Confused by the headline? Don't be, all it does is refer to a previous series of Oldies But Goodies (1950s-1960s oldies but goodies, just so you know) CD reviews in this space. That gargantuan task required shifting through ten, no, fifteen volumes of material that by the end left me limping, and crying uncle. See, as I explained in the last few reviews of the series, just when I thought I was done at Volume Ten I found that it was a fifteen, fifteen count `em, volume series. In any case I whipped off those last five reviews in one shot to be done with it.
The reason for such haste at that point seemed self-explanatory. After all how much can we rekindle, endlessly rekindle, memories, teen memories, teen high school memories mainly, from a relatively short, if important, part of our lives, even for those who lived and died by the songs (or some of the songs) in the reviewed compilations. How many times can one read about guys with two left feet, the social conventions of dancing close, wallflowers, the avoidance of wallflower-dom, meaningful sighs, meaningless sighs, the longings for certain obviously unattainable shes (or hes), the trials and tribulations associated with high school gymnasium crepe paper-adorned dances, moonlight-driven dream thoughts of after dance doings, and hanging around to the bitter end for that last dance of the night to prove... what. And there and then I threw in the towel, I thought.
Well now I have recovered enough to take a little different look at the music of this period- the doo wop sound that hovered in the background radio of every kid (every kid who had a radio, a transistor radio, to keep parental prying ears at arms length and who was moonstruck enough to have been searching, high and low, for a sound that was not just the same old, same old that his or her parents listened to. Early rock and rock, especially that early Sun Record stuff, and plenty of rhythm and blues met that need but so did, for a time, old doo wop-the silky sounds of lead singer-driven, lyrics-driven, vocal-meshing harmony that was the stuff of teenage "petting" parties and staid old hokey school dances, mainly, in my case, elementary school dances.
As I mentioned in the oldies but goodies reviews not all of the material put forth was good, nor was all of it destined to, or meant to be, playable fifty or sixty years later on some "greatest hits" compilation but some of songs had enough chordal energy, lyrical sense, and sheer danceability, slow danceabilty, to make any Jack or Jill start snapping fingers then, or now. As I asked in that previous series and is appropriate to ask here as well what about the now seeming mandatory question of the best song in the compilation? The one that stands out as the inevitable end of the night high school dance (or maybe even middle school) song? The song that you, maybe, waited around all night for just to prove that you were not a wallflower, and more importantly, had the moxie to, mumbly-voiced, parched-throated, sweaty-handed, asked a girl to dance (women can relate their own experiences, probably similar).
Here the Earls' "Life Is But A Dream" fills the bill. And, yes, I know, this is one of those slow ones that you had to dance close on. And just hope, hope to high heaven, that you didn't destroy your partner's shoes and feet. Well, as I have noted before, one learns a few social skills in this world if for no other reason that to "impress" that certain she (or he for shes, or nowadays, just mix and match your sexual preferences) mentioned above. I did, didn't you?