Probably best known as the group behind Dion's early hits, the Belmonts remain one of the most popular vocal groups from the rock'n'roll era. When Dion left to pursue his solo career in 1960, the Belmonts continued as a group under their own name. With varying degrees of success, they recorded many good quality records throughout the 60s.
Formed in New York City in 1957, the group took their name from Belmont Avenue - the main drag through the Italian section of the Bronx where they honed their street corner style doo wop with which they are synonymous today. The material they recorded with Dion has been well documented and has seen several releases over the years. This collection brings together their lesser known recordings as a group under their own name.
With Carlo Mastrangelo taking over as lead vocalist, success came quickly with Tell Me Why charting for the boys in 1961. There was a mini revival of vocal group music in the New York area at the turn of the decade and it seemed the Belmonts could do no wrong-.-five of their first six singles all found a place on the charts. In common with many vocal groups from the golden era, the Belmonts went through a few line up changes and musical styles as their career developed but never deviated too far from the beautiful harmonies which brought them early success.
In this collection and its predecessor VOLUME 1 (CDCHD 580) you will not only find all the classic Belmont singles from Sabina, but also the pick of the recordings from their Laurie and United Artist sessions including many previously unreleased tracks, alternate takes and several stereo version which appear for the first time on CD.
Listen out for the stereo, alternate take of my personal favourite Belmonts song Diddle-Dee-Dum (What Happens When You're Love Has Gone) and Lookout For Sandy which was changed to Cindy for the official release to avoid clashing with Dion's smash hit Sandy.
by Gordon Watson (Editor of "Feelin' No Pain" Doo Wop Magazine)