I always thought Neil Sedaka was an underated hit maker. From 1958 to 1963, you could always hear his hits on transistor radios on the beach or in car radios and everywhere. He was a master pop song writer and a great singer. His songs featured great hooks and melodies. So when I read about this new release celebrating his 50th year in the business, I ran out and checked it out. The answer: Big dissapointment! The early sides are all re-recorded. I wanted to hear the original versions not some new version. What's up with that? Old hipsters know..just the sound of the original brings back memories. Re-recordings are for newbies who only care about sonic brilliance, but all the ambiance of memories is lost. If you really want a good CD on his early hits, stick with "The Very Best of..." or "All Time Greatest" . The very best of Neil..also features the rare gem from 1959, "I Go Ape", which is hard to find and the best overall sound (released in 2001). You can't go wrong though with either one. This new release could have been "the definitive collection" combining both the best of his RCA and Rocket sides, but alas it's just a marketing scheme by executives who don't really know Neil Sedaka. It's a sampler with too much an emphasis on the newer stuff, some of which never really charted. The earlier CD compilations overall contain more hits and the sound is very good and clean especially "The Very Best of..." which does have more presence and punch, plus the recordings are all original not K-Tel re-recordings.
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