This is an amazingly comprehensive series by the UK's premier reissue label, and like volume one, concentrates on pre-British Invasion rock and roll (1954-1963) with an emphasis on artists who worked with small independent labels. There are lots of hits here (14 of these hit the Top 10), but they are mostly one-hit wonders. Only six of these artists charted more than once in the Top 40 and only two charted more than twice. But all that means is these are not artists who have already been anthologized ad nauseam.
Many of these songs will not be found on other anthologies, such as Jimmy Charles' "A Million to One" (No. 5), The Halos' "Nag" (No. 25), The Hollywood Flames' "Buzz Buzz Buzz" (No. 11), or The Bell Notes' "I've Had It" (No. 6). There are also a handful of singles that never cracked the Top 40, like The Willows' "Church Bells May Ring" and the Gladiolas' "Little Darlin'" (both of which would be made into hits by The Diamonds), and The Videls' "Mister Lonely" (not to be confused with Bobby Vinton's hit "Mr. Lonely").
And there are huge hits here, too. Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs' "Stay," The Silhouettes' "Get a Job," and The Hollywood Argyles' "Alley Oop" all went to No. 1--the latter two sold over a million copies each.
Overall, the song selection is great. Seven of these songs (7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 18 and 23) were included in Dave Marsh's book "The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made." And with an unheard of 30 tracks, this collection is sure to satsify all fans of early pop music. As with the previous volume, the booklet is well done with lots of info on the artists and the songs and the sound quality is excellent. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED