A straightforward summary of the Shadows' first three years of habitual hit-making, opening with the pounding flurry of "Apache," then tracing through the next eight smash singles, with a handful of attendant B-sides (and one EP cut, the title track from The Boys) to round the package out. There is no denying the sheer brilliance of this early sequence. Hits like "Wonderful Land," "FBI," and "Man of Mystery" utterly rewrote the guitar's role in rock, not only musically, but culturally as well. Unquestionably, the Shadows' importance and impact diminished as the years passed, but at the outset of their career – the period documented here – they were untouchable. It is for that reason that The Shadows' Greatest Hits is still regarded in some quarters as the finest Shadows album of them all, an accolade which no other compilation (and goodness knows, there's been enough of them) has ever been able to dismiss. Even the sleeve screams "masterpiece."
Born Caroline Catharina Müller in the Netherlands, she moved with her family to Germany in the late '70s. In 1980, she became a member of the girl quartet Optimal, who issued two singles. During one of the band's concerts in Hamburg, she was approached by songwriter/producer Dieter Bohlen who had just taken the continental charts by storm with his duo Modern Talking…
Greatest Hits is a fine ten-track overview of the funk keyboardist's late-'70s/early-'80s recordings, containing all three of his Top Ten R&B hits ("Reach for It," "Dukey Stick," "Sweet Baby") plus a good selection of minor hits and album tracks.
A decent 12-song compilation of the group's singles, several of which, including "My Tani" and "Frogg," were never on their individual albums. The mix of tempos and sources encompasses everything from the two moody singles "Greenfields" and "The Green Leaves of Summer" to playful songs such as "Frogg," gospel material ("Nobody Knows"), and robust, stomping pieces ("I Am a Roving Gambler," "Nine Pound Hammer"). The sound is decent, but there's no annotation on this low-priced CD, a straight conversion of a 1967 album.
Singer/songwriter Michael Bolton emerged in the mid-'80s as a major soft rock balladeer. Originally, he recorded under his real name, Michael Bolotin, turning up on RCA Records in the mid-'70s singing cover tunes and his own blue-eyed soul songs in a voice reminiscent of Joe Cocker. He then became the lead singer of Blackjack, a heavy metal band that made two albums for Polydor before splitting up in the early '80s. Looking to relaunch his career, he changed his name to Michael Bolton and signed to Columbia Records as a solo artist in 1983. Bolton's achievements include selling more than 75 million records, recording eight top 10 albums and two number-one singles on the Billboard charts, as well as winning multiple American Music Awards and Grammy Awards.