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The Definitive Collection

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Neil Sedaka 4/24/2007

Review

From all appearances, Razor & Tie's 2007 compilation The Definitive Collection surely seems to live up to its title. It weighs in at 22 tracks and the back cover claims that it is a "celebration of Neil Sedaka's 50 years making music, from his first recordings in 1957 to his most recent work. The first career-spanning collection of its kind." Well, that's true to a certain extent -- it is the first to attempt to survey everything Sedaka's done from 1957 to 2007, so in that sense it is a first, and it's also a celebration since it has his biggest songs, from "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" through "Bad Blood." However, it doesn't have the original versions of these songs from the '50s and '60s: it has re-recordings from 1991. They're hardly terrible recordings -- Sedaka is in good voice, thankfully -- but they're still a little stiff and overly polished, not as effective as the originals and they're certainly a disappointment for anybody who purchases The Definitive Collection believing they're going to get a Sedaka disc with all of the original hits. But for those who realize this Definitive Collection is a combination of re-recordings and originals, and do not care that his earliest and biggest songs are present in latter-day versions, this isn't a bad disc, since it does have all of his biggest songs and it does have good notes by Gene Sculatti. And for hardcore fans, there is a couple of enticements: demos of "Where the Boys Are" and "It Hurts to Be in Love," plus "What a Surprise" and "Junkie for Your Love" making their CD debut. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Breaking Up Is Hard to Do [Fast Version] Neil Sedaka 2:15
  3. 2 Oh! Carol Neil Sedaka 2:14
  4. 3 Stairway to Heaven Neil Sedaka 2:38
  5. 4 Calendar Girl Neil Sedaka 2:37
  6. 5 Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen Neil Sedaka 2:37
  7. 6 Next Door to an Angel Neil Sedaka 2:35
  8. 7 Rainy Day Bells Neil Sedaka 2:56
  9. 8 Going Nowhere Neil Sedaka 3:52
  10. 9 You Neil Sedaka 5:31
  11. 10 Laughter in the Rain Neil Sedaka 2:47
  12. 11 The Immigrant Neil Sedaka 3:44
  13. 12 Solitaire Neil Sedaka 4:47
  14. 13 Love Will Keep Us Together Neil Sedaka 3:47
  15. 14 Bad Blood Neil Sedaka 3:7
  16. 15 The Hungry Years Neil Sedaka 4:4
  17. 16 Should've Never Let You Go Neil Sedaka 4:14
  18. 17 Been There Done That Neil Sedaka 3:53
  19. 18 Breaking Up Is Hard to Do [Slow Version] Neil Sedaka 3:14
  20. 19 Where the Boys Are Neil Sedaka 2:19
  21. 20 It Hurts to Be in Love Neil Sedaka 2:28
  22. 21 What a Surprise Neil Sedaka 3:4
  23. 22 Junkie for Your Love Neil Sedaka 4:29

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