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TREASURES 2 - VARIOUS ARTISTS - UNIVERSAL MUSIC
Record Rating: *****

Treasures 2 - Various Artists - Universal Music What makes an essential oldies compilation? First, a great track listing, full of songs you love but havenít heard in years on radio or anywhere else for that matter. Second, the songs should not be re-recordings by the artists who made them famous as many compilations tend to do; but the original versions as they were first heard. And finally, there should be tracks that canít be found elsewhere.

The guy, who compiled this one, hit the nail on the head in all three of these crucial areas. The original Treasures compilation set the standard head and shoulders above many of the collections that were released in its wake, and itís a pretty tough act to beat. But Treasures 2 manages to do that. After exploring mostly the 50ís and 60ís in the first one, the second volume (in what seems to be an ongoing series) harkens back to the same once again on the 21 track listing.

Easy listening classics ~ like Nat King Coleís Mona Lisa, Ben E Kingís Stand By Me and The Platters doing Smoke Gets In Your Eyes are featured here, but fans of other genres of music will also find a lot to appreciate as well. Jazz aficionados can groove on Stan Getz doing his Girl From Ipanema, country fans get their fill with some early Johnny Cash (I Walk The Line) and Kenny Rogers (Me + Bobby McGee) ~ but the fun doesn't stop there!

Some early rock ní roll with Chuck Berry and a rare track by the Beatles (with Tony Sheridan) doing My Bonnie (the first Iíve ever seen it on a compilation!) makes this a giant one-of-a-kind reference album, filled with musical lore that will appeal to casual fans and music historians alike. So go and spread the word.

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