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Teenage Crush, Vol. 4


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  • Vol. 4 of the Teenage Crush series offers another 28 tracks from the mildest side of late-'50s/early-'60s rock & roll, slanted toward (but not entirely devoted to) teen idol-style singers of the era. A bunch of these are big, familiar hits -- Johnny Burnette's "Dreamin'," Bobby Vee's "Take Good Care of My Baby," James Darren's "Goodbye Cruel World," Lou Christie's "Two Faces Have I," Frankie Avalon's "Why," Bobby Darin's "Queen of the Hop," Clyde McPhatter's "Treasure of Love," and the Fleetwoods' "Mr. Blue." Its value to rock & roll oldies collectors is that it mixes these with somewhat lesser-known hits and a bunch of low-charting Billboard Top 100 entries that never get played on the radio anymore. That does mean, however, that much of the CD isn't as memorable as the aforementioned big hits, drifting by innocuously without leaving much of a trace. There are some interesting rarities here, like Huelyn Duvall's Conway Twitty-like ballad "Little Boy Blue" and Tommy Boyce (later half of hit artists Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, who also wrote some of the Monkees' hits) and his 1962 Dion imitation "I'll Remember Carol"; in fact, there are a number of Dion imitations here, reminding listeners just how big Dion was in the early '60s. Other highlights are Ricky Nelson's "Never Be Anyone Else But You" -- not a rarity (in fact it made the Top Ten), but not one of the first songs that comes to mind when the Nelson catalog is sampled -- and Dale & Grace's "Stop and Think It Over," also a Top Ten hit, and an enjoyable country-swamp pop-influenced ballad even if it did sound much like their bigger smash "I'm Leaving It All Up to You." But Tommy Dee's "Three Stars" 1959 tribute to the recently departed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper has got to be one of the most godawful maudlin hits of the period. ~ Richie Unterberger
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