CLASSIC DOO WOP…The Flamingos: The Flamingos Collection 1953-61

Consisting of brothers Jake and Zeke Carey along with Paul Wilson, Sollie McElroy and Johnny Carter, The Flamingos were one of the most influential and important vocal pop groups in the 50s and beyond. Sometimes linked with R&B, other times with doo wop, they mixed solo voices with rich harmonies that set the standard for soulful vocals.

This 3 cd set covers material from their singles, both “A” and “B” sides as well as their first three albums Flamingo Serenade, The Flamingos and Flamingo Favorites. Their best known hit is the mystical “I Only Have Eyes For You,” but the gems don’t stop shining there. Before that one, they did some wonders with “That’s My Desire” and the standard bearing “Golden Teardrops” which is a drop dead gorgeous ballad that feature the velvet harmonies and McElroy’s riveting lead.

With Nate Nelson replacing McElroy, the band did some rich work with the tender “I’ll Be Home” and crooned “A Kiss From Your Lips,” the team hits paydirt in 1959 with “I Only Have Eyes For You,” essentially defining the street corner symphony. The followup pieces “Mio Amore” and “Your Other Love” are delightful ditties, while their albums included gems such as “Love Walked In,” “Where Or When” and a soulful  “Goodnight Sweetheart” from the romantic Serenade album. “Chickie  Um Bah” and “Stolen Love” are taken from the sentimental eponymous second album, and the team gets a bit Coaster-ish on “Crazy Crazy Crazy.”

If you’re not singing along half way through the first disc, you need to start over and repeat until you do.

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