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The Diamonds Greatest Hits Vol. 1

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Album Review

The Diamonds may have scored most of their hits with covers of R&B songs, but at heart they were a pop vocal group like the Ames Brothers or the Four Aces and relished wrapping their harmonies around standards and traditional pop songs. The Diamonds Meet Pete Rugolo explores this side of the Diamonds by pairing the quartet with Pete Rugolo, Mercury's A&R director who had previously worked with pop and jazz giants such as the Four Freshmen, Stan Kenton, and Peggy Lee. The liner notes say that Rugolo was pleasantly surprised by the Diamonds' ability, which isn't exactly a ringing endorsement for a group that had been scoring hits for Mercury for two years at that time. The bass singer's occasional interjections and lead vocals on "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" and "You'll Never Walk Alone" connect the performances, in a vague stylistic sense, with the group's hits, but there is no rock & roll to be found. "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," and "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)" are examples of the oldies that the Diamonds croon, barbershop-style, over Rugolo's orchestral arrangements. The Diamonds' next album would be a collection of Western songs, so it appears that Mercury hoped to reach an older audience with the group's albums than with their singles.


Formed: 1948

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '40s, '50s

One of the leading cover groups of the mid-'50s, the Diamonds adapted current R&B hits into pop gold of their own. Hailing from Toronto, the Canadian quartet (consisting of Ted Kowalski, Phil Leavitt, Bill Reed, and Dave Somerville) signed with Mercury in 1955 and immediately zoomed up pop play lists with covers of the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love"; the Willows' "Church Bells May Ring"; and their biggest hit of all, a sanitized version of the Gladiolas hit "Little Darlin'." Fronted by David...
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The Diamonds Greatest Hits Vol. 1, The Diamonds
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