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Runaway with Del Shannon/Hats off to Del Shannon

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Del Shannon 21/5/2002

Review

This smartly assembled compilation of two early Del Shannon albums offers a convenient way to collect this material on one disc as well as creating a good thumbnail sketch of this underrated performer's early style. Runaway With Del Shannon is a tentative affair due to hit-and-miss material. Songs like "Misery" ape the style of "Runaway" a little too closely, and a few of the slower numbers slip into mawkish melodrama ("The Prom" is the big culprit in this area). However, the album plays well as a whole because Shannon delivers strong vocals throughout and the skillful arrangements and production show a fully developed style that shines even when the songs themselves do not. It also offers a few hidden gems that are just as impressive as "Runaway": the best is Shannon's soulful version of "His Latest Flame," which captures the song's heartbroken mood in a much more powerful way than Elvis Presley's better-known version. Hats off to Del Shannon was a U.K. album assembled exclusively from singles material and thus has a greater overall consistency in both songwriting and performance, as Shannon shows off his arresting vocal style and ability to mix rock and pop on a string of classics like "The Swiss Maid," "Hats off to Larry," and "Cry Myself to Sleep." A few of its tracks aren't as sharp as these hits ("Don't Gild the Lily, Lily" is undone by its too-clever lyrics), but the majority of the album offers solid early-'60s pop confidently delivered in Shannon's richly emotional style. The package is rounded out by informative liner notes and a trio of worthwhile bonus single mixes: the single versions of "Runaway" and "Hats off to Larry" are of particular merit because they are much punchier than their album counterparts. All in all, Runaway With Del Shannon/Hats off to Del Shannon is a great choice for Shannon fans and worth a spin to anyone with a serious interest in early-'60s pop music. ~ Donald A. Guarisco
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Misery Del Shannon 1:56
  3. 2 Day Dreams Del Shannon 2:15
  4. 3 His Latest Flame Del Shannon 2:18
  5. 4 The Prom Del Shannon 2:18
  6. 5 The Search Del Shannon 2:24
  7. 6 Runaway Del Shannon 2:16
  8. 7 I Wake Up Crying Del Shannon 1:59
  9. 8 Wide Wide World Del Shannon 1:57
  10. 9 I'll Always Love You Del Shannon 2:11
  11. 10 Lies Del Shannon 2:34
  12. 11 He Doesn't Care Del Shannon 2:7
  13. 12 Jody Del Shannon 2:21
  14. 13 The Swiss Maid Del Shannon 2:4
  15. 14 Cry Myself to Sleep Del Shannon 2:18
  16. 15 Ginny in the Mirror Del Shannon 2:9
  17. 16 You Never Talked About Me Del Shannon 2:12
  18. 17 Don't Gild the Lily, Lily Del Shannon 2:15
  19. 18 I Won't Be There Del Shannon 1:59
  20. 19 Hats Off to Larry Del Shannon 1:59
  21. 20 The Answer to Everything Del Shannon 2:42
  22. 21 Hey! Little Girl Del Shannon 2:29
  23. 22 I'm Gonna Move On Del Shannon 2:45
  24. 23 I Don't Care Any More Del Shannon 2:48
  25. 24 So Long Baby Del Shannon 1:58
  26. 25 Runaway [Single Version] Del Shannon 2:16
  27. 26 Hats Off to Larry [Stereo Version] Del Shannon 2:2
  28. 27 Hey! Little Girl [Stereo Version] Del Shannon 2:32

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