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4.5 out of 5 stars13
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 February 2016
HISTORY:

Epic was an adjective usually applied to productions seen on the big screen before the mighty Columbia label created a subsidiary of that name in 1953. History tells us Epic was one of the most successful labels of the Eighties, thanks largely to Michael Jackson and his mega-selling recordings but, back in the Fifties, it was home to music that was somewhat further from the mainstream – jazz and classical in particular. The early Sixties saw that template expand to include a wider spectrum of music, largely due to overcrowding on the Columbia roster. Columbia would also use Epic as home to many British imports, everyone from the Hollies and Dave Clark Five through to Jeff Jack and Lulu. But for a short while in the early 60s, Epic became associated with young, untried acts. Bobby Vinton was the major star on the Epic label. In my other reviews of other labels, the story usually ended with the folding of the labels. Here, Epic is still very vibrant.

CONTENT:

This 3 CD set covers the period from 1960 – 1962 with 60 original recordings. The selections have great varieties and contain many rare gems. I have included the entire song listing (with chart position, year and comments) as follows:

Disc 1:
01 Halfway To Paradise – Tony Orlando (US 39/1961)
02 You Can Have Her – Roy Hamilton (US 12/1961)
03 Mr. Lonely – Bobby Vinton (US 1/1964)
04 What Do You Want – Ersel Hickey (uncharted, 1959)*rare gem (cover version of UK’s Adam Faith’s hit)
05 Bad Boy – Marty Wilde (US 45/1960; UK 7/1959)
06 Pow-Wow – The Stringmen (uncharted, 1961)
07 The Girl of My Best Friend – Marty Vine (uncharted, 1960)*rare gem (I still like Elvis’s version better; Ral Donner took it to #19/1961)
08 I’ve Got A Date With Frankie – Andrea Carroll (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem (the original title was I’ve Got A Date With Elvis, but it was changed because she had a crush on Frankie Avalon)
09 If You Don’t Care – The Danleers (uncharted, 1960)*rare gem (their only charted hit was One Summer Night (7/1958)
10 Keep Away From Other Girls – Helen Shapiro (UK 40/1962)*rare gem (I missed her husky voice)
11 Oh What A Day – The Ovations (uncharted, 1960)
12 True Love – Bobby Vinton (uncharted, 1960)
13 Don’t Blame Me – Erma Franklin (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem (Aretha Franklin’s elder sister; sang backup vocal by Aretha; her two charted hits were Piece of My Heart (62/1967) and Open Up Your Soul (107/1968)
14 Trail Of The Lonesome Pine – Link Wray (uncharted, 1960)*rare gem (his charted hit Rawhide should have been included (23/1959)
15 Be Bob Baby – The Confessions (uncharted, 1961)
16 (Got Your Kicks On) Route 66 – George Maharis (uncharted, 1962)
17 Never Take It Away – The Redwoods (uncharted, 1961)
18 Such A Fool Was I – George Torrence & The Dippers (uncharted, 1961)
19 Baby You Know You’re Wrong – The Dappers (uncharted, 1959)
20 Go Little Willie – Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem (their only charted hit was Sock It To ‘Em J.B. Part 1 in 1966)

Disc 2:
01 Roses Are Red (My Love) – Bobby Vinton (US 1/1962; UK 15/1962)
02 Bless You – Tony Orlando (US 15/1961; UK 5/1961)
03 Young And Lonely – Andrea Carroll (uncharted, 1960)*rare gem (backup vocal for the Chiffons; her only charted hit was It Hurts To Be Sixteen (45/1963) and she was 16 when she recorded that song; she reminded me of Linda Scott; very cute too)
04 Tijuana – Link Wray & The Wraymen (uncharted, 1961)
05 Little Lover – The Danleers (uncharted, 1960)
06 Another Wasted Day – Ersel Hickey (uncharted, 1960)
07 My Love Is Real – The Dappers (uncharted, 1960)*rare gem
08 Angry – Marty Wilde (uncharted, 1960)
09 I’ll Come Running Back To You – Roy Hamilton (US 110/1962)*rare gem: not found in his Greatest Hits CD
10 Please Be Kind – Debbie Woods (uncharted, 1962)*rare gem
11 Venus – Bill Butler (uncharted, 1962)*rare gem (cover version of Frankie Avalon’s hit)
12 When You’re Alone – Donnie & The Del Chords (uncharted, 1961)
13 Come To Me – Richard ‘Popcorn’ Wylie (US 109/1962)*ultra rare gem
14 I’ll Never Smile Again – George Maharis (uncharted, 1962)
15 I Can’t Stop Loving You – Bobby Vinton (uncharted, 1962)
16 It’s Over – Erma Franklin (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem
17 Mary Ann – Link Wray (uncharted, 1960)
18 Just Walk Away – Buddy Greco (uncharted, 1962)
19 Run Little Girl – Little Joe & The Thrillers (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem
20 You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry – Fred Neil (uncharted, 1960)*rare gem (original version, later a major hit by the Caravelles in 1963; he later wrote Everybody’s Talkin’ by Nilsson from Midnight Cowboy)

