25 Beach Music Classics
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This ain't the Beach Boys or Jan & Dean-this is East Coast beach-party music with an R&B bent: Build Me Up Buttercup Foundations; Whispers (Getting' Louder) Jackie Wilson; The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss) Betty Everett; Cool Jerk Capitols; Hey! Baby Bruce Channel; Give Me Just a Little More Time Chairmen of the Board, plus Platters, Embers and more. 25 tracks!
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While by no means complete, this terrific 2003 single CD release from Varese Sarabande offers up 25 of the best tunes from the past 50 years. You'll hear the great R&B sounds of The Dominoes "Sixty Minute Man" and Hank Ballard and the Midnighters "Work With Me Annie". Beach music reached the height of its popularity in the 1960's and there is a large representation of tunes from that decade on this disc. Enjoy again classics like "Cool Jerk" by The Capitols, "Hello Stranger" by Barbara Lewis and the rousing party tune "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love) by The Swingin' Medallions. Credit engineer Steve Massie for a terrific mastering job on this disc. And there are a few nice surprises on the disc as well. If you have never heard the music of The Embers you are in for a real treat. The opening track, "I Love Beach Music" appears to be the national anthem of Beach Music. There are a couple of other tunes on this disc that I did not previously own that are surprisingly good. "Come To Me Softly" by Jimmy James and the Vagabonds would remind you very much of a Gerry and the Pacemakers tune. I was particularly impressed by a 1987 tune from O.C. Smith called "Brenda". It really makes me wonder why we did not hear more of this wonderful voice after "Little Green Apples" in 1968.
I had given some consideration to purchasing the 2 CD set "I Love Beach Music" from South Carolina's Ripete Records. But the $32.49 price tag scared me off. I thought this was the better bargain. I stopped short of a five star rating because while the Varese did a respectable job on the 8 page booklet, I would have preferred to see a bit more about the history of Beach Music. But all in all, this is one terrific buy. Highly Recommended.