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Tommy Roe & Bobby Vee-Sing the Big Hits

Tommy Roe & Bobby Vee

Sing the Big Hits

Format: CD   Release Date: 06/08/2004
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Tommy Roe and Brian Hyland are very similar artists. Both came out of the early-'60s teen idol scene but transcended it by writing and performing some great music. Roe probably gets more due than Hyland if only because he never had the fortune (or misfortune) to sing anything as silly as "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini." Each artist is given five songs on Sing the Big Hits, and to the casual listener, that seems just about right. In Roe's case, his oldies radio staples "Dizzy," "Sweet Pea," and "Shelia" are accounted for along with his party anthem "Everybody" and the slinky bubblegum groover "Jam Up and Jelly Tight." Hyland is represented ably by his Del Shannon-produced cover of the Impressions' "Gypsy Woman" (which doesn't capture the majesty of the original but is a sturdy slab of blue-eyed soul just the same), his teen idol weeper "Sealed With a Kiss," and the aforementioned "Bikini." The inclusion of his tepid cover of Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops" at the expense of the wonderful pop/rock gem "The Joker Went Wild" is a mistake, but again most listeners will be happy with what is here. Delving deeper into both artists catalogs is highly recommended, however, especially in Roe's case, where a little digging will come up with songs as good as the hypnotic sunshine-psych ballad "It's Now Winter's Day" and bubblegum knockouts "Cinnamon" and "Hooray for Hazel." [The 2004 Collectables release is a straight reissue of the 1997 collection on Universal Special Products titled Back to Back: Tommy Roe and Brian Hyland Sing the Big Hits.~ Tim Sendra, Rovi

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