Disc 3:
01 Long As The Rose Is Red – Florraine Darlin (US 62/1962)*ultra rare gem (answer song to Bobby Vinton’s Roses Are Red)
02 Stardust Brought Me You – Ersel Hickey (uncharted, 1960)*rare gem (her only charted hit was Bluebirds Over The Mountain, later covered by the Beach Boys)
03 Little Miss Lonely – Helen Shapiro (UK 8/1962)
04 Rain, Rain Go Away – Bobby Vinton (US 12/1962)
05 Each Night I Cry – Erma Franklin (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem
06 El Toro – Link Wray & The Wraymen (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem
07 Teach Me Tonight – George Maharis (US 25/1962)
08 I’d Never Find Another You – Tony Orlando (uncharted, 1962)
09 No Matter What I Do – Billy Casher (uncharted, 1961)
10 King Or A Clown – Dick Flood (uncharted, 1962)*rare gem (his only charted hit was The Three Bells (The Jimmy Brown Story) 23/1959)
11 Little Girl – Marty Wilde (UK 16/1960)
12 Trouble Is My Middle Name – Bobby Vinton (US 33/1962)
13 Roses Of Picardy – Buddy Greco (uncharted, 1961)*rare gem
14 Earthquake – Roy Hamilton (uncharted, 1962)
15 Half A Block From an Angel – The Danleers (uncharted, 1960)
16 There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight – Adam Wade (US 104/1962)*rare gem
17 Stormy Horizons – Jim & Jesse (uncharted, 1962)
18 A Girl Named Marie – Larry Stevens & The Three Dolls (uncharted, 1960)
19 Golden Strings – Link Wray (uncharted, 1960)*rare gem
20 Shake Shake Sherry – The Redwoods (aka The Flairs)(uncharted, 1961)

The audio is very well remastered, clean, clear with clear stereo separation. All these oldies are brought back to life again, with vibrancy and no hiss. One Day Music from UK has done a great job in releasing this series of the best of different labels. Normally, this series was a 2 CD set. I appreciate a 3 CD set with 60 great songs.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I am listening to the entire set as I am typing this review. It is a very enjoyable experience. All the songs, charted and uncharted, brought back many happy memories of the innocent days gone by. There are many rare gems too that I could not find elsewhere. Most importantly, the price is very reasonable and this set has great value. Naturally this set is highly recommended for all music lovers of music of the 60s.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 May 2013
At only a fiver for 3 CDs this is like 3 double albums which would have cost more in the 70s.While there's obvious repeats for anyone with a large collection of CDs its not really a problem as there's plenty of songs which were never issued in the U K.I never knew for instance that Ersel Hickey had done a cover of What Do You Want but then the Adam Faith original (on MGM) had failed same as the Bobby Vee cover
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on 2 May 2013
I could not find fault with this cd, I enjoyed all of the artists of what I consider to be
a good cross section of early 60's MOR music. All tracks beautifully orchestrated
with good singers and a wealth of tracks too. Brings back memories of Radio Luxemburg and the 60's
Overall fantastic value for money.

I hope One Day will do a similar one on MGM
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This three CD set `Halfway To Paradise' `THE EPIC RECORDS STORY 1960 - 1962'
consists of original recordings by the original artists.

At this low low price at under a fiver means the cost is less than a modern day single CD.
The simple reason for the low price?

The recordings are over 50 years old and are `Public Domain' in the UK.

But it's hard to work out which tracks are on the CD Amazon seemed to have jumbled all the tracks in one long set of lines.

