The Stroll - 4 Original Plus 17 Bonus Tracks ORIGINAL RECORDINGS REMASTERED SET
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The Diamonds were the most commercially successful white vocal group of the R&R era. This compilation features fifteen US hits, including their million selling international hit "Little Darlin'" as well as "Silhouettes", "Daddy Cool" and "The Stroll". Also included in their entirety are their albums 'America's No. 1 Singing Stylists', 'The Diamonds Meet Pete Rugolo' and 'Songs From The Old West' which have never previously appeared on CD. This is a unique set, wholly unlike any other Diamonds collection.
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“The Stroll: 4 Original LPs Plus 17 Bonus Tracks” by the Diamonds, released by Jasmine Records from UK in 2011, is a 2-CD set with 65 songs, consisting of 4 LPs and 17 bonus singles. I have compiled a detailed song listing (including album and singles label & number, chart position, release date, plus personal comments)(BB Pop=Billboard Hot 100; BB R&B=Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart; CB Pop=Cash Box Singles Chart; RW Pop=Record World Singles Chart; UK=UK Singles Chart):
LP “AMERICA’S NO. 1 SINGING STYLISTS” or “THE DIAMONDS” (Mercury MG-20309)(1957):
01 Til My Baby Comes Home
02 Shoo Ya Blues
03 Oh, How I Wish (Mercury 71165X45)(b-side to “Zip Zip”, August 1957)
04 One and Only
06 Girl of Mine
07 Honey Bird (Mercury 7MT 187)(UK b-side to “Silhouettes”, November 1957)
08 For You Alone
09 My Dog Likes Your Dog
10 Zip Zip (Mercury 71165X45)(a-side, BB Pop 16/August 1957; BB R&B 12/1957; CB Pop 36/1957; RW Pop 69/1957)
11 Cool Cool Baby
12 You Are the Limit
LP “AMERICA’S FAMOUS SONG STYLISTS” (Wing MGW-12114)(1959):
13 The Stroll (Mercury 71242X45)(a-side, BB Pop 4/December 1957; BB R&B 5/1957; CB Pop 1(2)/1957; RW Pop 1(2)/1957)*their only #1 song in CB and the 2nd #1 song on RW
14 You Baby You (Mercury 70790X45)(b-side to “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”, February 1956)
15 Ev’ry Night About This Time (Mercury 70889X45)(b-side to “Love, Love, Love”, RW Pop 83/June 1956)
16 Ka-Ding-Dong (Mercury 70934X45)(a-side, BB Pop 35/September 1956; BB R&B 8/1956; CB Pop 17/1956)
17 A Thousand Miles Away (Mercury 71021X45)(uncharted a-side, December 1956)
18 Ev’ry Minute of the Day (Mercury 71021X45)(b-side to “A Thousand Miles Away”, December 1956)
19 Little Darlin’ (Mercury 71060X45)(a-side, BB Pop 2(8)/March 1957; BB R&B 2/1957; CB Pop 2/1957; RW Pop 1(1)/1957; UK 3/1957)*their biggest hit; only charted single in UK
20 Faithful and True (Mercury 71060X45)(b-side to “Little Darlin’”, March 1957)
21 Straight Skirt (Mercury 71194X45)(b-side to “Passion Flower”, 1957)
22 Silhouettes (Mercury 71197X45)(a-side, BB Pop 10/November 1957; BB R&B 6/1957)*surprisingly not charting in CB & RW
23 Passion Flower (Mercury 71194X45)(uncharted a-side, 1957)
24 Daddy Cool (Mercury 71197X45)(b-side to “Silhouettes”, November 1957)
25 Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots (Coral 9-61502)(uncharted a-side, September 1955)*their 1st single
26 Why Do Fools Fall in Love LOVE (Mercury 70790X45)(a-side, BB Pop 12/February 1956; CB Pop 2(2)/1956)*their 1st charted single
27 Church Bells May Ring (Mercury 70835X45)(a-side, BB Pop 14/April 1956; CB Pop 23/1956; RW Pop 17/1956)
28 Love, Love, Love (Mercury 70889X45)(a-side, BB Pop 30/June 1956; BB R&B 14/1956)
29 Soft Summer Breeze (Mercury 70934X45)(b-side, BB Pop 34/September 1956)
30 My Judge and My Jury (Mercury 70983X45)(uncharted a-side, October 1956)*their 1st uncharted single on Mercury
31 Words of Love (Mercury 71128X45)(a-side, BB Pop 13/June 1957; BB R&B 12/1957; CB Pop 47/1957; RW Pop 49/1957)
32 Don’t Say Goodbye (Mercury 71128X45)(b-side to “Words of Love”, RW Pop 56/June 1957)
33 High Sign (Mercury 71291X45)(a-side, BB Pop 37/April 1958; CB Pop 21/1958; RW Pop 32/1958)
