If Rhino's Very Best of the Drifters is a fine R&B snack, then All-Time Greatest Hits & More: 1959-1965 is a three-course gourmet meal with dessert built on the same ingredients. Forget about the higher price and the fact that 40 songs might seem to be more Drifters than most casual listeners would want – All-Time Greatest Hits & More: 1959-1965 is a towering and magnificent collection of some of the best popular R&B ever done this side of Sam Cooke. And, as with Sam Cooke, the beautiful part of the Drifters' work during this period is that any look beyond and behind their hits reveals a lot more songs that were every bit as good as those hits. There's not even a slightly weak track anywhere on All-Time Greatest Hits & More, which contains the biggest hits Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis, and Johnny Moore sang for the group. "There Goes My Baby," "This Magic Moment," "Save the Last Dance for Me," "Sweets for My Sweet," "I Count the Tears," "Some Kind of Wonderful," "Up on the Roof," "On Broadway," and "Under the Boardwalk" are all here, mastered in surprisingly good sound for the late '80s.
First, to be clear, this is certainly not the only album you'll ever need, and it may well be one of the last ones you'll ever need. This is fare from the latter-day . By the 1970s had splintered into several separate touring groups, one of which was led by . , recognizing that the group had always been popular in Britain, moved there and enlisted , , and to form yet another incarnation of the group, which then signed to Bell Records in 1973.
For the first time ever, all The Drifters UK hit singles as well as every A&B side released on the Bell, Arista and Epic labels between 1972 & 1980 are in one set.
The history of rhythm and blues is filled with vocal groups whose names – the Orioles, the Cadillacs, the Crows, the Flamingos, the Moonglows, the Coasters, the Penguins – are held in reverence by fanatics and devotees. The Drifters are part of an even more exclusive fraternity, as a group that managed to carve out a place for themselves in the R&B firmament and also define that music, not only at its inception as a national chart phenomenon in the early '50s but also in the decade that followed.