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4.7 out of 5 stars31
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 18 April 2001
When BGO reissued Del's 60's LP's on CD a while back (and they are excellent by the way), I had hoped that all non-LP singles sides would be issued as bonus tracks. Unfortuntately, this was not the case. This 2 CD set rectifies the situation as it contains every 45 single side (from US, UK, and Phillipines) issued by Del on the Big Top, Berlee, and Amy labels in the early 60's. Thus it includes tracks not readily available elsewhere such as "The Wamboo"--the flip side of "Little Town Flirt".
The sound is just fabulous. I guess Charly must've gotten their hands on some low-generation masters. The fold out booklet has a good essay on Shannon's career, primarily focusing on the years the set covers, 1961-65. It also includes a discography of that era.
The only complaints, if there must be any, is that stereo masters were used in some cases rather than the original mono singles masters. Nitpicking? Maybe a little. However, because of this, "Hey! Little Girl" is missing Del's harmony vocal. It was dubbed onto the original mono master at mix time making the mono version the only 'real' version of the song (thankfully it is included on the BGO Runaway/Hats Off...CD).
Get this CD, the BGO reissues, and the hard-to-find US CD "Liberty Years" and you will have a complete record of Shannon's 60's output.
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This, as far as I can tell, is one of the best collections of Del Shannon's work currently available. This two disc collection collects together 40 of his best tracks, including all the big hits such as `Runaway' and `Hats off to Larry'.

I bought this as I was looking for a copy of `Runaway', and found myself amazed at the quality of the other tracks. There is a wealth of material here, mostly in the vein, all with Del's distinctive vocalisations and all uniformly excellent. There are covers of quite a few tracks that were hits for Roy Orbison (`Running Scared' and `Crying' for example), and I am starting to prefer Del's versions to Roy's (quite an accolade from a die hard Orbison fan such as myself!)

The sound quality is OK, and there is a decent booklet with an essay about Del Shannon's recording career. This really is a great set even if you only want one or two of the big hits - I can assure you you'll be listening to it over and over again.
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It appears that Del Shannon (born Charles Westover) was more popular in Britain than his American homeland although his first and biggest hit, Runaway, was a huge 1961 hit in both countries.
In Britain, he had seven further top ten hits, these being Hats off to Larry, So long baby, Hey little girl, Swiss maid, Little town flirt, Two kinds of teardrops and Keep searching. Most of them made the UK top five. Del had minor UK hits with Cry myself to sleep, Two silhouettes, Sue's gotta be mine, Mary Jane, Handy man and Stranger in town. The run of hits ended in 1965.
All of Del's UK hits are here, together with his covers of pop songs that were originally hits for Roy Orbison), Elvis Presley, Dion, Bruce Channel, Jay and the Americans, the Beatles, Peter and Gordon, the Four Seasons and Gene Pitney among others. There are also covers of country songs by George Jones, Hank Williams, adapted (like the pop covers) to suit Del's style.
This is an outstanding collection of Del's finest music. If you enjoy rock'n'roll music of the early sixties, you will surely enjoy this compilation.
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on 18 February 2014
This is most possibly the best Del Shannon collection there is around, certainly the best that I have ever come across.

Contains a few rarities that don't often appear on collections like these such as "The Snake" that is a non Del Shannon track but recorded by Max Crook the keyboardist who played in the instrumental break of "Runaway" that was accidentally released as the B side on the first few thousand copies of the single (a real collectors item!) and the recordings for Pepsi Ads which I previously had never heard before but obviously another gem.

Another few other tracks I hadn't heard before were: The Wamboo, Since She's Been Gone, Time of Day, Stains on My Letter & This is All I Have to Give.

There is another collecton which bears the same title also released by Charly under the Snapper Music label, THIS ONE IS BY FAR MUCH BETTER! More tracks and more comprehensive (covers all areas - A/B-Sides, album tracks, covers, and rarities)

BUY WHILST YOU CAN!
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American Charles Weedon Westover became internationally famous under the name Del Shannon gaining mass recognition in 1961 for the song ‘Runaway’ the first track we are presented with here. Funnily enough I was talking to my mum and said that I had bought this CD boxset and she immediately said that that single was the first vinyl she ever bought when she started working.

