23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
TEN GOLD STARS!!!,
This review is from: Doo Wop Box (Audio CD)
I read the price tag on the "Doo-Wop Box" and blanched. Then I clicked on the list of tracks on the CDs and freaked for days. If there was ever a treasure trove of great doo-wop, this is it. "Oh Gee" by the Crows. "Money Honey" by Clyde McPhatter, not Elvis Presley's knock-off; good though that was, it can't touch Clyde's original. "At My Front Door" by the El Dorados (how many times did my friends and I bop to "Crazy little mama come a-knockin', come a-knockin' at my front door, door, door"). "Story Untold" by the Nutmegs (one of the best doo-wop hits of all time). "Why Don't You Write Me" by the Jacks. "Mary Lee" by the Rainbows?!!? That one used to be the Holy Grail of doo-wop back in the day. And so it goes. The Channels, the Heartbeats, the Platters, the Teenagers, the Teenchords (Louis Lymon, the lead, was Frankie Lymon's little brother), the Cadillacs, the Moonglows, the Cleftones, the Platters, the Dells, the Chantels, the Flamingos, the Paragons, the Jesters, and dozens more, they're all here. This is doo-wop nirvana.
There are four CDs in the Doo-Wop Box, with a total of 101 songs. The first CD spans approximately seven years from 1948 to 1955, leading off with the first doo-wop hit, "It's Too Soon to Know" by the Orioles. The second CD encompasses what I'd call the golden age of doo-wop, from 1955 to 1957. This is where you'll find "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" and "I Want You to Be My Girl" by the Teenagers, "Speedo" by the Cadillacs, "Devil or Angel" by the Clovers, "A Thousand Miles Away" by the Heartbeats, "Desiree" by the Charts, "The Closer You Are" by the Channels, "Church Bells May Ring" by the Willows, and sixteen other great songs. The third CD goes from 1958 through 1960 and includes "Been So Long" by the Pastels and "Little Star" by the Elegants and "A Teenager in Love" by Dion and the Belmonts (two of the few white doo-wop groups). The last CD spans the three years between 1960 and 1963 and is probably the weakest of the four; this was around the time when doo-wop was dying out on the airwaves and the great groups from the Fifties had long been disbanded.
Not only do you get four CDs with the "Doo-Wop Box", but the box itself is constructed to last; none of your flimsy cardboard that falls apart when you take the first CD out, this box will be on your shelf in good condition for years. The accompanying booklet, with great photographs and abundant information about all the groups, is a prize in itself. And the sound quality, digitally remastered from the originals, is terrific. "The Doo-Wop Box" is worth every dime of its pricey price tag and more.
Could "The Doo-Wop Box" be any better than it is? Well, if Rhino had only included two of the greatest doo-wop tracks ever recorded, "The Wind" and "You Are" by Nolan Strong and the Diablos, I would have been in paradise. But even without these, "The Doo-Wop Box" represents the very best in doo-wop collections. This is the gold standard. Nothing else comes even close.