Special Editions of “The Golden Age of American Rock’n’Roll” have to be special to justify their existence and sequels, such as this, are subjected to even greater analytical scrutiny in the preparation process than even the preceding volume, thus avoiding the sense of déjà vu that blights many a follow-up work. Considering that doo wop was a largely American phenomenon and very much of its time, Ace’s Special Doo Wop Edition proved exceptionally popular.
Volume 2 mines the same rich seam of vocal group splendour – only it digs deeper, to bring us many of the more obscure or lesser doo wop hits – but hits nonetheless – by groups lost to posterity, counterbalanced by some better known names. Point is, they’re all great records and, as the majority of titles appear here on a legitimate CD for the first time (with the benefit of high quality mastering) both aficionados and the casual listener will find much to savour in this 30-track package.
Compiled by the painstakingly fastidious Rob Finnis and Trevor Churchill, Doo Wop 2 is programmed as much for listening pleasure as for its archival value. At this distance, one is struck by the purity of the performances – it’s the voices that win over every time, confirming doo wop’s standing as one of the truest American art forms.
The detailed and entertaining annotation by the American doo wop authority Peter Grendysa combined with the rare pictures in the mega-booklet bring the same warm glow to the senses as the music itself. Enjoy!
By Rob Finnis