All the songs that appear here were either written or co-written by Del, or were covers, and to be honest he did some great cover versions, and along with kd lang are the only artistes that I enjoy doing Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’ along with Roy of course. This boxset is made up of forty tracks all of them being recorded between 1961-1965 and although at times there is a bit of hiss and crackle on the whole these are good recordings.

With what was referred to as a Musitron on ‘Runaway’ (a heavily modified clavioline which was the forerunner of the synthesiser) something similar was used the following year for that big hit ‘Telstar’ by The Tornados. I personally prefer Del’s cover of ‘From Me To You’ which was of course a Beatles song, to the original.

If you are looking for good old Sixties music from a master you can’t really go wrong with this, and you will also find the piece on Del by Roger Dopson in the liner notes quite interesting. This is a good introduction to those new to Del Shannon and reminds us all of some of the great music from this period.
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on 6 August 2009
I have always loved Del's music, this album has all he's greatest hits plus lots of covers, which is why i bought it, love needles and pins, which was an orignal by the searchers plus twist and shout, rag doll, go away little girl etc, a splendid album.
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on 19 March 2001
Any one whio can listen to "since she's been gone" and not fully empathise with the mood of this song must surely have a heart of stone. And this is only one of the many wonderful tunes available on this album.
Del Shannon is consistent in his delivery and you know that any song is going to be good. The only problem with this album is that it has so much material on it that you can't help but feel they were scaping the barrel at times.
On the whole though, this is an album that puts you in the mood -it doesn't matter what mood you want to be put into, this is the music to take you there.
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on 13 August 2012
Del Shannon became a pop icon in the 1960`s, then he disappeared for a while, started along the comeback trail, but passed on before he could make a second impact.

This collection marks the early forays into the pop world and for the most part they stand up well. This 40 track 2 CD collection contains all the hits and for the most part the "B" sides as well. Included are some album tracks, again mostly good. However, there are four dire tracks, which were big hits for other people, and that does not help. "Running Scared" and "Crying" (Roy Orbison), "His Latest Flame" (Elvis Presley) and "I`m Gonna Be Strong" (Gene Pitney). On three of these tracks Del lacks the powerful voice needed for impact and on the other one the arrangement is poor.

To compensate for this he does some good to excellent covers of "Runaround Sue", the backing is a little overbearing, "Hey Baby", "Dream Baby" and "Go Away Little Girl". Three Hank Williams songs are handled well too, "Cold, Cold Heart", "I Can`t Help It" and "Your Cheatin` Heart".

CD 2 offers much of the same. His versions of "Twist And Shout", "From Me To You", "Needles And Pins" and "Rag Doll" make you believe that he is, in fact a group rather than a solo artist. "Two other outstanding songs made famous by other people are "World Without Love" (I preferred the Bobby Rydell version to Peter and Gordon) and "Handy Man" a hit for the recently departed Jimmy Jones. Good value for the price, and if you can overlook a few of the tracks you will enjoy this collection.
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on 7 April 2008
Shannon influnced the Beatles they influenced him.Hence the first American to cover their then current hit From me to you.
But the lower review is incorrect-theres no sign of The Wamboo on this CD neither are other B sides included like Jody,The answer to everything and Ginny in the mirror.
Plenty of covers though to my delight.
However album tracks like his Hank Williams covers can be found here
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on 7 August 2011
THERE ARE 40 TRACKS ON THE TWO CD'S AND THEY INCLUDE MOST OF HIS MOST POPULAR SONGS. ALSO INCLUDED ARE GREAT VERSIONS OF THREE HANK WILLIAMS CLASSICS-COLD COLD HEART,I CAN'T HELP IT AND YOUR CHEATING HEART. A REAL SURPRISE AND A TRACK I HAD NEVER HEARD BEFORE WAS ONE OF GEORGE JONES MOST REQUESTED SONGS SHE THINKS I STILL CARE.IT IS A MUST FOR ALL DEL'S FANS.
BOB HOPKINS
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