Vocal harmony. No sound is more liberating or exciting than the sound of the human voice, and when several people join to intertwine their voices there is the potential for greatness. Dion and the Belmonts were one of the great doo-wop harmony groups of the 1950's. For a variety of reasons they went their separate ways in the 1960's and beyond, and it was not a harmonious parting. When they finally agreed to get together for a one-concert (and one prior rehearsal) appearance after over a decade of not speaking to each other, some rust was to be expected. The first song, "I Wonder Why", makes it obvious that the guys hadn't sung together for a very long time. Dion is tenative and has a very limited range, and the Belmonts seem to be feeling their way around the song.
From that song, the album is a study in the power of music over history. After the first song, the group becomes increasingly comfortable with each other and they find their vocal range quickly. It is an exciting album not only because of the songs and the singers, but because the listener becomes a part of a metamorphasis from four nervous individuals to a group of brilliant singers overwhelmed by the power and beauty of what they can achieve together. You get a sense that, as they explore their past music further, they are taking it beyond what they ever achieved at their prime. Dion's vocal range explodes, and the Belmonts vie with him in pushing harmony to the limits. The NY crowd is with them throughout, and the bond is audible.
This is the one concert that I would give anything to have attended. The CD is the next best thing. If you love Dion & The Belmonts, or doo-wop music, or vocal harmony, or music in any form, I would recommend this CD strongly. I have bought over a dozen copies as gifts for friends, and most have been wowed by it.
I originally paid $18 for the record album (it was before CD's). That was cheap compared to the joy this music brought me. You'll probably pay less than $18... wouldn't you pay as much for the chance to be dazzled? (Hey gang.. trivia question: On the Winter Tour in Iowa 1958, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper toured with a fourth act. The "Night The Music Died", that fourth act was on a bus with the Crickets and the rest of the musicians. Who was that fourth rock & roll group? No hints, other than their faces are on the front of this CD).