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Gene Pitney: 18 All-Time Greatest Hits

Gene Pitney

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Album Review

With his clear and highly emotionally charged singing style, Gene Pitney struck his commercial peak in the early '60s (just before the Beatles hit) with top-notch records like 1961's "Town Without Pity" and a pair of 1962 delights, "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance" (pop-country crossover before there was such a thing) and "Only Love Can Break a Heart," from the Burt Bacharach/Hal David songwriting team. This set includes all of his essential hits, including the above trio of songs and the gorgeous "It Hurts to Be in Love" plus another Bacharach/David gem, "Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa." Unfortunately for Pitney, the British Invasion, Motown, and the rise of rock (as opposed to rock & roll) combined to limit any significant future chart activity for the singer. All you really need is here, along with some stuff you probably don't need.

Biography

Born: 17 February 1941 in Hartford, CT

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the most interesting and difficult-to-categorize singers in '60s pop, Gene Pitney had a long run of hits distinguished by his pained, one-of-a-kind melodramatic wail. Pitney is sometimes characterized (or dismissed) as a shallow teen idol-type prone to operatic ballads. It's true that some of his biggest hits — "Town Without Pity," "Only Love Can Break a Heart," "I'm Gonna Be Strong," "It Hurts to Be in Love," and "Twenty...
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