ARTIST: Tommy Roe
TITLE: Greatest Hits – The Original ABC Hit Recordings
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 40: Sheila (#1 US, #3 UK), The Folk Singer (#84 US, #4 UK), Everybody (#3 US, #9 UK), Come On (#36 US), Sweet Pea (#8 US), Hooray for Hazel (#6 US), It’s Now Winter’s Day (#23 US), Dizzy (#1 US, #1 UK), Heather Honey (#29 US, #24 UK), Jam Up and Jelly Tight (#8 US), Stagger Lee (#25 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nah, the rest charted pretty low.
LINEUP: Tommy Roe and various sessioneers
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A compilation of the 60’s pop singer who survived through the many changes of the pop scene and kept having hits every couple of years.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: One thing that strikes you about Tommy Roe’s career is that there were three phases of his success. First it was 1963-64, then a comeback in 1966-67, then a final comeback in 1969 to 1970. Each time the style was a bit different, but they were all Tommy Roe composed and all fit in with the pop vernacular at the time.
The other striking thing is that as lightweight as the songs seem to be, they keep coming back as samples (the drum breaks, especially, and the organ sound). Then, the complexity of the songs will surprise you (“Dizzy” has 11 key changes and is in four keys overall).
These 18 tracks really do give an overview of pure AM radio pop in the 60’s and is surprising durable. Roe was never an album artist, but pumped out four or so singles a year, and when one hit, then they collected up an album from sessions.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This compilation goes through 1971, but he kept cranking out singles for a few years after with little success.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE A-: A load of earworms here.