Four by Four
Styles: Doo Wop, Easy Listening, Pop
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3071
Vocal groups have been with us since – well since forever – but the ones of today bear little resemblance to those of yesteryear, and probably the greatest years for groups, when they consisted of competent vocalists who may or may not have provided their own instrumental accompaniment, was during the Fifties. A lot of those groups – all of them featured in this set are American - consisted of four guys, usually comprising a tenor, baritone, bass and a lead singer. And when they were looking for a group name, well, they often weren’t that imaginative and a lot of them became some variant of The Four Somethings, and many enjoyed significant chart success on both sides of the Atlantic. Compiled by ’50s collector and expert, Ossie Dales, this 2-CD collection comprises 52 tracks, made up of four tracks, or in some cases two tracks, by each of 16 different “Fours”. Some were huge hits and absolute classics – The Four Preps “Big Man”, The Four Aces “Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing”, for example – while others are magnificent obscurities. All of them are a celebration of a genre of popular music that was very much of its time, and which largely got run out of town by rock ‘n’ roll (some of them going on to success in the new era, like The Four Seasons). It’s a highly entertaining listen, and it is sure to find an audience amongst the lovers of classic ‘50s pop.