unsettling, soaring strings launched the soul era; the romantic perfection of "Save the Last Dance for Me," "This Magic Moment," and the contagiously catchy, Latin-bouncing "Sweets for My Sweet;" and the eternally evocative cityscapes of "Up on the Roof," "Under the Boardwalk," and the stark, gritty "On Broadway." Sleepers include the heartrending Bacharach ballad "Please Stay," "I Count the Tears" (ripped off later on the Grass Roots hit "Let's Live for Today"), and "When My Little Girl Is Smiling," on which strings foreshadow the folk-rock movement. An ideal starter kit on these seminal uptown soul pioneers; those seeking further revelations (and there are plenty of them) are referred to Rockin' & Driftin': The Drifters Box. --Ken Barnes

1. There Goes My Baby
2. (If You Cry) True Love, True Love
3. Dance With Me
4. This Magic Moment
5. Save The Last Dance For Me
6. I Count The Tears
7. Some Kind Of Wonderful
8. Please Stay
9. Sweets For My Sweet
10. When My Little Girl Is Smiling
11. Up On The Roof
12. On Broadway
13. I'll Take You Home
14. Under The Boardwalk
15. I've Got Sand In My Shoes
16. Saturday Night At The Movies

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino/Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0000032ZQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,690 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful By "the-disco-kid" on December 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Question: How can you go wrong with a 16 track collection of the Drifters' biggest & best hits on one CD released by the finest reissue label in the business? Answer: You just can't.
Since Rhino (the label in question) rarely get it wrong and some of the aforementioned 16 songs count timeless classics such as "Save the Last Dance For Me", "Up on the Roof", "On Broadway" and "Under the Boardwalk" this, quite simply put, is a CD no-one should be without.
Unquestionably the finest, affordable Drifters collection out there, you can also trust Rhino (No, I don't work for them) to deliver flawlessly in the sound reproduction and packaging departments, respectively.
As if all that wasn't enough, here are a few more reasons why everyone should own this CD: "There Goes My Baby", "This Magic Moment", "Some Kind of Wonderful", "Sweets For My Sweet", "Please Stay", "Saturday Nigt At the Movies", Goffin/King, Pomus/Scuman, Mann/Weil, Leiber/Stoller, Burt Bacharach and Ben E. King. Magic! 'Nuff said.
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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Eric V. Moye on April 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
FINALLY, after looking through so many offerings, we find good stuff. The originals of the cuts we recall.
The Drifters were so fine, back in their day. And their sound survives to this day in this disc. This has so many of the classics we remember. Such wonderful orchestrations. Such lush vocals by Ben E. King. These are done the way we remember them.
Whether heard remembering up on the roof, or under the boardwalk, these are some magic moments.
"Some Kind of Wonderful", indeed! The place to spend the money - at last.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Drifters were one of those groups that went through a lot of line-up changes, so let's first clear up any confusion first. There was a group with that name before 1959 - it featured Clyde McPhatter and recorded some wonderful R+B, some of which is available on other CD's. That group was disbanded, and a totally different group was given the Drifters name. It is that line-up, featuring Ben E King, which opens this collection (which is presented in chronological order). Ben left after Save the last dance for me to pursue a solo career. His solo hits are not included in this collection, which is why Spanish Harlem and Stand by me are missing. You can obtain these recordings on Ben's own albums, although I've also seen Drifters compilations that include Ben's solo hits.

So, what you get here are sixteen of the finest tracks from their best period, including Save the last dance for me, There goes my baby, Dance with me, On Broadway, Some kind of wonderful, Up on the roof, Under the boardwalk, Saturday night at the movies, When my little girl is smiling, Sweets for my sweet and others - all huge American hits. Only Save the last dance for me was a big hit in Britain for the Drifters, because record companies at that time often found local singers to cover the songs and they had the hits instead. This shameful practice died out by the end of the sixties.

After 1965 (which marks the end of this compilation), the Drifters didn't have much success in America, but they enjoyed a new wave of popularity in the seventies in Britain, where they had several top ten hits. Even as a Brit, I prefer their sixties music, but for anybody interested in their seventies music (including Kissing in the back row of the movies) there are plenty of other compilations available here.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By William E. Adams on August 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
"The Drifters" had four lead singers between 1959-64, in what was the group's second incarnation after its founding in 1953. The name was owned by a manager, not by the members, so singers and musicians were hired and fired at will and did not share in the royalties but were paid for the recording sessions. Today, at rock nostalgia gigs all over the world, various "Drifters" perform the classic hits from this era. This CD offers the original versions, with great sound. If "Up on the Roof" and "On Broadway" and "Under the Boardwalk" and (my favorite) "Save the Last Dance for Me" were the only tracks on the disc, it still would be worth owning. However, the other 12 songs are all pleasant, too...a couple of them even great. No profanity, no overt sexual references, no encouragement to kill cops, no slurs against women...that's why these short songs will be too tame for some of the "rap" generation. For the rest of us, however, these mellow R & B tunes are just right. I bought the 45 rpm of "Last Dance" in the summer of 1960, just before starting 11th grade, and played it over and over and over. I was terminally shy, a bad dancer, destined to remain dateless until my second year of college...but when I listened to "Save the Last Dance for Me" I could pretend to be cool. For that summer of illusion, I owe "The Drifters" a big thank-you.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a pretty good Drifters primer containing all 16 of their Top 40 entries from the '59-'64 period that marked their heyday, presented here in chronological order. Sound quality is uniformly good throughout, in fact quite exceptional considering the age of this material. My one complaint is that everything is in mono. Why? Many of these songs are available in stereo on other CD's. For a more expansive selection of classics (and a lot more stereo) I recommend picking up the 2-disc set "All-Time Greatest Hits & More: 1959-1965" instead.
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