The Best of the RCA Victor Recordings

by: Lou Monte

A 50-track, two-disc anthology of Lou Monte's RCA Victor recordings might seem like overkill considering that he scored only one Top Ten hit for the label. However, the success of Taragon's first Lou Monte collection, The Very Best of Lou Monte -- not to mention the enduring popularity of Monte himself -- justified the effort, and the result is a comprehensive collection of A-sides and B-sides from singles he recorded for RCA Victor during his first stint with the label. Monte wore many hats as an Italian crooner, a purveyor of ethnic novelties, and even a rock & roller on occasion. "Nina, the Queen of the Teeners" and "Pizza Boy U.S.A." fall into the latter category and show that Monte was as versatile as Guy Mitchell, another novelty-oriented (but not Italian) singer with whom he shares a number of similarities. Covers of two songs from Walt Disney's Davy Crockett television series depart from the Italian formula, but those are anomalies. Although The Best of the RCA Victor Recordings contains a couple of hits that overlap with The Very Best of Lou Monte, it is clearly intended to supplement the previous anthology as it rounds up non-hits and the B-sides of Monte's charting singles. Taken together, the two collections compile all but one of Monte's RCA Victor singles from 1953-1960. ~ Greg Adams

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