Neil Sedaka: The Very Best Of (RCA)

NeilSedaka_TheVeryBestOfStereo catalog of Neil Sedaka’s late-50s and early-60s hits

Neil Sedaka topped the chart in 1974 with “Laughter in the Rain,” and as a songwriter with Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together,” but these were far from his first brush with fame. In fact, this mid-70s resurgence (due in large part to his signing with Elton John’s Rocket Records) was a renewal of a talented Brill Building songsmith whose performing and songwriting success had tailed off a decade earlier in the wake of the British Invasion. From 1958 through 1966, Sedaka recorded charmingly boyish hit records for RCA, falling out of the Top 40 in 1964 with the arrival of the Beatles. This fourteen track collection includes all thirteen of Sedaka’s Top 40 sides for RCS, as well as one that just missed (“I Go Ape,” #42/1959). This represents the core of Sedaka’s first run of fame, including his chart-topping original version of “Breaking Up is Hard To Do” and the icons “Calendar Girl,” “Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen” and “Next Door to an Angel.” All of the sides are presented in true stereo, which will make some collectors happy, but begs Real Gone or Bear Family to step up and release the original mono singles. [©2016 Hyperbolium]

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