Album Review: Various Artists – ‘Sounds of the City: New York Area Doo Wop 1956-1966’
By Jeff Swindoll Jul 24, 2007, 16:23 GMT
Webster’s defines doo-wop as “a vocal style of rock and roll characterized by the acappella singing of nonsense syllables in rhythmical support of the melody.” The style was popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Time Life collects 3 discs full of the titular music in this nice set. Disc 3 even boasts an unreleased track, “Rooftop Serenade” by Dion.
It’s not in the definition but another facet might be that groups tend to be known by “The Something” as the roster of groups confirms. We have songs by the Crests (“16 Candles”), The Earls (“Life is but a Dream”), The Four Seasons (“Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry”), The Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)”), and Dion and the Belmonts (“A Teenager in Love”).
There are 59 songs total on this collection and each of them is a fun listen. You’ll recognize the groups or songs, but there are also some ones you may have never heard of but are a joy to discover.
Time Life has been doing these types of collections for a while now and that’s what this type of set is good for – an instant collection of doo-wop music. I’ve always wanted a copy of Wimoweh, but have never broke down and bought the whole album. This way I get it and a nice collection of similar songs – priceless.