America's Greatest Hits 1961
Styles: America's Greatest Hits
Catalogue Number: ACQCD7047
This release continues the series of “America’s Greatest Hits” which over the years has provided annual collections of the biggest hits of each year in the Billboard pop charts. The collection for 1961 is an excellent value 107-track 4-CD set which includes every record that entered in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 during the year. Many of the tracks are, inevitably, well-known hits, which went on to score chart success in the UK, but there are no less than 45 tracks which did not make it into the UK charts despite their major US success, including tracks by well-known artists alongside more obscure hits by artists that never saw the light of day in the UK, from the classic “Angel Baby” by Rosie & The Originals to the oddity of a Scandinavian version of “Apache”. The whole collection is a highly entertaining trawl through the American music scene of the times, a rather different musical experience from listening to collections from the UK charts, which naturally feature a high proportion of home-grown talent. It captures the essence of the strands of musical creativity that were active at the time, from Brill Building producers to the Twist craze, plus country sounds from Nashville and some fine early soul. As ever, it includes comprehensive booklet notes with commentary on every track as well as the distinctive series packaging. It is likely to appeal to the many collectors who enjoy these completest anthologies, and will hopefully provide useful programming for the specialist radio programmes which feature pop nostalgia.