Having sold quite a few of the original compilation, the Virgin team have again helped themselves to parent EMI's vast back catalogue, and borrowed a few from elsewhere, to give us a further helping of the cute, the tearful and the over-all easy classic recordings that graced the British popular music charts before the coming of the Beatles et al. As before, the emphasis is on the period 1955-1963, and really reflects the material that was regularly played on BBC's Light Programme at the time; solo singers' ballads, novelty songs, the odd instrumental or big band number, but definitely nothing so raunchy as pop or rock and roll - even the American representatives here are either the great crooners or the fluffy young spotty teenagers, rather than Little Richard and co. No matter. These are all great songs and recordings in their own right. Anyone over 50 will remember them with fondness, and annoy anyone younger than 50 by whistling or humming snatches of them at odd moments. Although none of the tracks are exactly rare or new to compilations, many people will still have quite a lot of them only on scratchy old vynil. They've all scrubbed up quite nicely for CD and it's a great two and a half hours' worth of nostalgia for stuff that is fast fading from the airwaves today - not even Saga plays them that often.
Following the success of the original compilation (Memories are made of this) and the subsequent themed compilations (Instrumental memories are made of this, Christmas memories are made of this), it is no surprise that a volume 2 has been released. Like the first volume, this is filled with easy-listening classics from the fifties and sixties, some of which have been released many times on different compilations while others don't get released very often. There is a Drifters classic (Save the last dance for me) as well as two other songs that were American hits for the Drifters but were British hits for the artists singing them here - When my little girl is smiling (Craig Douglas) and Up on the roof (Kenny Lynch). Cliff Richard and the Shadows are here with three songs - The next time, Don't talk to him and A voice in the wilderness. Elsewhere, there are a couple of classics each by Frank Sinatra (Three coins in the fountain, Young at heart), Dean Martin (That's Amore, Volare) and Matt Monro (Born free, Walk away). Johnnie Ray (Cry), Jim Reeves (He'll have to go), Michael Holliday (Starry eyed), Petula Clark (I couldn't live without your love), The Seekers (Carnival is over), Perry Como (It's impossible), Bobby Darin (Beyond the sea), Peggy Lee (Fever) and the Shirelles (Will you love me tomorrow) are among the many other great singers represented by classic oldies. There are a few less famous songs here too, notably I see the moon (Stargazers), The Swiss maid (Del Shannon) and Old Cape Cod (Patti Page), While these are all brilliant songs, they are not heard as often these days and it's great to find them on a compilation like this. If I haven't mentioned your favorite, don't worry - there's a lot of great music here. If you enjoy easy listening music of the fifties and sixties, you'll love this compilation - and if you haven't already got the first volume, buy that too, if you can afford them both.