34 Chick-Lets (Don’t Let Me Down)(Mercury 71291X45)(b-side, April 1958)
LP “THE DIAMONDS MEET PETE RUGOLO” (Mercury MG-20368)(1958):
01 Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams
02 Baby Won’t You Please Come Home
03 The Best Things in Life Are Free
04 Ain’t Misbehavin’
05 Until the Real Thing Comes Along
06 I’ll Always be in Love With You
07 Will You Still Be Mine
09 For All We Know
10 One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)
11 Lulu’s Back in Town
12 You’ll Never Walk Alone
LP “SONGS FROM THE OLD WEST” (Mercury MG-20480)(1960):
13 Cool Water
14 San Antonio Rose (Mercury 45349)(Australian b-side to “Passion Flower”, 1960)
15 Beautiful Brown Eyes
16 High Noon
17 Wagon Wheels
18 There’s a Gold Mine in the Sky
19 My Little Buckaroo
20 Cattle Call
21 Empty Saddles
22 The Streets of Laredo
23 The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
24 Home on the Range
25 Dance With Me*from EP “The Diamonds” (Mercury EP-1-3390)(1958)
26 Kathy-O (Mercury 71330X45)(a-side, BB Pop 16/July 1958; CB Pop 37/1958; RW Pop 37/1958)*from film “Kathy-O” starring Kathy McCormack
27 The Happy Years (Mercury 71330X45)(b-side, BB Pop 73/August 1958)
28 Walking Along (Mercury 71366X45)(a-side, BB Pop 29/October 1958; CB Pop 19/1958; RW Pop 30/1958)
29 She Say (Oom Dooby Doom)(Mercury 71404X45)(a-side, BB Pop 18/January 1959; CB Pop 12/1959; RW Pop 18/1959)
30 Sneaky Alligator (Mercury 71468X45)(a-side, RW Pop 103/June 1959)
31 Batman, Wolfman, Frankenstein, or Dracula (Mercury 71534X45)(b-side, RW Pop 108/October 1959)
1 This is really a decent collection of 4 LPs by the Diamonds. There are also 17 bonus singles, plus many singles are already found within the albums.
2 The sound is very good, as per usual high standards at Jasmine Records.
3 There is a 6-page foldout booklet, with an informative essay by Hugh Jorgan. Labels and numbers, and release year are included.
4 65 songs. Good value!
1 Editing errors: (1) LP “America’s Famous Song Stylists” was released in 1959, not 1958 as stated (2) LP “The Diamonds Meet Pete Rugolo” was released in 1958, not 1959 as stated.
2 The singles are not sequenced chronologically.
If you are looking for the Singles Collection by the Diamonds, I would highly recommend “The Complete Singles As & Bs 1955-62” (Acrobat Music, 2CDs, 2017, 64 songs, containing every single released, containing many rare gems not found in this current set). If you are looking for their albums on CD, this current set is a decent collection with good sound, and is recommended.
This compilation will surprise some with the depth of the Diamonds musical repertoire and stylings including the LP from 1960 "Songs From The Old West" which may remind you of the singing cowboy westerns back in the day. All the tunes on this section of the second CD make you forget that The Diamonds are noted as Rock and Rollers.
On a bad note, the LP included The Diamonds Meet Pete Rugolo which on my set is poorly transferred and the vocals are very hard to hear over the orchestrations. That is a shame as this is comprised of mostly Broadway and Hollywood numbers which illustrate the abilities of The Diamonds to cross genres and especially the classical training of lead singer David Somerville. This recording error should push the rating to four stars, but the rest of the set more than makes up for the faux pas.
The liner notes are adequate, but could have contained much more about the history of the group. I would have included more connections between the covers and original versions, as many of the songs will be unfamiliar to some people even in the original versions.
The Diamonds were a white group which crossed over into the primarily black Rhythm and Blues charts many times. Their music will be enjoyed by anyone, of any culture, who likes good music. This is one CD not to miss.