As eagle-eyed RT readers will have no doubt noticed, Ace has lately been giving well-deserved makeovers to some of its catalogue's more "senior citizens" in an attempt to bring them into line with our more recent releases in terms of presentation, packaging and/or improving the audio wherever necessary. We've already successfully made over older sets by the Impressions, Love and Lonnie Mack to reasonably unanimous approval. The recipient of this month's 'wash and brush up' award is another long-time catalogue resident that's always been a heavy seller for us and that is still, quite possibly, the best introduction to doo wop that any newcomer to the genre could wish for. Of, course, we're talking about DOO WOP SHOP, a package assembled by then-Capital Gold DJ Randall Lee Rose in 1992 as a sidebar to his nightly oldies show on that station. It's hard to believe that, just ten years ago, Londoners could tune into 1548AM and hear Randall playing cuts like Rosie and the Originals' Angel Baby and the Classics' Till Then on a nightly basis, but happily we could. Somewhat less happily, a decade on it's barely possible to hear these kind of tracks at all outside of the confines of a Mark Lamarr radio show, but thanks to Ace it's still possible to buy them on this CD - and others like it, of course.
Doo Wop Shop may still be the singular greatest assembly of street corner classics ever brought together in one package. To celebrate a decade of good sales we've brought the annotation up to date, and given the packaging a new look, in order to send it safely off into its next decade of good selling. (We've not had to adjust the audio, as it's pretty hard to improve upon perfection even with ten ensuing years' worth of technological advancements.)
If you're just getting into your doo wop and are looking for a particular classic of the genre, there's probably more chance you'll find it here than there is of your finding it anywhere else. Just look at that track listing again for a moment. Who would argue against the classic status of cuts like I Wonder Why, Remember Then, Denise, Once In A While, Earth Angel, Eddie My Love, My True Story, The Angels Listened In and There's A Moon Out Tonight? Who would further argue that these gems won't still be regarded as classics another decade hence? Certainly not this writer, that's for sure.
Doo Wop Shop was one of Ace's first all-doo wop CDs, and it's still one of our best. Those who will be coming to its contents 'fresh' will be astounded by the breadth and depth of the repertoire housed under its generic roof. Those who know their doo wop slightly better will be no less impressed, particularly as almost half the tracks are still exclusive to this CD as far as the Ace catalogue goes.
Randall Lee Rose may not be heard on radio as often as he ought to be these days, but his daily attempts to bring doo wop to London's airwaves will forever be encapsulated by what he brought together as the contents for this essential Ace CD. "Shop" till you drop.