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Reviews Written by
Paul Tognetti "The real world is so much more interesting!" RSS Feed (Cranston, RI USA)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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People
People
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Why some records become hits and others do not has alway baffled me., June 28, 2016
This review is from: People (MP3 Music)
The Tymes were an R&B vocal group from Philadelphia best remembered for a pair of outstanding hit records in 1963. The group's debut single "So Much In Love" raced all the way to the top of the charts In July of that year. Then just a few short months later their soulful remake of Johnny Mathis' classic "Wonderful, Wonderful" also became a Top Ten hit. In the years that followed the group continued to record but with much less success. In 1968 The Tymes released their soulful version of Barbra Streisand's Grammy award-winning tune "People". What an outstanding record! I guess the timing was bad because the record stalled at #39 nationally. I have always loved this record and still enjoy it to this day.


What's New?
What's New?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly unforgettable recording!, June 28, 2016
This review is from: What's New? (MP3 Music)
To my way of thinking Linda Ronstadt is among the most versatile and gifted female vocalists in the history of American popular music. Case in point: in 1983 Linda Ronstadt was generally considered to be the leading female vocalist of the Rock Era. You can imagine the head scratching by her producer and her legions of fans when she boldly announced that she would be recording an album of standards with the legendary arranger and bandleader Nelson Riddle. It all began a year earlier when Linda called Riddle and asked him if he would consider arranging one song for her upcoming album. Rather, Riddle suggested that he do the entire album himself and thus "What's New" was conceived. Evidently Linda Ronstadt knew what she was doing because "What's New" sold more than two million copies and spent an impressive 81 weeks on Billboard's Album chart. In my view her recording of this 1939 standard from the Great American Songbook is the best thing she ever did. And given her extensive and varied discography that is saying a lot!


Canadian Sunset
Canadian Sunset
Price: $0.69

5.0 out of 5 stars The song that propelled Andy Williams to stardom., June 28, 2016
This review is from: Canadian Sunset (MP3 Music)
He hailed from the tiny town of Wall Lake, Iowa. As he recalls "there were no paved roads in the town, just dirt and gravel, and none of the streets had a name; it was that small a town. The population then was just 749, and that probably included the occupants of the cemetery." And yet from these humble beginnings Andy Williams would go on to become one of the most popular singers in America. In 1956 Andy Williams signed with Archie Bleyer's Cadence records. Several months later the label released Andy's first hit single. "Canadian Sunset" would spend a total of 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and peak at #7. It remains one of Andy Williams most beloved recordings.


Papa Gene's Blues (2006 Remastered Original Stereo Version)
Papa Gene's Blues (2006 Remastered Original Stereo Version)
Price: $1.29

5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten gem from The Monkees debut album., June 27, 2016
For a couple of years in the mid 1960's The Monkees were nothing short of a national phenomenon. Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz and Michael Nesmith became household names virtually overnight. Their debut single "Last Train To Clarksville" was released in September of 1966 and would go all the way to #1 on the Billboard charts. That very same month "The Monkees" TV show debuted on NBC and just a few weeks later "The Monkees" LP was released and would go on to top the national charts for 13 weeks! Producer Don Kirshner would spare no expense in providing quality material for his sensational new group.

One of the best tracks on that debut LP was a neat little rockabilly number called "Papa Gene's Blues". Mike Nesmith wrote the tune and provided the lead vocals. He would remind you a lot of Ricky Nelson. Note the fantastic pickin' on this record. Among the players are James Burton (Nelson's outstanding lead guitarist) and Glen Campbell. This tune sounds every bit as good today as it did when it was first recorded just 50 years ago.


Bus Stop (Remastered)
Bus Stop (Remastered)
Price: $0.89

5.0 out of 5 stars A memorable Top 40 hit from the summer of 1966., June 27, 2016
This review is from: Bus Stop (Remastered) (MP3 Music)
The Hollies burst onto the American music scene at the height of the British Invasion in 1964. The band had some modest success on the national charts with tunes like "I Can't Let Go" and their debut single "Just One Look" which was an outstanding remake of the Doris Troy's hit from earlier in the decade. But it was not until the summer of 1966 that the boys had their breakthrough single "Bus Stop". This bouncy little ditty went all the way to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and The Hollies were on their way. This is the original Imperial hit recording that has been re-mastered for your enjoyment.


