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Jan and Dean: The Complete Liberty Singles

2 Ratings: 3.0
2008 anthology CD release by Jan and Dean

The two-disc, 42-track THE COMPLETE LIBERTY SINGLES is the ultimate Jan and Dean anthology. It is not exhaustive: the duo's often-charming earlier singles for a series of small Los Angeles labels are missing, as are the Dean Torrance solo tracks released … see full wiki

1 review about Jan and Dean: The Complete Liberty Singles

Mono was definitely the way to go in this outstanding new collection,

  • Dec 3, 2008
Collector's Choice got it right.  While putting together "Jan and Dean: The Complete Liberty Singles" anthology the producers decided to offer the original mono recordings that you would have heard on your transistor radio back in the early to mid 1960's.  In those days, most of the 45 rpm releases were mono.  Later attempts to release this material in stereo just didn't cut it.  As a result, the sound quality on just about every track on "Jan and Dean: The Complete Liberty Singles" is clean and crisp and remarkably authentic.

While I doubt that anyone would consider Jan and Dean to be important figures in the history of rock and roll they certainly did have a fairly impressive run between 1958 and 1966.  During this period they placed a total of 26 sides on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart.  Most of these releases were in fact on the Liberty label.  On "Jan and Dean: The Complete Liberty Singles" you will find the A & B sides of all 21 of the guys Liberty releases.  The early releases find Jan and Dean struggling to come up with just the right sound. Before signing with Liberty they recorded for the Dore label among others and dabbled in doo-wop "Baby Talk" and folk "Clementine".  Their 1961 recording of the venerable standard "Heart and Soul" certainly showed some promise for the boys.  Later on in 1961 Jan and Dean signed a new recording deal with Liberty records.  They attempted to build on the success of "Heart and Soul" with their initial Liberty release "A Sunday Kind of Love".  It was a dismal failure.  In early 1963, a tune called "Linda" achieved modest success and set the stage for the boy's most productive period.  During this period surf music and cruisin' music had become all the rage.  The Beach Boys were riding high and so Jan and Dean decided it was time to jump on the bandwagon. With a little help from their friend Brian Wilson, Jan and Dean reached the top of the charts on the summer of '63 with "Surf City".  And the hits just kept on coming over the next 18 months with rollicking favorites like "Honolulu Lulu", "Dead Man's Curve" and "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena".  Of all of the Jan and Dean hits my all-time favorite is "Ride The Wild Surf" from the fall of 1964.  I also enjoyed hearing "The New Girl In School", "You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy" and the boys final hit "Popsicle" for the first time in a long time.

"Jan and Dean: The Complete Liberty Singles" also offers listeners the opportunity to sample all of the B sides of the singles as well.  Definitely a mixed bag here.  As always, Collector's Choice has done an exceptional job in putting this collection together.  "Jan and Dean: The Complete Liberty Singles" definitely fills a void in my collection.  I am giving this one 4 stars.  I would break it down this way: 3 1/2 stars for the music and 4 1/2 stars for the package.     Recommended.
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December 13, 2008
Great review. Personally I'm a big fan of J & D. Don't know how many times I'm out somewhere and someone says, Oh The Beach Boys and I have to go into a long explanation about the popularity of "surf rock" in the Sixties.
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