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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In need of an upgrade, 4 July 2008
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lovers Who Wander/So Why Didn't You Do That... (Audio CD)
Ace have done quite a lot to revamp their catalogue of Dion repertoire, but this CD compiled in 1991 is still in great need of overhaul. It consists of re-issues of two vinyl albums put out by Ace, one a 1985 compilation of rare and previously unreleased tracks, some from his time with the Belmonts, and the other a Dion solo album originally from 1962. The sound is pretty good throughout, mostly having been mastered from the original two-track tape masters, with all but 10 of the tracks in true stereo (the rest mono, nothing duophonic thank goodness), resulting in a clean, fairly hiss-free result that lacks the reverb that was added to some of the mono mixes at the time.

Product descriptions of the Lovers Who Wander half of the album describe the track-listing as having been "re-sequenced". The vinyl album had added three bonus tracks taken from a subsequent album, Dion Sings Love Comes To Me, but time constraints on the CD meant that two tracks had to be dropped. They are Love Comes To Me (one of the bonus tracks) and Little Diane, a key track on Lovers Who Wander since it was a Top Ten US single at the time the album came out. There must be a rationale behind presenting the album incompletely whilst including two tracks (Little Girl, Candy Man) that belong somewhere else, but it doesn't make sense to me, especially as Little Diane happens to be a favourite of mine.

So Why Didn't You Do That The First Time is presented in full, though, and must have been a revelation when it came out. Alongside bouncing early stereo takes of singles (The Wanderer, Lovers Who Wander, A Teenager In Love, Every Little Thing I Do) there is an alternative take of My Private Joy and some fabulous unheard outtakes (Moon River, Crying, Baby What You want Me To Do, In A Room, Ain't That Better Baby). Also previously unreleased is a version of It Was Never Meant To Be from before the Belmonts overdubbed their doo-wop harmonies. The rest were originally released in 1963 on By Special Request: Dion &The Belmonts Together On Record. They were presumably recorded between 1958 and 1960 and left in the can, apart from two rare tracks (We Went Away/Tag Along) that originally appeared on the Mohawk label in 1957 and comprised the first single by Dion and the Belmonts together.

Neither Dion Sings Love Comes To Me or By Special Request: Dion &The Belmonts Together On Record are in catalogue at the time of writing so perhaps Ace should consider re-issuing Lovers Who Wander in full, paired with Dion Sings Love Comes To Me; and adding the rest of By Special Request to a new edition of So Why Didn't You Do That The First Time, along with any other appropriate material that turns up.
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