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The Definitive Collection

Neil Sedaka

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Album Review

From all appearances, Razor & Tie's 2007 compilation The Definitive Collection surely seems to live up to its title. It weighs in at 22 tracks and the back cover claims that it is a "celebration of Neil Sedaka's 50 years making music, from his first recordings in 1957 to his most recent work. The first career-spanning collection of its kind." Well, that's true to a certain extent — it is the first to attempt to survey everything Sedaka's done from 1957 to 2007, so in that sense it is a first, and it's also a celebration since it has his biggest songs, from "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" through "Bad Blood." However, it doesn't have the original versions of these songs from the '50s and '60s: it has 1991 re-recordings that are a little stiff and overly polished, but Sedaka is thankfully in good voice. For those who realize this Definitive Collection is a combination of re-recordings and originals and don't care that his earliest and biggest songs are present in latter-day versions, this isn't a bad disc, since it does have all of his biggest songs as well as good notes by Gene Sculatti. And for hardcore fans, there are some additional enticements: demos of "Where the Boys Are" and "It Hurts to Be in Love," plus "What a Surprise" and "Junkie for Your Love" making their CD debut.

Biography

Born: 13 March 1939 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer, songwriter, and pianist Neil Sedaka enjoyed two distinct periods of commercial success in two slightly different styles of pop music: first, as a teen pop star in the late '50s and early '60s, then as a singer of more mature pop/rock in the '70s. In both phases, Sedaka, a classically trained pianist, composed the music for his hits, which he sang in a boyish tenor. And throughout, even when his performing career was at a low ebb, he served as a songwriter for other artists, resulting in a...
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The Definitive Collection, Neil Sedaka
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