If you are like me and find it hard to see exactly which tracks are on the two CDs then this easy to read list may help?

CD1

1. Halfway To Paradise-Tony Orlando
2. You Can Have Her-Roy Hamilton
3. Mr. Lonely-Bobby Vinton
4. What Do You Want-Ersel Hickey
5. Bad Boy-Marty Wilde
6. Pow-Wow-The Stringmen
7. The Girl Of My Best...-Marty Vine
8. I've Got A Date With...-Andrea Carroll
9. If You Don't Care-The Danleers
10. Keep Away From Other-Helen Shapiro
11. Oh What A Day-The Ovations
12. True Love-Bobby Vinton
13. Don't Blame Me-Erma Franklin
14. Trail Of The Lonesome Pine-Link Wray
15. Be Bop Baby-The Confessions
16. (Get Your Kicks On)Route66-G Maharis
17. Never Take It Away-The Redwoods
18. Such A Fool Was I-George Torrence
19. Baby You Know...Wrong-The Dappers
20. Go Little Willie-Rex Garvin

CD2

1. Roses Are Red (My Love)-Bobby Vinton
2. Bless You-Tony Orlando
3. Young And Lonely-Andrea Carroll
4. Tijuana-Link Wray & The Wraymen
5. Little Lover The Danleers
6. Another Wasted Day-Ersel Hickey
7. My Love Is Real-The Dappers
8. Angry-Marty Wilde
9. I'll Come Running Back to You-Roy Hamilton
10. Please Be Kind-Debbie Woods
11. Venus-Bill Butler
12. When You're Alone-Donnie & The Del Chords
13. Come To Me-Richard 'Popcorn' Wylie
14. I'll Never Smile Again-George Maharis
15. I Can't Stop Loving You-Bobby Vinton
16. It's Over-Erma Franklin
17. Mary Ann-Link Wray
18. Just Walk Away-Buddy Greco
19. Run Little Girl-Little Joe & The Thrillers
20. You Don't Have To Be a Baby to Cry- Fred Neil

CD3

1. Long As The Rose Is Red-Florraine Darlin'
2. Stardust Brought Me You-Ersel Hickey
3. Little Miss Lonely-Helen Shapiro
4. Rain, Rain Go Away-Bobby Vinton
5. Each Night I Cry-Erma Franklin
6. El Toro-Link Wray & The Wraymen
7. Teach Me Tonight-George Maharis
8. I'd Never Find Another You-Tony Orlando
9. No Matter What I Do-Billy Casher
10. King Or A Clown-Dick Flood
11. Little Girl Marty Wilde
12. Trouble Is My Middle Name-Bobby Vinton
13. Roses Of Picardy-Buddy Greco
14. Earthquake-Roy Hamilton
15. Half A Block From An Angel-The Danleers
16. There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight-Adam Wade
17. Stormy Horizons-Jim & Jesse
18. A Girl Named Marie-Larry Stevens
19. Golden Strings-Link Wray
20. Shake Shake Sherry- Tehe Redwoods (aka The Flairs)

It's a sad thought that many of these artist will now have passed away after over 50 years or more since the tracks were originally recorded.

In a way it's really good that when we hear them again today we can think back to the original artists.
It would be nice if you could say a little prayer for them. Like the add for Tesco says `Every little helps'.
22 comments|20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 March 2015
Only 2 stars from me for a big goof here.....The opening track (also the sub-title of the whole package), Tony Orlando's 1961 hit "Halfway To Paradise" is a REMAKE, not the Epic hit version!! - This is the K-tel version. - WHY??? Absolutely ridiculous as his"Bless You" and "I'd Never Find Another You" on the same set are the Epic originals from the same period. How stupid is that! Go figure!
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on 28 June 2013
Not a bad record it's a good quality recording and the music is good it's a great value record that was packaged well and arrived on time. I did not know all the tracks on the album [sorry I mean CD]. worth the cost and I am looking to buy more.
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on 26 September 2013
More Brilliant Songs From My Favourite Decade
Would Recommend to anyone that loves the 60s Sounds
Good Buy Love it
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on 17 July 2014
A very good collection of oldies, which is good to reminisce with. Good value for money.
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on 4 August 2014
Very good compilation as is the case with almost all of the releases in this series.
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on 19 February 2015
GREAT FOR MY ROCK 'N' ROLL DISCO
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