Last Dance
Last Dance
Price: $1.29

5.0 out of 5 stars "The Queen of Disco" at the peak of her career., June 27, 2016
This review is from: Last Dance (MP3 Music)
There's just no question about it. Donna Summer was one of a handful of shining stars to emerge from an otherwise lackluster decade in the history of American popular music. Lots of people would agree that the 1970's left an awful lot to be desired musically. Having said that, between 1975 and 1989 Donna Summer would place an impressive total of 31 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. Of these, nearly half hit the Top Ten while 4 of her records made it all the way to #1! She was definitely the exception to the rule!

Although I really enjoyed many of her 1970's releases I thought the best of the bunch was 1978's "Last Dance". Evidently lots of folks agree as the tune won Grammy's for "Best R&B Song" and "Best R&B Female Vocal". Meanwhile, her performance of the tune in the motion picture "Thank God It's Friday" won the Oscar for Best Song. There is no just no doubt about it. This is Donna Summer at her absolute best.


Don't Mess With Bill
Don't Mess With Bill
Price: $1.29

5.0 out of 5 stars The best record The Marvelettes ever made., June 27, 2016
This review is from: Don't Mess With Bill (MP3 Music)
The Marvelettes were a female R&B vocal group from Insker, MI who signed on with Berry Gordy's fledgling Motown label in 1961. The group released more than two dozen singles on Motown's subsidiary label Tamla during the 1960's but only five of these records were able to crack the Top 20 nationally on the pop charts. Of these my favorite is "Don't Mess With Bill" which was released very late in 1965 and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February of 1966 and at #3 on the R&B Singles chart. The song was written and produced by Smokey Robinson. Wanda Young does a terrific job as lead on this tune.


Those Were The Days (2010 - Remaster)
Those Were The Days (2010 - Remaster)
Price: $1.29

5.0 out of 5 stars One of 1968's biggest hits., June 26, 2016
Mary Hopkin was just 17 years old when she was discovered by Paul McCartney in 1968. She was a Welch folk singer and Paul deemed her voice perfect for a 1920's Russian folk song he was longing to record called "Those Were The Days". Talk about unconventional! McCartney's instincts were right on the money and "Those Were The Days" became a worldwide smash. This is the original Apple recording you would remember from the radio.


Girl of My Best Friend
Girl of My Best Friend
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I love this record!, June 26, 2016
This review is from: Girl of My Best Friend (MP3 Music)
Ral Donner was a pop vocalist from Chicago whose style was very similar to that of Elvis Presley. Elvis recorded the original version of this tune in March of 1960 shortly after his release from the army. It appears on the "Elvis Is Back" LP. When RCA did not release it as a single the next move was obvious. After being signed by Gone Records, Donner recorded the tune backed by a group called The Starfires and it became a nationwide hit peaking at #19 in mid-1961. Many listeners thought that the cover was actually Elvis himself. This is the original hit recording you would remember from the radio.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2016 2:13 PM PDT


Give Me You
Give Me You
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A five star performance in every way., June 26, 2016
This review is from: Give Me You (MP3 Music)
When you stop and think about it, the great Jackie Wilson was really just kind of "warming up" during his splendid stint as the young lead singer of Billy Ward and the Dominoes. When the legendary Clyde McPhatter left the Dominoes to pursue a solo career in 1952, Billy Ward was savvy enough to hire Jackie Wilson to replace him. And although the style of the music would change a bit the results were still the same. Billy Ward and His Dominoes continued to churn out some of the finest R&B sides of the 1950's. Among them was this dynamite side from 1955 called "Give Me You". This one has everything....Jackie's sensational lead, tremendous background vocals and great sax work. The original hit recording.


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