Liner Note Author: Kyler Schwartz.
This singles collection from pop singer Brian Hyland covers his tenure on Philips Records between 1964 and 1968. A former teen idol who scored a number one hit at age 16 with the 1960 novelty song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini," Hyland continued to record well-mannered, generally unchallenging pop throughout the mid-'60s. With his smooth tenor and innocently romantic material, he was at odds with the rapidly changing, post-British Invasion landscape and he only scored a handful of minor hits during these years. Still, there is some fine material contained within this collection which, in addition to all of his Philips A- and B-sides, also offers a handful of album cuts as well as three of his post-Philips singles on Dot Records. Songs like the bossa nova-rhythmed "Love Will Find a Way" and the jangling folk-rock of "Sometimes They Do, Sometimes They Don't" show that Hyland was willing to alter his formula to better fit the times. His Byrds-ian folk and country style worked particularly well and was a sound he would continue to revisit on later releases. Elsewhere, you can hear him trying on other popular styles, from the Beach Boys harmonies of "One Night Jimmy" to the flower pop psychedelia of "Come with Me," all to varying degrees of effectiveness. What's interesting is how this set often plays out like a history lesson of mid-'60s production trends, with Hyland's own personality bobbing up to the surface every now and again as he chases the elusive pop hit. Aside from a decent helping of quality songs, it's worth trolling through these 32 tracks for their sponge-like ability to capture the dramatic range of sounds that occurred in American pop during this brief but intense four-year period. ~ Timothy Monger