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Gary "U.S." Bonds: The Very Best of Gary "U.S." Bonds: The Original Legrand Masters

Album Notes

Personnel: Gary U.S. Bonds (vocals).

The Church Street Five: Earl Swanson, Gene "Daddy G" Barge (saxophone); Leonard Barks (trombone); Willie Burnell (piano); Ron "Junior" Fairley (bass); Emmett "Nabs" Shields (drums).

Compilation producers: Cary E. Mansfield, Walter De Venne.

Producer: Frank Guida.

Includes liner notes by Bill Dahl.

Digitally remastered by Dan Hersch (DigiPrep, Hollywood, California).

The title to this 16-track collection has more than its share of quirks and wrinkles. Fully 14 tracks are duplicated with The School of Rock 'n' Roll: Best of Gary U.S. Bonds, released by Rhino in 1990, making it a negligible buy for anyone who already owns that earlier compilation. All the chart hits are here, including "New Orleans," "Quarter to Three," "School Is Out" (again with the original intro clipped off, same as the Rhino comp), "School Is In," "Twist, Twist Señora," and "Dear Lady Twist." New to this collection are the inclusion of "Gettin' a Groove," "Copy Cat," and "I Dig This Station." The latter two items grazed the bottom of the charts, hence their inclusion, but leaving off strong album and single material like "Trip to the Moon," "I Know Why Dreamers Cry," "Mixed Up Faculty," and "Cecelia" to make room for the second go-round of non-charters like "Take Me Back to New Orleans," "Having So Much Fun," "Where Did the Naughty Little Girl Go," and "I Wanta Holler (But the Town's Too Small)" makes this a less than stellar supplement to the Rhino package. But it's a decent alternative, leaving half of a compilation's worth of material between the two best-ofs. ~ Cub Koda


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