Format: Compact Disc
Released Date: February 17, 1997
Number of Discs: 0
Label Name: Mercury
The Del-Vikings include: Clarence Quick, Norman Wright, David Lerchey, Gus Backus, William Blakely, Joe Lopes, Ritzy Lee, Kripp Johnson (vocals).
Compilation producer: Ron Furmanek.
Recorded between 1954 and 1958. Includes liner notes by Marv Goldberg.
Digitally remastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio (PolyGram Studios).
Read the title carefully, because the Del-Vikings' two great doo wop hits -- "Come Go with Me" and "Whispering Bells" -- were not recorded for Mercury, and so are not contained on this compilation. This disc has 22 sides they recorded for Mercury in 1957-58, with a lineup that had some but not all of the members that recorded "Come Go with Me" and "Whispering Bells." (To make matters more confusing, a different Del-Vikings, led by Kripp Johnson, who had sung lead on "Whispering Bells," kept recording for a different label.) The Mercury Del-Vikings did have a Top 20 hit right out of the box, "Cool Shake" (included here), but never had a big single again. Most of this is routine doo wop that's below the standards of their Dot sides, sometimes clouded by inadvisable attempts at pop-oriented material and production. It's only of value to hard-core doo wop bugs, who will appreciate the inclusion of many tracks only available on rare EPs, singles, and compilations, as well as one previously unissued in the U.S. The intro to "The Bells," by the way, bears a close similarity to the famous wordless scats that kicked off the Marcels' classic "Blue Moon" several years later. ~ Richie Unterberger