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Book of Love

Monotones

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Album Review

A New Jersey sextet featuring two bass singers, the Monotones are chiefly remembered for their massive and enduring 1958 hit "Book of Love," and while they never really topped it, the group's playful energy and a tendency toward unique stop/start rhythmic arrangements makes them one of the more interesting acts from the doo wop era. This brief collection has all the bare-bones essentials, including "Book of Love" (and a 1960 sequel, "Reading the Book of Love"), the effective ballad "Soft Shadows," the derivative (but entertaining) "Fools Will Be Fools," and the mock anthem "What Would You Do If There Wasn't Any Rock and Roll?" which was recorded in 1959 but went unreleased until the 1980s. For listeners looking for the high points of the Monotones' career, this set does the trick.

Biography

Formed: 1955 in Newark, NJ

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s

The Monotones recorded a spate of clever novelties in the late '50s/early '60s, the most successful of which was the enduring "(Who Wrote) The Book of Love?," a massive Top Ten hit (number five pop/number three R&B) in 1958. The group formed in 1955, when 17-year-old lead vocalist Charles Patrick and his brother James Patrick teamed with 16-year-old first tenor Warren Davis, 15-year-old second tenor George Malone, 17-year-old bass singer John Smith, 18-year-old...
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Book of Love, Monotones
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